Harry Potter Star Talks Alcohol Abuse, Childhood

Lacy LangleyLife

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Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, now 24 and a very accomplished thespian, has been open about the fact that he abused alcohol during his run on the incredibly famous Harry Potter movies.

These days, he is careful to highlight the results of four years of sobriety.

Daniel Radcliffe was just an 11-year-old boy when his role as the boy wizard shot him into a world of fame, pressure, and confusion.

To help him cope as he began to try and figure out who he was as a person beyond the spotlight, he turned to alcohol.

"It is not a real pressure, but it is a pressure of living with the thought, 'Oh, what is all these people are saying I am not going to have a career?'" he said. "What if they are all going to be right and will be laughing and I will be consigned to a bunch of 'Where are they now?' lists?'"

Two years ago, he told his story of alcohol abuse and revealed that the problem was much more serious than people thought.

"Seriously, in the last three years of drinking I blacked out nearly every time. Blacking out was my thing. The drinking was unhealthy and damaging to my body and my social life. That's beyond question. I was living in constant fear of who I'd meet, what I might have said to them, what I might have done with them, so I'd stay in my apartment for days and drink alone."

He went on to say, "I was a recluse at 20. It was pathetic – it wasn't me. I’m a fun, polite person and it turned me into a rude bore. For a long time people were saying to me, 'We think you have a problem,' but in the end I had to come to the realization myself."

Yes, so goes the story for many a child actor, but Radcliff soon realized that the alcohol was not doing for him what he had hoped.

"I would have benefited from not drinking as it was not making me as happy as I wanted to."

Now the actor is so much more than Harry Potter. He is quite a star on TV, movies and on the stage, but he is not bitter about those early years of child stardom.

"People don't shout 'Harry Potter' at me now. They tend to know my name, which is lovely," he said. "But I will always credit the opportunities I get to Harry Potter. I would not be a happy person if I was bitter about those ten years of my life."

What a great way to look at that period of his life and not have that popular victim mentality! Congrats to Daniel Radcliffe on his four years being sober.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Lacy Langley
Lacy is a writer from Texas. She likes spending time in the home office, homeschooling her kids, playing the didgeridoo, caring for her chickens (Thelma and Louise), Rolos, Christmas, and Labyrinth.