Jaap Buitendijk/both Warner Bros.
“That is what is so exciting this year for me,” he says. “I’ve got this show, which will hopefully run and run, and Potter 8 coming out and people say their goodbyes — which I’ve said, and it was very emotional, but it was last July, and it was literally three hours between doing my last shot on Potter and me reading the Woman in Black script for the first time.”
Right. Lest we forget: This is still a job.
“And it is a great job,” Radcliffe is quick to add. “It has given me everything, as well as that ‘family feeling.’ But we’d been there for 10 years, and the last film took 18 months, and we were exhausted. We were ready to do something else.”
Is there a point at which you just can’t bear to look at each other one more day?
“Thankfully, I got out just before that happened, but it was a long job, and we were all, like, ‘I couldn’t come back and do another one.’ People keep saying to me, ‘Aren’t you really, really sad?’ I can’t remember which French king it was — it was a Louis — who said, ‘Why are you crying? Did you imagine I was immortal?’ We knew this was coming. There were only seven books and, bless us, we made eight films, but it was time for it to end. And the tension will be so exciting with [How to Succeed …], Harry Potter 8 and Woman in Black all opening.”
You’ll notice, to this point and going forward, Radcliffe talks about his life only as it is related to his work, because as famous as he may be, as wealthy as he is, he never stops reminding you that he remains a relative unknown. Aside from a relatively small filmography featuring a few large films and the two stage stops, Radcliffe’s the proverbial blank slate. Sometimes literally, he ?worries: “I don’t view my face as particularly interesting to watch, whereas some actors you can’t take your eyes off, like James McAvoy,” he says. “I think I could watch him read the phone book.”
Radcliffe feels as though he hasn’t shown the audience what he’s capable of as an actor. He’s also not sure if he’s even a very good one. Radcliffe, for instance, insists more than once during the course of our chat that he was simply awful in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
“I really, really dislike it very much,” he says, so emphatically it’s almost as though he’s proud of how embarrassed he really is. “I find it all one-note, just very dull. I find, like, I’m doing the same sort of narrowing the eyes and looking-into-the-distance kind of thing and thinking about that when I’m doing it.”