When you say Harry Potter, is there anyone who doesn’t immediately think of the sweet smiling Daniel Radcliffe? A huge fan of both the books and the films, it was a thrill for me to be able to photograph and interview him, even if it was in the chaos of a “Red Carpet” experience.
Watching Daniel work the carpet is like watching a rain drop slide down a window: slow, hypnotic, relaxed and yet there’s a pure drive and determination behind it. He knows what his goal is and he’s going to get there, but he takes it all in stride, and at his own pace.
He calmly signed autographs for the screaming, and sometimes crying, fans. He heard every word that was yelled at him, and answered calmly to it all.
And then it was our turn.
I’m not always sure who’s worse: the fans or the photographers; we all want a piece of him, but for slightly different reasons.
For a fan, it’s a token of a beloved idol; for a photographer, the stakes are somewhat higher: the right shot is what’s going to put food on the table.
There is an advantage to being pretty much the only female in the photo pit: while the male ‘togs are gruffly calling out “Dan, look this way!”, “Dan! Over here!”, my mezzo-soprano voice right cuts through and never fails to get someone’s attention. In the midst of the endless barrage of flashes, I asked him if he ever gets used to it all.
“This?” He gives me the dazzling smile and shakes his head. “Never. But you know, after a while, your eyes adjust and your retinas stop burning…”
That sense of humour is part of why we love him. He’s got that affable, self-depreciating, British wit, but he’s also a consummate professional.
Why this film?
“Well, there are certain things which will attract you to a movie. It could be the part or the the director, and those are factors, but with this, it was the story.
And it’s terrifying. And I never expected I’d do horror. It’s never been something I’ve gravitated towards, but I’m hoping people will see more of that.”
How did you prep for this film?
“Well, I like to be scared first and foremost, and that’s its job, to freak people out. But it goes deeper.”
Why did you choose this one to be your first post-Potter film?
“It was mainly the story, the story was the first thing I gravitated towards. Mainly I wanted to be part of telling this story. And you know, you want to tell a good story”
How do you choose a part after Potter?
“A part has to be different enough for me to feel like I’m stretching myself.”
Do you prefer a musical or a drama on Broadway?
“I’ve got to say, a musical is a hell of a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work, but to be able to go out there every night and your mission is to entertain people? It’s a bit of a gift, really.”
“Absolutely. I got in trouble the other day for saying me and Rupert haven’t been texting, but we do and we’re both terrible texters.”
So what did I do to make it different? Well, I, ah, I sang.
And he laughed his head off.
I figure, if I can make him giggle and take the edge off after a 10 hour day packed with press interviews and screaming fans, then that’s the least I can do to say thank you to someone who, as Harry Potter, will always be close to our hearts.
His new movie, The Woman in Black, opens across the country February 3rd.