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Review: Tim Hailand's One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe
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Written by Red   
Thursday, 17 December 2009 12:57
One Day in the Life of Daniel RadcliffeÂ
by Tim Hailand
One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe chronicles a typical work day - January 13, 2009 - for the Harry Potter star who was in New York City to perform in the Broadway production of Equus.Â
           The world knows him best as Harry Potter. He’s mostly seen on-screen or stage playing characters as far removed from his own personality; and the only time the public gets to see what Daniel Radcliffe is like, it’s usually through a media filter, via interviews and press junkets. Rarely is Radcliffe shown as a regular person, like everyone else, who gets up rather begrudgingly in the morning from the warmth and comfort of his bed. A person who not only gets his work done, but practices and hones his skills to better his performance in order to not only please himself, but the masses for whom he is providing entertainment and an escape.

           Tim Hailand’s look at – aptly titled – A Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe follows the then-19-year-old actor around New York City, where he performed on Broadway in the six-month run of Equus. It is a winter’s day – January 13, 2009, to be precise – that Hailand chronicles what would be deemed a ‘typical’ day for Radcliffe through a series of photos.

The images themselves aren’t glossy or heavily edited to expose Radcliffe in his best light; they are raw and uncensored, just like their subject. The first images, of Radcliffe in pure-white covered bed, convey a sense of peace and innocence, as though nothing could hurt the young man as he slumbers. As he awakens and adjusts to his morning ritual of breakfast and bathing, the photos capture a quiet time for Radcliffe. Despite the pressures of having to perform in front of hundreds of people later in the day, Radcliffe finds a bit of time to himself. The photos show only him; there are no disruptions around him, it is just the calmness of his surroundings. There are no masses of fans or reporters around him; Radcliffe is by himself and as himself: a teenager getting a bit of tranquility before a long and exhaustive day of work. This idea is cemented by one photo, where Radcliffe covers his head with a towel, momentarily shielding himself even from Hailand. He retains his privacy.

As Radcliffe dashes out for rehearsals at the Broadhurst Theatre later that day, the images are as rushed as he is: they are hazes and glimpses of the actor as he makes his way to work. It is as though Hailand is running along with Radcliffe during his day, rather than after him. The stills, through the swift blur, show Radcliffe and his companions in reactionary mode, as though the characters can almost be seen coming to life after a second glance.

Very few photos from Radcliffe’s day focus on his face from a full-frontal aspect. His bright-blue eyes are hidden underneath a dark fringe; his visage hides in shadows and profile shots, so that in some images only a chiseled and bearded jaw line is seen. There is nary the beaming face and anxious demeanour that greets fans and the media during his projects’ promotional periods; the Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter fans meet on the red carpet is not the one Tim Hailand captured that January day. And in that, he brings out not the face of a multibillion dollar movie franchise, but a young man who drags himself out of the solace of a warm bed in the morning to get to work. Just like everyone else.

Radcliffe himself contributed a few footnotes about that particular day in January, and his overall stay in New York for Equus’ limited engagement in Broadway. The footnotes themselves, though rich in detail as they add Radcliffe’s enthusiastic voice with the images, would have worked better had they been placed alongside the images they describe, rather than as a synopsis at the end. Radcliffe’s narrative would have added to the story of not only that one day, but his life in New York City as a whole.

Hailand’s images of Radcliffe are as natural as home photos, which is what makes them more appealing than his usual posed pictures for the press. Such images of Radcliffe are rare, exposed, and allow the viewer and reader to see a bit more into the life of an actor they so admire.


The book, on sale now in the US and at the end of December around the world, can be ordered here. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS foundation.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 December 2009 14:14