Daniel Radcliffe reveals problem with alcohol


Image Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Looks like Harry Potter has faced more demons than just Voldemort. In an interview with U.K.'s GQ, Daniel Radcliffe revealed that he's been sober since last summer after realizing he was too attached to alcohol. Said the How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Broadway star, "I became reliant on [alcohol]

to enjoy stuff … There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me.”

Radcliffe said he began drinking whiskey on the set of 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but was able to avoid paparazzi shots that would have painted the young star as a party boy. “I really got away with that because there were so many instances when a paparazzi shot like that could have been taken,” he told the magazine.

Luckily, unlike many other young Hollywood stars who battle their vices for years, Radcliffe became aware that he was headed down a dangerous path after he completed filming on July 15’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. “There’s no shame in enjoying a quiet life,” he said. “And that’s been the realization of the past few years for me … As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me. I’d just rather sit at home and read, or go out to dinner with someone, or talk to someone I love, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh.”

Radcliffe’s revelations paint a picture that’s a far cry from the squeaky-clean image he’s developed since breaking out as a pre-teen in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. But it’s also respectable that the actor is willing to admit to his problems — here’s hoping other young stars who find themselves struggling with alcohol or other substances can use Radcliffe as an example. As he proves, not every young star with problems needs to turn out like Lindsay Lohan.

Do you respect Radcliffe that much more, PopWatchers?

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Comments (133 total) Add your comment
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  • kiki

    I do. Good for you for realizing that he was going down a certain path that he didn’t like.

    I hope he has a happy life and a long and successful career. He’s given us a lot of pleasure; I only send best wishes to him.

    • Rosalie

      Some of us are more of the home body type. I too enjoy staying home and doing things around the house instead. I joined the military when I was 17 and I was never your typical soldier. I didn’t go and party and drank nor screwed around in the barracks. Yes, you can be young and mature. I was never able to fit in with my peers and after a few years of service, I realized that it was alright for me to stand out rather than blend in.

    • tom

      him coming out WILL be next…..

      • Squishmar

        Okay, tom, we’ll mark your words.

  • Acaseofgeo

    Sounds perfectly normal to me. He doesn’t even sound like he went on binges just that he enjoyed it a little too much and quickly realized he’d have a serious problem if he didn’t adjust. I have even more respect for him now.

    • Jonathan

      Agreed. The headlines are putting a more shocking spin on this than is true. Good for him.

      • Abby

        I’m with you two. I literally went “What?!?” when I read the headline, but after reading his quote I think he just put an early stop to a trend that he recognized could quite easily spin out of his control. There’s never any shame in admitting your weaknesses and limitations. Here’s hoping he continues to make such clear headed realizations about himself. Good for you Daniel!

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    • Nick

      Yep. Seems well-balanced enough. This is news?

  • joanne

    He should be commended for recognizing the problem before it ruined his life. I think it is very brave of him to speak up about it, as now he will be “watched” by the media every time he touches a drink. Perhaps he is using that to make himself accountable, and not slip back in the future.

    • can’t wait for hp7: part 2

      But imagine a drunk Harry arriving on set “f*** you roooonnnn and her-hermonieeee I wanna I wanna F you. yeah YOU. Hard. Avadakedavra *nothing happens and he falls over unconscious*” haha and oh! AA meetings haha “hi my name is Harry Potter and I am an alcoholic”

  • andrea d

    Just saw him on Broadway this weekend. He signed my daughter’s playbill. He is very talented and I hope he remains healthy.

    Regarding his admission, is ANYONE surprised out there? Look how many child stars have fallen to drugs and alcohol! Frankly I am impressed he has confronted it already.

    • Squishmar

      How was the show?

      • bj

        Don’t know how andrea d’s viewing of How to Succeed went, but I saw it June 4 and it was outstanding. I was pleasantly surprised. Of course John Laroquette is wonderful too.

      • Squishmar

        Thanks… I’m so unfamiliar with that particular show for some reason. I so wish I were in New York!

  • Kelly

    He has always seemed so mature for his age and I am glad that he was wise enough to stop before it became a major issue. He has grown so much as an actor and I hope he continues down the path he has chosen.

  • andrea d

    One more thing- drinking on set? Why is that allowed- for ANYONE at ANY AGE?

    • Timothy Dark


    • Robyn

      The drinking age in England is 18 I think. Might even be 16.

      • frostysnowman

        16 for beer, 18 for the hard stuff if I remember correctly.

      • Jess

        YOu can drink at five in your own with parent permission. You can drink at 16 in restaurants or pubs with parents permission but they have to be with you. You can drink properly at eighteen.

    • steph

      I don’t think they mean LITERALLY on the set, while working. Films are usually made on location, and that location is sometimes called the set.

    • Alex

      Also, stars tend to be able to get away with a lot more than one might expect on set. That’s a big part of what messes up child starts in the first place – no one tells them “no” and they don’t have the will power or understanding to do it for themselves. It sounds like he wasn’t getting drunk before he went on-camera though, more like post filming or during longer breaks.

    • AK

      I mean, at the end of a hard day, they would probably kick back and relax with a drink. I don’t think that sounds unreasonable.

    • Liz Lemon

      They’re not as strict when it comes to alcohol in the UK. But it is weird that they would have it on set at all.

