A preview of Daniel Radcliffe's special on this week's 'The South Bank Show' was released and can be viewed here.The special will air on Thursday on ITV; more quotes from The Guardian were released as well.
When he got that role at the age of 11, "I cried", he said. And also at the first big press conference he said: "I have read the least Harry Potter of anybody in my class." That kind of self-deprecation and honesty has never left him. He worked with Gary Oldman in the films and told me how he admired Oldman and David Thewlis and, in Equus, Richard Griffiths, and how he'd bombarded them for advice. He then said he even cross-questioned Oldman about how he should behave on his first date!
On Harry Potter, he had singing lessons and action lessons but not one drama lesson. He told me: "I could have done with one, especially when I look at those first films." His honesty has no barriers; briefly we referred to his late teenage drinking jag that stopped four years ago when he was 20. Compared with the self-destruction of many of his contemporary celebrities, it was fairly normal wild oats stuff for a while. But a price he pays is that in several newspapers every small reference to it is inflated as if it was last week, to remind us all of that brief time.
He has an extreme politeness that is almost Biggin Hill in its Englishness. "Can I say shitty on your programme?" And after a deep breath he said: "My favourite John Water's quote is, if you go to someone's house and they don't have books, don't fuck them."
I was interested that when he talked about filming Harry Potter the first people he referred to were the crew. That, he said, was the best thing, getting to know the crew. Each person in our small crew was greeted and questions were asked about equipment. I wouldn't be surprised if, like Ron Howard, who was a famous boy star in America, he doesn't head for film direction sooner or later.
Certainly, in the first post-Potter film he did, The Woman in Black, he was not only exceptionally good and helped make that film an unexpected roaring success. He was also very keen when we talked about it to point out in detail how the director had arrived at particular shots and angles.One way that he warms up for a part is by listening to music. "I know the song I want to play if I want to get angry… I create a playlist for every part." The main song he plays for Cripple Billy is Wasting My Young Years by London Grammar.
Like many stars, he works harder than anyone around him. With Janis Price, who trained him in the details of how he should move as someone who had a particular form of cerebral palsy, he reminded me of young ballet dancers going through the pain barrier time and again as they will not let go until it is muscle-perfect.
He has a gift – Richard Burton, also "untrained", had it in abundance – of sitting still and silent and yet the centre of attention. He has complete believability.
He has released himself from that profoundly cosseted cage of rare celebrity. When we came out of his dressing room and out of the theatre in New York, having played to the Broadway crowd who loved his performance, he was met with a street-jammed and screaming crowd of young people who wanted Harry Potter. He smiled and signed obligingly but apart from these big occasions when he is known to be available to his young public, he says, rather proudly: "When people talk to me in the street now they usually call me Daniel rather than Harry Potter."
He is totally open about the fact that he was nervous as hell after the Harry Potters came to an end. Many doubtless well-meaning friends told him that his career was finished and the best was behind him. "What did you say?" "No, it's not!" He reached back to the age of 10 when he played David Copperfield in a BBC adaptation and first worked alongside actors and started to try to act. "And I loved it! I loved it more than anyone I have ever seen love it." He still does.