When the Harry Potter movie franchise ended in 2011 with The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, it marked 10 full years that Daniel Radcliffe had starred as the titular young wizard.
Growing up as Harry Potter, the popular boy wizard based on the J.K. Rowling books of the same name, was an adjustment for young Radcliffe, but what came as even more of an adjustment was learning how to stop being Harry Potter, admitted the now 26-year-old on Wednesday’s episode of WTF Podcast with Marc Maron.
“There was definitely a time when I was coming out of ‘Potter’ and I was into the real world, suddenly I was in a world where I’m not going to have that consistency anymore. I’m not going to see all those people every year. I’m not going to have my friends around me all the time.”
At one point during the interview, Maron asked the Potter star if he had been nervous about the stigma such a popular role creates for budding actors like himself. Radcliffe admitted that sometimes his fans ask him to sign autographs as Harry Potter, rather than as himself, “That’s always going to be that. When I die, that will be the first line in my obituary,” he quipped.
Daniel also admitted that into the days and months leading up to the end of the Harry Potter series, he had become nearly “inconsolable,” and in order to cope with the pain, and fear he faced at having to make his way in the real world, he turned to the bottle.
“I was pretty inconsolable on the last day of ‘Potter’… I was worried. I was living alone, and I think I was really freaked out. I drank a lot, as has been recorded.”
Radcliffe continued, explaining that he believed his dependence on alcohol stemmed from the fear of “returning to reality,” Us Weekly reports, after spending more than a decade playing Harry Potter, and that drinking came more in the form of hanging out at pubs, trying to find his way in a world that, as an adult, he was wholly unfamiliar with.
“I think it was more to do with going out in public and having a battle within me of thinking no, I can have a totally normal life. You get bored of waking up feeling like that.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the Harry Potter star’s drinking. According to Entertainment Weekly, Radcliffe did an interview with Heat magazine in 2012, in which he openly admitted to drinking in excess — to the point where he was showing up drunk on set. Though, he assures us, he never drank while on the Harry Potter set, but simply showed up drunk from the night before.
“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.”
Thankfully, as doesn’t often happen with young actors, Radcliffe came to the realization that his drinking had gone too far all on his own, without the need for rehab, or interventions that we hear so often about these days.
As of his interview with Maron, Radcliffe says he’s been sober for over two years, having not had a single drink since 2013.
Though initially Radcliffe was worried about being cast in other roles following the end of the Harry Potter series, he says he’s been extremely lucky to land “challenging roles” in movies like Kill Your Darlings.
“I work and I’m really lucky. This year I’ve done two-and-a half movies and a TV film.”
The former Harry Potter star’s newest movie is Victor Frankenstein, which hits theatres next week.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]