Daniel Radcliffe on Harry Potter Director, His Least Favorite Performance, and Why The Deathly Hallows Will Be the Best Yet
11.17.10 by Ryan
As Harry Potter fans well know, it's only a few days before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 opens in theaters, beginning a two-part ending to the beloved book and movie franchise created by author J.K. Rowling. Daniel Radcliffe, who has grown up playing Potter for the past ten years, admitted in a recent interview with ComingSoon that he was "devastated" when production wrapped on the movie, thus ending his run as the boy wizard, but was "very proud to have been a part of a franchise that has become pretty renowned." What he was not proud of was his performance in the previous sequel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
I felt kind of, not inhibited by that, but I saw it and I was so bored by my own performance. There was no variety and nothing particularly interesting about it in an otherwise good film, that I think, when it came to seven, that was the kick in the behind that I sort of needed to spur me on to make seven the best. So I think that was the biggest challenge over the last film, was trying to get over how unhappy I'd been with #6, because there's two ways to react to a situation like that: You become so fixated by what you're doing that you try to do less and less and less and you go right into your shell and not react to it. The other way to do it is to sort of come out kicking, and that's what I tried to do in seven. Just tried to give a more varied, interesting performance as Harry, and try and be a bit more fearless, because that's what I always admire in actors like Gary Oldman and David Thewlis and people like that is they're bold enough to think. "I don't care what I'm going to look like or how I'm going to see this later or how I'm going to feel about this later. I'm going to do what feels right now and not be self-conscious." So that was the challenge in this film, was trying to get over some of the disappointments.
Aiding Radcliffe with his performance is director David Yates, who directed the last two Potter movies, The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince. While the Harry Potter series has had several directors, Radcliffe said it was crucial to stick with Yates for the success of the final two chapters.
I remember when Chris [Columbus] told me he was leaving on #2 [Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets], I was very upset and I thought, "Oh no, that's a terrible thing." But actually, it proved the best thing for the series because it opened it up to different creative ideas and different people came on board. I think the fact that Alfonso [Cuaron] came along to the film was not just for him, but really, really smart from our producers, particularly David Heyman, who was very instrumental in that. (Alfonso) had just directed Y Tu Mama Tambien and for such a mainstream movie franchise, it gives you a bit of weight with the critics, to have somebody who's had such an indie (hit) suddenly working on the film. (laughs) So I think that made people see us in a slightly different light, and I think the fact that David Yates got the job on #5 was fantastic because it shows that we're not afraid of taking risks, because a lot of people saw it as a risk. I've always said about David, that it's like he can see the whole film in one frame in front of him, and that's his great advantage as a filmmaker, is his ability to tell stories so, so well. So yeah, I think it was vital that they changed directors, but it was interesting, because once David had done #5 and then it looked like he was going to do #6, I think you have to have the same person do seven as did six, because that would have been too big a risk. If somebody had come in and not known what they're doing and not have known the set up of Potter and how everything works... you need somebody who's already familiar with how everything works on Potter to provide a sense of continuity in the films, because six is such a set up for seven. I think that would have been a mistake to get someone new for the last movies because that would have seemed weird.
Radcliffe admitted he is already "halfway through" shooting The Woman in Black, his first post-Potter role, but said it was "a pleasure to be able to go out on such a high note as I feel we will do," since he feels that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two is going to be "epic."