Daniel Radcliffe on Transition from 'Harry Potter'

by Robert Pace 11:49 AM PDT, October 08, 2013
Playing Daniel Radcliffe on Transition from 'Harry Potter'

Two years after the conclusion of the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe has made a smooth transition from the series that launched his career into vibrant roles. About to premiere Kill Your Darlings, Radcliffe explained his development as an actor.

For a decade, beginning when he was 12 years old in 2001, Radcliffe acted in eight Harry Potter films, only undertaking one film out of the franchise (December Boys, 2007), which made his transition out of the fantasy film series, and in particular the "Harry Potter" character, seem overwhelming to outsiders.

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However, the 24-year-old English actor has made a seamless transition into the post-Potter phase of his career. After starring in the horror film The Woman in Black, Radcliffe will soon premiere the biographical drama Kill Your Darlings, in which he portrays the late American poet Allen Ginsberg.

"Ultimately, I've been very lucky, in fact, that people have given me opportunities to play these roles," he said. "When I did 'Equus' when I was 17, which is a very dark play and very challenging one...I was showing a willingness to do challenging material and to take risks and try and make myself better by taking these risks and exposing myself to different ways of working and types of material."

Radcliffe credits his experience with Equus, in which he played an adolescent who has an irrational fascination with horses, as helping him land his role in Kill Your Darlings, as he became involved in the project after director John Krokidas saw the play New York.

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Although the Harry Potter series was an integral part of his career, he says he didn't allow its ending to determine the roles he took after it and maintains he's dedicated to roles that challenge and excite him.

While his transition from child stardom to prosperous adult actor has been smooth and subtle, celebrities often take more drastic strides to leap from child to adult success. The most recent example: former Hannah Montana actress/singer Miley Cyrus.

"To be honest...I think she's being equally successful 'cause she's achieving [what she's set out to do]," Radcliffe said of Cyrus, who is four years his minor. "It's a different way of doing it [than I am] but she's also in a very different industry than I'm in."

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Radcliffe's forthcoming transitional film Kill Your Darlings follows the story based on real events and characters of beat-generation poets Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe) Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster).

The drama centers on Ginsberg and his defining journey to pursue his creative dreams at Columbia University. However, instead of chasing just art, Ginsberg becomes attracted to fellow student Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), who enraptures him with his heavy-drinking, drug-using lifestyle. Ginsberg isn't the only one who is deeply invested Lucien's life, though, and a spell of jealousy eventually leads to a murder.

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Watch the video above for more from the cast of Kill Your Darlings, including Michael C. Hall (David Kammerer), who shared what his life has been like since the series finale of Dexter.

Kill Your Darlings is in theaters October 16.