Daniel Radcliffe: 'Harry Potter' has 'been an amazing springboard' for me

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By Ree Hines

Daniel Radcliffe found fame at just 11-years-old when he landed the lead in the first "Harry Potter" film. And unlike some tween-to-teen stars who've had trouble transitioning out of iconic roles, Radcliffe has gone on to have a successful career on stage and screen — one he credits to the film franchise that could have left him typecast.

"I think the perception around (young-adult film franchises) is that they can only be sort of a hindrance to people," Radcliffe explained during a Friday morning visit to TODAY. "But I think (it depends) on how you use it and depending on what your own goals are for yourself. Like, if you just want to coast on the fame of the franchise for the rest of your life, then you might well be able to do that — or that might prove impossible."

But Radcliffe knew what he wanted.

"I always wanted to do other things, and I think, so far at least, 'Potter's' been an amazing springboard to all of that," he said.

"All of that" has included big screen efforts, such the 2012 horror "The Woman in Black" and his portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in 2013's "Kill Your Darlings." It's also included numerous stage productions, such as his upcoming Broadway run in "The Cripple of Inishmaan."

But, of course, the "Harry Potter" films brought him more than just opportunities to fulfill those professional dreams. They also brought him fame and fans so devoted that one of them even passed out after just touching his arm during a stop in Japan.

TODAY's Savannah Guthrie decided to risk it herself and reach out Radcliffe.

"No! I'm fine," she said with mock surprise after stroking his arm.

"Well, give it a few seconds; see what happens," the actor shot back with a smile.

"The Cripple of Inishmaan" opens on Broadway at the Cort Theatre on April 20.