The son of a literary agent and a casting agent, Radcliffe began acting in small roles before Harry Potter. In the year 2000, the hunt for the right child actor to play Harry was starting to resemble the search for Scarlett O'Hara. After seeing Radcliffe in a BBC version of David Copperfield, Chris Columbus asked his parents to allow him to audition, but they declined.
Sometime later, David Heyman and Steve Kloves attended a production of the play Stones in His Pockets and encountered Radcliffe in the audience. The next day, Heyman called Radcliffe's parents, and this time they agreed to let him audition. Radcliffe happened to be taking a bath at the time his parents got the call that he had gotten the part, and admits to being so happy that he cried. He then woke up in the middle of the following night, causing him to wake up his parents to ask them if he'd really gotten the part or if it was All Just a Dream.
It wasn't, of course, and Radcliffe played Harry Potter over the course of eight films, from 2001 to 2011. In 2007, he additionally starred as Alan Strang in Equus on the West End, reprising the role on Broadway in 2008. While the Moral Guardians were up in arms about Harry Potter appearing naked on stage, the critics had a "He Really Can Act" reaction. In 2011, he returned to Broadway to star in a revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
In the years following the conclusion of the Potter films, he starred as Arthur Kipps in a Hammer feature film version of The Woman in Blacknote , acted alongside Jon Hamm as the titular young doctor in British drama A Young Doctor's Notebook, played a young Allen Ginsberg in the 2013 movie Kill Your Darlings, starred in the Rom Com The F Word (retitled What If in some countries) and the black comedy horror Horns in 2014, had lead roles in the 2016 films Swiss Army Man and Imperium, and portrayed "Weird Al" Yankovic in the completely factual and accurate 2022 biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. He has also been known to do the occasional side project like doing dramatic readings.
Radcliffe has become well-known for speaking unashamedly about his personal struggles, which include filming the last three Potter films as a functioning alcoholic, living with a minor case of the neurological ailment dyspraxia, and suffering panic attacks. He has been in a relationship with American actress Erin Darke since 2012, and in April 2023, the two revealed the birth of their first child.
Daniel Radcliffe's filmography on TV Tropes:
- David Copperfield (1999) (BBC TV drama) as David Copperfield (young)
- The Tailor of Panama (2001) as Mark Pendel (feature film debut)
- The Harry Potter film series as Harry Potter
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2 (2010, 2011)
- The Woman in Black as Arthur Kipps (2012)
- A Young Doctor's Notebook as the younger Dr. Vladimir Bomgard (2012-13)
- The F Word (aka What If) as Wallace (2013)
- Horns as Ignatius Perrish (2013)
- Kill Your Darlings as Allen Ginsberg (2013)
- Victor Frankenstein as Igor (2015)
- The Gamechangers as Sam Houser (2015)
- Imperium as Nate Foster (2016)
- Now You See Me 2 as Walter Mabry (2016)
- Swiss Army Man as Manny (2016)
- Jungle as Yossi Ghinsburg (2017)
- The Miracle Workers anthology series
- Playmobil: The Movie as Rex Dasher (2019)
- Guns Akimbo as Miles Lee Harris (2019)
- Escape From Pretoria as Tim Jenkin (2020)
- Kimmy vs. The Reverend as Prince Frederick (2020)
- The Lost City as Abigail Fairfax (2022)
- Weird: The Al Yankovic Story as "Weird Al" Yankovic (2022)
- Rick and Morty as a Sun Knight (1 episode, 2022)
- Digman! (2023)
Tropes that apply to this actor include:
- Adam Westing: In shows like Extras and Bojack Horseman, he is happy to play a snarky, Jerkass caricature of himself.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's played a few, including his most famous part, and interviews show that he's one in real life too.
- Doing It for the Art: Much of his post-Harry Potter work has consisted largely of smaller films and character-driven pieces that have allowed him to stretch his acting muscles more or just take wild chances and have fun.
- Fake American: He faked an American accent for his roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Lifespan Of A Fact, as well as Guns Akimbo and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
- For the Lulz: He has always been quite open about his hatred for the paparazzi and often goes out of his way to make things hard on them, such as wearing the same clothes while working so it looks like all the pictures are from the same night, or wearing very reflective material the when exposed to a flash washes out the picture. He admits that it's petty but does it anyway because it's fun.
- Former Child Star: Fortunately, he has been making some smart career decisions to get a decent career going in his adulthood. It helps that he was mentored by Alan Rickman. Radcliffe has also been very open about the fact that the pressure from his fame caused him to struggle quite a bit with feelings of depression and even some degree of alcoholism for some time during his late teens, and that he was frequently drunk for much of the filming of The Deathly Hallows."They are by that point the breadwinner for their family. So multiple people are now reliant on them continuing to do this job and they feel pressured into it and forced into it. I think that’s why you can see people go to drink and drugs because it is fun and they’re available and it seems like a good idea. There’s nobody around you talking about the consequences or being honest with you about that.”
- Hidden Depths:
- During his appearance on The Tonight Show in 2014, Daniel revealed to Jimmy Fallon that he likes doing American rap and was the first to memorize several artists' pieces. Then he recited "Alphabet Aerobics" by Blackalicious without missing a beat.
- Also, the man can sing and dance at Broadway-professional levels, literally. He performed in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying which was nominated for a Tony. "Training for the ballet, Potter?" was oddly prophetic.
- Hypothetical Casting: He is aware of how a lot of people wanted him to play Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least before Hugh Jackman announced he will be returning for Deadpool 3. He thinks it is because Wolverine in the comics is fairly short, but takes it as a compliment.
- I Am Not Spock: He doesn't dislike being associated with Harry Potter, he just would rather be known for more than just Harry. He does appreciate what it's done for him and the people it's introduced to him, but wants to focus on future roles.
- Large Ham: He can ham it up if he wants to. Noticeably, he was praised for his mugging in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
- Mr. Fanservice: Played with. He gets a few fanservice-y scenes in the later Harry Potter films (from Goblet Of Fire onwards) but has largely stayed out of those kind of roles since.
- Romance on the Set: Met his longtime girlfriend Erin Darke on the set of Kill Your Darlings.
- Unkempt Beauty: Many of his recent roles have him play characters without much of a fashion sense and who usually have messy hair and facial hair but it hasn't undermined his boyish good looks in the slightest.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: His striking blue eyes are emphasized in many of his roles.