TODAY   |  July 14, 2011

Daniel Radcliffe: ‘Happier’ after year of sobriety

The actor best known for playing Harry Potter says he stopped drinking alcohol last August after turning 21, when he started to realize that something “ultimately very destructive” had “crept into becoming routine.“

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 8:10. as you know, the " harry potter " movie franchise is the highest xwroesing of all time taking in $6.4 billion. but the magic is coming to an end with tomorrow's release of harry potter and the deathly hollows part 2 . one final fight between good and evil.

>> the aboboy who lived come to die.

>> that had to leave a mark.

>> a fairly big moment. that is quite dramatic.

>> this really represents the final installment of the movie. how do you feel about all this coming to an end?

>> it's bizarre. it's been part of all our lives for ten years, so for to suddenly be finishing is very strange. but it's been a wonderful -- i've had a wonderful decade and the fact that we're going out on such a high note is wonderful because the film, i'm so proud of it and i haven't been pleased with all the films. particularly number six, i was very open about the fact that i hated my own performance in it. but this film is so far ahead of anything else we've done.

>> so you think it's the best?

>> by such a long way. yeah, it's a fantastic piece of film.

>> i actually have to agree with you. you're attending all these premieres, you must be feeling -- is this some part of you that's happy to close this chapter in your life?

>> it is very exciting. you can't stay, you know, 11 years old forever. you can't continue doing this franchise for the rest of my life. so, yeah, the fact that -- while it is sad on one hand, and i've made a huge number of friends on those film, i'll still know of them and can take them with me into the rest of my life.

>> at the same time and not by design, it's come out in a magazine and which you've been very -- it surprised a lot of people. you said, "i became so reliant on alcohol." when was it?

>> i'd say from the ages of 18 to 21 was when that period of my life, i stopped drinking in the last year just after i turned 21. yeah, i suppose i just -- it was something that i thought to make myself interesting and to make myself enjoy, you know, my life, i did become very reliant on it and i think in's a moment when you realize that something that is ultimately very destructure it difference has crept into being a routine. and so that was the moment when i decided that the amount i was drinking had led knee become to become unhappy, and so i stopped with the help of friends and family. and the last year has been a lot more manageable and a lot better. i feel happier.

>> peer pressure ? being in the spotlight have something to do with that?

>> i don't know, to be honest. i don't know that it's something that would have been affected by my life or whether it's something that i would have stumbled upon anyway had i never been harry potter . but i wouldn't put it down to peer pressure at all. if anything, the only pressure that was put on myself to drink and become good at it, which i never achieved, i was always very unsuccessful at it, was put on by myself.

>> i see. well, on this point of celebrity, let me give you an opportunity to respond to what's been going on, because and you have been under the spot leelight of the tabloids, in addition. regarding the phone hacking scandal, do you have any thoughts about that?

>> yeah. it's pretty awful. and the fact that i'm sure it's been going on for a long, long file with actors and celebrities and all that kind of stuff. but people tonigdon't really care about that and frankly are right not to care about that when you hear that they've tapped in to serviceman's family's phones and now allegations about the 9/11 families, you know, it's pretty abject morality. so, yeah, i mean, it's pretty disturbing.

>> you sound angry about it.

>> the whole country is. it's kind of a shame that a paper that was so particularly with regards to the service men, a paper that was so supportive of the armed forces , that these allegations come out about that paper is so upsetting. i can't imagine what it must be like for the families and all the men and women out serving. it's pretty disgraceful.

>> switching gear, we have a little clip of you in the first movie.

>> oh, good.

>> a clip of you and i think you're pushing -- you're pushing the hog wart's train.

>> i was so sweet and cute and adorable. and now it's a real mess. because i didn't -- at that time, i didn't know how annoying i was. i was just sweet all the time.

>> you were not annoying. i want to ask you one final question about so many people have -- you're surrounded by all these people outside who want attention from you. and even madonna has brought her children trying to get them to meet you. what celebrity would you like to meet? who is your dream --

>> a really good question. who would i like to meet?

>> gary oldman i loved meeting. other than that i don't know, i met met michelle obama . she came out to the set. i'm sure there are people i'd love to work with. i get to meet very cool people .

>> give us a list if you need any help in making that happen. daniel radcliffe , a pleasure. thank you so much.

>>> and harry pot errands the deathly hallows part 2 opens nationwide tomorrow. coming up next,