Daniel Radcliffe beat out reportedly thousands of other kids in a massive talent search to score one of the most coveted film roles of all time: heroic boy (and teen) wizard Harry Potter in Warner Bros.’ film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s monstrously successful Harry Potter series.
Radcliffe played Potter in eight blockbuster films, growing up on screen with his character. By the time the final film in the franchise was released in 2011, Radcliffe was all grown up and ready to try out some things that had nothing to do with spells, Snape, wands, or witches. Here’s a look at what the actor has been up to of late.
He’s gone independent
When one plays the title role in one of the highest-grossing and most famous movie franchises of all time, all other movies look like micro-budgeted indies by comparison, but Radcliffe really has been making mostly what one would call "small" or "quirky" films.
Filmgoers definitely weren’t lining up at midnight dressed in robes and red-and-yellow scarves to see Radcliffe in the romantic comedy What If or the Allen Ginsberg biopic Kill Your Darlings. You also probably won’t see folks channeling Radcliff as an FBI agent posing as a white supremacist in Imperium, or as a guy who suddenly grows horns in, um, Horns.
He starred in one of the most off-putting movies ever made
Radcliffe’s most famous post-Potter movie is also his most infamous post-Potter movie: Swiss Army Man. Radcliffe plays a pale, bloated corpse (with a persistent case of rigor mortis in one particular body part) that helps a young man (Paul Dano) get off of a desert island … by serving as a human raft that traverses the sea via the propulsive power of his own farts.
When it screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, Variety reported that "a continuous stream of audience members kept standing up and bolting for the door throughout the film."
His big-budget movies flopped
Radcliffe has attempted to distance himself from a certain young wizard and taken on the occasional role in a big Hollywood movie. Not all of those films were flops, per say, but none approached Harry Potter levels of success.
He played against type as a villain in a different kind of "magic" movie, Now You See Me 2, which pulled in $65 million at the box office, slightly more than half of what its predecessor earned. Victor Frankenstein, yet another take on Mary Shelley’s O.G. horror/science-fiction tale, was a flat-out disaster, conjuring up a mere $5.7 million.
His new phase on the stage
Radcliffe isn’t just some child star who lucked into a plum role that made him world famous and rich for life — he’s a real actor, meaning he can handle starring in a Broadway show.
During a break from Potterland in 2008, he took on the role of the extremely troubled, horse-obsessed Alan Strang in a revival of Peer Schaffer’s dark play Equus. After his honorable discharge from movie wizarding school in 2011, he starred as J. Pierrepont Finch in a Broadway revival of the classic musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. More recently, he did a three-month stint in the tragicomedy The Cripple of Inishman.
He’s in love! He’s in love!
Remember the characters in Love Actually who fell for each other while filming a raunchy love scene? That actually happened to Radcliffe and his longtime partner, American actress Erin Darke (best known for Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt.) They met on the set of Kill Your Darlings, where the duo had to get very personal with each other and their body parts in a library. The movie filmed in 2012, and they’ve been together ever since. They’re even rumored to be engaged.
He’s still big, but the pictures are small
Radcliffe’s next big project isn’t a movie, but an ambitious, high-concept comedy series for TBS. Set to debut in 2018, Miracle Workers is a workplace sitcom set in heaven and based on Simon Rich’s 2012 comic novel What in God’s Name. Radcliffe will play Craig, an office grunt/angel responsible for answering prayers. Owen Wilson is signed on to play Craig’s aloof and disinterested boss, God.
Expecto … laughs?
He doe$n’t need to act if he doe$n’t want to
Most actors are lucky if they star in one hugely successful blockbuster. Radcliffe starred in eight by his early twenties. Combined, the Harry Potter movies brought in nearly $8 billion worldwide, and Radcliffe was paid handsomely for helping the juggernaut along.
The Brit’s personal net worth is estimated to be around £74 million, or $105 million. That’s lottery-level winnings (because he kind of did win the lottery, acting and life-wise.) Like most lottery winners, Radcliffe has so much money that he doesn’t "have" to work.
"I’m very grateful for it, because having money means you don’t have to worry about it, which is a very lovely freedom to have," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "It also gives me immense freedom, career-wise."
He’s might play Harry Potter again
All of J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter novels have been adapted to film, and Warner Bros. plans to make five movies in the prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, but there’s one more Wizarding World property that’s yet to hit screens: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Written by Jack Thole, John Tiffany, and Rowling, the stage play enjoyed a successful run on London’s West End and will hit Broadway in 2018. It takes place years after the events of the novels, and the plot concerns Harry and Ginny Weasley’s kids, as well as a hardcore personal crisis for Harry. Surprisingly, there isn’t a movie version in the works (yet), but if it transpires, Radcliffe says he’s open to the idea of getting that lightning scar applied to his forehead once more.
"I’m never going to close the door; that would be a stupid thing to do," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "But I think I’ll be happy enough and secure enough to let someone else play it."