Daniel Radcliffe became the most famous child-star in the world when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in 2001.
At just 12-years-old, the actor — and the rest of the Hogwarts cast — were thrown into the limelight at lightning speed.
By the time the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had been released, Radcliffe was 22-years-old.
In a new interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Radcliffe revealed the downside to being in the spotlight from such a young age.
Speaking to host Lauren Laverne, the 30-year-old made the admission that due to the films, he battled with alcoholism.
“If I went out and if I got drunk, I’d suddenly be aware of there being interest in that because it’s not just a drunk guy. It’s ‘Oh, Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar’,” he said.
According to the Miracle Workers star, playing the boy who lived “carried some kind of interest for people and also a slightly mocking interest”.
“It’s inherently funny for people,” he said, before adding that his “way of dealing with that [was] just to drink more or get more drunk, so I did a lot of that for a few years”.
“A lot of drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic, a little bit not knowing what to do next – not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.”
Radcliffe also alluded to the fact that he stopped enjoying being a part of the series.
“I think a huge problem for a lot of people is they get into a situation where they start doing something when they’re 10,” he said. “They are committed for several years, and they stop enjoying it.
“They are, by that point, the breadwinner for their family, so multiple people are reliant on them continuing to do this job and they feel pressured into it.
“If they don’t enjoy it they go ‘well, I will enjoy all the other things this life gives me, even if I hate the work’. So I think that’s why you can see people going to drugs.
“You can also just see people go to drugs and drink because it’s fun and they’re available and it seems like a good idea, and there’s nobody around you talking about the consequences or being honest about that.
Radcliffe became sober in 2010 and praised his friends and family “who were able to give me enough perspective on my life and help me at key moments”, but ultimately, the decision was his.
In another interview with the Off Camera podcast, Radcliffe revealed that “ultimately, it was my own decision” to stop drinking.
“Like I woke up one morning after a night going like, ‘This is probably not good.’”