About 10 years ago, a 9-year-old Daniel Radcliffe auditioned for the part of a boy wizard in a popular series of kids’ books. This week, Radcliffe was a part of the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.
From the inside of Honeydukes (the candy store stocked with chocolate frogs, for you muggles), Radcliffe told me about the magic of the last decade.
“It’s been kind of wild. It’s just been the most amazing sort of 10 years,” Radcliffe said. “The things I’ll remember is being on the set and filming and doing the work that I just love. It’s kind of what it’s always mainly been about. And I’ve always felt very, very lucky to have fallen into — almost by accident — a job that I absolutely love.”
It’s a job he loves, but a job he’s leaving behind. The final scenes of the last Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II,” were filmed last week. Emotions on the set in those final days took Radcliffe by surprise. He said he was “weeping like a baby, basically.”
“I ... we ... were very emotional. I’m not a particularly overly emotional kind of person. And so, I didn’t really expect it to be ... to cry ... as much as I did. But I was absolutely devastated at the moment, because I just thought, ‘Well, what am I gonna do now?’ You know? I don’t know what my day-to-day life is without Harry Potter,” Radcliffe said. “I’ve got to sort of find that out.”
And he is finding out by jumping into another project, unlike friend and castmate Rupert Grint, who told me he’s planning on taking some time off. Radcliffe is due on Broadway early next year for a starring turn in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
In the meantime, he hopes to have a reminder of his Potter days. “I’m going back (to the ‘Potter’ set) for two — literally two — days, and I’m going to get the glasses. Gotta get the glasses,” he said of the iconic specs Harry wore during his days at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Radcliffe is certain to have a long acting future before him. But will that future include a day where he ceases to wake up without a little bit of Harry Potter inside?
“No. Not at all,” he said. “Every opportunity I get from now until the rest of my life is derived from the fact that when I was 10 years old, I got cast as Harry Potter. And I will be forever grateful and very proud to be associated with it.”
Did you know this about ‘Harry Potter’? Like the world of Hogwarts itself, there’s always more to know about the actors who brought the story to life. If you watched my videos from Wednesday’s grand-opening party, you know the answer to the first question: Which cast member has never read the final “Harry Potter” book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and doesn’t know how the film will end?
The answer is Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore.
“I haven’t read the ending. I only read the bits where I’m in, because (Dumbledore) wouldn’t know the ending,” Gabon said. “That’s my rationale.”
The second question: Which cast members actually tried out for different parts than the ones in which they were cast, and which parts did they audition for?
The answer: Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), who actually tried out for each other’s parts.
“It could have been that you’d be sitting here and we’d be talking about the opposite roles,” said Felton.
And even though it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Grint as Ron Weasley, Grint said there was another front-runner for the part, too. “I saw his audition tape not long ago, and he was actually quite good,” said Grint.
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