Celebriety: Daniel Radcliffe

Used 2013-10-24 Daniel Radcliffe (AlKHall Celebriety) 01

Why He Drank

Harry Potter put me around people like the actor Richard Harris and I heard all their amazing stories about their drunken nights. That was what I was desperately trying to pursue.

There were a few years there when I was just so enamoured with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.

Interviewer: You’re only 22. Don’t most people in their early twenties drink too much?
Daniel Radcliffe: Unfortunately it’s not that simple. I have a very addictive personality. It was a problem.

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What He Was Like

I’m very good fun for the first four drinks, and then after that it’s a rapid, rapid decline into where I have to be helped home.

I became a nuisance.  I became the person in the group who has to be looked after.

Seriously, in the last three years of drinking I blacked out nearly every time. Blacking out was my thing.

The drinking was unhealthy and damaging to my body and my social life. That’s beyond question. I was living in constant fear of who I’d meet, what I might have said to them, what I might have done with them, so I’d stay in my apartment for days and drink alone.

I was a recluse at 20. It was pathetic — it wasn’t me. I’m a fun, polite person and it turned me into a rude bore.

People with problems like [drinking] are very adept at hiding it. It was bad. I don’t want to go into details but I drank a lot and it was daily – I mean nightly. I can honestly say I never drank at work on Harry Potter. I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work.

I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes.

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Why He Quit

I wanted to close the gap between the real me, what was going on in me, and the person that people perceived.

For a long time people were saying to me, “We think you have a problem,” but in the end I had to come to the realisation myself.

I did talk to [recovering alcoholic and Potter co-star Gary Oldman] about it once. I didn’t say I had a problem — because I didn’t think I did at that point — but I told him I shared that mentality he had for actively seeking out chaos. He just said, “You can’t keep doing this. You’ve got too much to lose.” And that really went in. But not even he could have stopped me alone — I had to stop myself. And stopping has shown me a world of happiness that I didn’t think was possible.

I loved the fact I suddenly could talk to people and feel so entertaining and so interesting. But after a while, you’re living under such a cloud of shame about what you’ve done and the dread of who you might see, what you might have said to them, what you might have done with them. You either have to change something or give into that shame and I wasn’t prepared to do that at 21.

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What He’s Like Now

I quite enjoy [sobriety] until everyone starts slurring, and you’re like, “You’ve told me this fucking story three times already!” Actually, after our Christmas party on Broadway, I had fun going into the rooms of people I knew had got really fucked up the night before, and shouting at them [laughs]. Just to be an arsehole. If you’re going to be sober, you might as well be smug about it.

As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time – that doesn’t work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully. I’d just rather sit at home and read, or go out to dinner with someone, or talk to somebody I love, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh. There’s no shame in enjoying a quiet life. And that’s been the realisation of the past few years for me.

[My life is] a lot better and less chaotic. 449 or so days ago—but who’s counting?—was my last drink. I just felt like I was chasing chaos and making my life difficult, all the time thinking I was having fun. So it feels very nice to not be putting myself in danger, to be waking up in the mornings and not thinking, ‘Oh my god, who am I going to hear from? What did I do?’ It’s a life lived without dread and fear and it is lovely.

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Sources for the quotes:

My Other Celebriety Posts


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on October 24, 2013, in Alcoholism, Celebriety, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. This is great! Great research Al! And an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thanks Maggie!

      It’s reassuring to know famous people have the same issues as we do, which makes all of us in recovery stars in a sense!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. I love this so much. We’re a Harry Potter family and I feel like Daniel is one of my own since I watched him grow up on the screen. So nice to know that for now, he has his shit together.

    I love your Celebriety posts!


    • His shit together, indeed. As another reader said, he’s lucky he recognized the need so young! Hopefully he’ll remember it in years to come.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  3. oh I love this SO MUCH!!! I knew that he was sober but I hadn’t read all these quotes from him. I really really love this post Mr Hall.. thanks for sharing. Hope you are well.. xxx

  4. I had no idea that Daniel Radcliffe was in recovery (truth be told, I know almost nothing about Daniel Radcliffe at all, but still…). I agree with Mrs. D, this is fantastic research, I know I’ve said this before, but I love this series, and already can’t wait for the next post!

  5. Hey mate.. just tweeted this link.. I am loving this series of yours so much.. it deserves a wide audience! xxxx

    • Thanks so much for the Tweet, Mrs D! i appreciate the traffic you brought to my page. i’m having fun writing these posts, so i’m glad the feeling is mutual.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. Thank you for putting this together. It’s amazing how some of the younger one’s figure it out just in time. I’m happy for him.

    • i know! In my AA meetings, there are 20 somethings who are in recovery and grateful and i try not to think too much on the life i could’ve lived if i’d sobered up when i should have.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  7. I was baffled to see Radcliffe’s face, I had no idea! And then what an amazing read… so young yet with such brilliant awareness and insight. At his age, I had NO contact with myself what so ever. A magnificent young man. Thank you so much for sharing this great post!

  8. i really appreciate Daniel sharing his story. I’m 47 but no matter what our age, professions, or financial status in life- our addictions are inner demons that can kill us. thanks for the encouraging words Daniel

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