    • serena

      drinking at work is not allowed – if the person is addicted to alcohol, drinking at work is a high possibility. i got away it for 2 years, thankfully am sober now. well done to daniel. it’s not an easy road, but it’s the right one

  • Robert

    I’m happy for him. I went through a similar thing in college, weekend drinking and whatnot. Realized I was happier without it and enjoyed more of a quiet existence.

    • Kat

      Agreed. I only ever drank in college for the purposes of partying and to be more comfortable around boys, and even by my senior year, it was getting tiresome. I don’t even like the taste of alcohol. I basically never, ever drink any more because there’s just no point when I don’t like it, when it’s excess calories that I do NOT need, and when I have more interesting things to do with my time. Good for Radcliffe for coming to understand himself better. Some of us are really just more suited to reading at home than going out to parties, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      • jm

        I hope this will send out positive messages on self care as opposed to reckless behaviors seen on JERSY SHORE and other shows that promote drinking.

  • deedeedragons

    Please don’t every compare Radcliffe to Lohan again, it’s pretty obvious he has a brain & actually knows when enough is enough.

  • Joe

    Effectively, this is a non-story released just in time for the release of his movie…

    • Jenn

      Yeah, because his little film really needed the publicity boost.

      • Mike

        lol nice retort!

      • Emma

        Seriously? The presales for HPDH have been huge. I doubt he was worried.

    • Sarcastic Pr*ck

      Yeah, Harry Potter was going to bomb at the box office on July 15. But now that Radcliffe admitted he had a problem with alcohol, I’ll bet it makes over 100 million.

      • Roxanne

        Are you serious? haha, please go look at how much the other films made. Your post in plain garbage.

      • daisy

        Roxanne, you are an idiot

      • MissMel

        Oh, Roxanne. Really?

      • Squishmar

        Roxanne’s reply would be an interesting new kind of trolldom. I doubt it, though. Even with the name Sarcastic Pr*ck she still didn’t get it.

      • teresa

        Jeez Roxanne, don’t you get a joke??

      • Sarcastic Pr*ck

        I guess my screen name is a little too open-to-interpretation for some people.

    • crispy

      No, this is a story released just in time for post-Potter casting calls. This is the most obvious made-up story since Corey Montieth’s drug problem, and I can’t believe people fall for this crap. There is no way Daniel Radcliffe, one of the most watched child stars in the world, had a drinking problem that no stagehand or extra tried to cash in.

      • Heather

        why would he need any casting calls…he’s busy with How to Succeed on Broadway!

      • Neill

        You’re being ignorant. I live in Vancouver, Canada, and used to attend some of the same AA meetings as Cory did. He took his recovery seriously, and sharing his story publicly was brave and commendable. I suggest you not comment on topics you know nothing about.

      • crispy

        Right, anonymous stranger on the internet, I believe everything you say.

      • Jensen

        Shame on you Neill. If you really did attend AA, you would know that the first rule is that was is said at AA stays there and you don’t talk about who you see or what is said at a meeting.

      • Squishmar

        No, Crispy, doing “Equus” on stage in the buff was for the sake of post-Potter casting calls.

    • Bebe

      But come on … this really IS a non-story. And he’s much too young to make this kind of statement. He should wait until he gets a little older and faces some REAL problems. That’s when most drinking problems really start.

      • Daniela

        Wasn’t Drew Barrymore at rehab at the young age of 12? She started drinking at 9. Alcohol problems in young people don’t always start because of problems, they start because they get caught up in having a good time and when it dawns on them that they might have a problem controling their habit is kinda hard to get out!

      • Cameron J

        Some people just can’t admit that a teen/young adult made a good decision and must declare this story a lie before people start thinking teens are good people.

    • Liz Lemon

      I think he probably gave this interview months ago, but the publication waited until now to release it in order to get a bigger reaction.

    • liza

      Right, because no one was planning on seeing DH part 2 until now.

  • steph

    Sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders, and good for him for realizing the potential for a problem.

  • Sue

    Daniel is full of surprises, isn’t he? First he bared his naked body in Equus, now this. Really trying to shake being typecast as Harry Potter.

  • Colleen

    I think it is very brave for him to open up like this. He has had to grow up very fast and has always shown a maturity well beyond his years. I hope that he continues this train of thought and resolve. I admire him for always pushing himself with new projects that are out of his comfort zone and actually wanting to learn a craft rather than just rest on the success of the Harry Potter movies to have a career. He has a ton of potential and it would be a shame to watch that go to waste and see him become just another child actor who can’t grow up celebrity train wreck.

  • AJ

    Nothing scandalous here – smart kid, mindful human being, started to go down the wrong path and wisely turned himself around. Good for him.

  • Kelli

    I’m 34 & it took me 13 years to figure out what he did in a year! I commend his decision & bravery in saying what too few people have the courage to.

  • Doctor Who Fan

    Who hasn’t had a problem normal and famous. There are only people that do something about it and those that don’t. I had a problem but now I can enjoy a drink with no issue. Good for him truely a wonderful person wish the best for him. And I agree his name should not be mentioned in the same breath as Linsey.

    • Obvious Man Says

      uh doctor what(?) the fark are you talking about?

      • DavidW

        He’s a fan of the TV show “Doctor Who.” Google it or something.

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