Face to Face with Daniel Radcliffe
News Archive - 4th Quarter 2003

100 Answers and Letter from Daniel Radcliffe

by ClaireDec 24, 2003

Dan invited the readers of DanRadcliffe.com to send in 100 questions for him to answer, just in time for Christmas 2003.  Not surprisingly, we had a fantastic response to this request. He also sent a lovely letter to the fans for the holiday season in addition to all of the answers to all of the questions. Click on the read more link to read the letter and all of his 100 answers!

A special message from Dan:

HAPPY CHRISTMAS.  I hope wherever you are and whoever you are with, you are having a fantastic Christmas.  I would like to thank everyone who made donations to my Demelza House appeal – I was thrilled to learn that so many people contributed to it . It really is an amazing place.

Thank you, also, for the 100 questions which I have now answered!  It has taken me some time to get through them all but I have made the deadline …..just!!!! They were great fun to do – they made me laugh and they made me think. Thank you for the time and effort that was put into them. 

For the record, all the questions were answered by me and no one else!

Thank you to Jenna and Page for the tremendous work you have done on my behalf this year.  It was a pleasure to meet you Jenna recently and to chat briefly with you Page last week.

I hope you all have a fantastic 2004.

Best wishes


The Top 100 Questions For Dan


It’s been noted that you personally perform many of the stunts in the films. Which stunts did you perform in the latest film, did you have to train and how difficult were they to perform?


There are two particular scenes that involved a lot of stunt work in THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN – flying Buckbeak and, of course, Quidditch.  With Buckbeak, I had to combine very precise physical movements with the visual effects, which was very demanding.  Quidditch this time is in the rain and is probably the most exciting Quidditch sequence yet!  Amongst other things, they had me spinning out of control and falling off my broomstick when I see the Dementors.  I free fell from the broom, from quite a height, on to mats below.  I always love this sort of stunt.  I train every day with a member of the stunt department who has trained me for the past three films and as these films get more and more physically demanding I have to be extremely fit to get through them.


Have you ever been injured while performing a stunt?


No, no injuries so far!!!! The stunt team is brilliant and a lot of preparation takes place before I ever film a stunt.


You are nearing driving age.  Have you tried to drive yet?


I haven’t tried to drive yet.  My mum loves driving, but my dad hates it, so I am not sure in whose footsteps I will follow.


If you went out car shopping today, what car would you buy?


I don’t know that much about cars, but my fantasy car would be the red Cadillac in FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS. I think they call it the Great Red Shark.


How do you and your family usually spend Christmas?


It is a very relaxed time. My grandmother comes and stays with us for a few days and we see friends.  It is a very low key affair.


What is your most cherished memory of Christmas?


That would have to be last year when we were in Australia.  We spent Christmas Day in Melbourne and we were ‘adopted’ by the most fantastic family, who invited us to share Christmas Day with them.  We had just arrived from China and were having Christmas lunch in the hotel. We were feeling very tired but they asked us to come and spend the rest of the day with them. We went to their house and had a brilliant day.  We are still in contact with them. It was the most amazing day because it was all so unexpected.


What is your favorite holiday and why?


It would have to be Christmas because it is very relaxed and I receive some great presents!!!!!!


What is your favorite season of the year and why?


Probably summer because I have usually just finished my summer exams at school and it is warm and hot and I have more time to hang out with my friends


What’s your 2004 New Year’s Resolution?


I really want to learn how to cook, so I will get back to you this time next year and let you know how I get on.


What’s the most original or memorable gift you’ve ever received from a fan?


Without a doubt the best gift I received was the birthday album sent by the fans at danradcliffe.com. I will keep it forever.


If you could give every fan of yours a gift for Christmas what would it be and why?


I would give them a video of The Simpsons because it is probably the greatest show on television.


It’s been noted that you might like to become a writer. Have you written anything that’s been published?




What sort of things do you write, i.e. poems, songs, short stories, screenplays? What are some of them about?


In my own time I like to write poetry but at school I write short stories. They are usually very dark and very intense – not much humour in them. 


Are you planning to attend college and if so, what do you think you’d like to major in?


I don’t know at the moment as it is sometime ahead but if I did go, I would probably like to study psychology.


You obviously have to adapt between on-set tutoring and attending school.  Do you find it difficult to return to school for a few months, only to leave again and return to filming?


Because the HARRY POTTER films take so long to make, I can be away from school for a very long time. But because I have a very good set of friends at school and my teachers are very supportive, as soon as I return they make me feel as if I have never been away.


Do you play any sports or are you on any sporting teams in school?


I am quite good at running and I love rugby but we don’t play rugby at my school so it’s not something I will be taking up in the future.


What are your favorite food and your least favorite food?


My favourite food is any kind of fish – I love it.  My least favourite is junk food.


What’s your favorite Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavour?


Phish Food.


You’ve been quoted as saying “you weren’t much of a cake person”, What do you prefer for dessert other than cake? Do you really not like cake at all, and if you do like cake what kind of cake do you like?


I have really never liked cake – I much prefer biscuits, Jammy Dodgers being my favourite.  My favourite dessert is vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Very simple.


Do you like to dance and have you taken any dance lessons? 


Both my parents are very good dancers so I hope I have inherited some of their genes in that respect .  I have never taken dance lessons.


Are you an artistic person? Do you like to draw or paint?


I am a truly terrible painter – I wish I was better at it. I am a big fan of art however, even though I am appalling at it.


Who’s your favorite character on the Simpsons?


Bart Simpson.


What’s your favorite Simpsons quote?


Marge: “Kids, you’re no longer in Sunday school – don’t swear” – makes me laugh every time.


If you could be invisible for an entire day, where would you go and what would you do?


Visit MI5 (the Secret Service)


Do you believe in magic, ghosts, or life on other planets?


Yes, I do, because I like to think there are things in this world we know nothing about.


If you were stranded on a deserted island alone, what three objects would you want to have with you?


I would have a CD player, a CD compilation and a speed boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Are you interested in astrology and do you believe in horoscopes?


I have no interest in astrology and I never read horoscopes.


If you could use magic to change one thing in the world, what would you change?


I would bring John Lennon back from the dead, as I think he was a genius.


I’ve heard you are learning the bass guitar.  Would you like to establish your own band in the future?


Because music plays such a large part of my life I would love to be in a band but I guess every teenage boy who plays a guitar feels that way.


How did you get into punk music and which artists influenced you?


One of the crew members on HP got me into the whole punk thing.  He introduced me to the music and the clothes and told me stories about the bands and that got me started. Some of my favourite bands would have to be the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Stranglers, the Undertones and the Damned.


If you could go to any concert which band would you like to see?


As I have now seen The Strokes in concert, I guess Jane’s Addiction would be the next band I would like to see.


What other music do you like to listen to other than punk?


Nick Drake, Brendan Benson, Libertines, Johnny Cash, Pixies, and Janis Joplin.


Have you been to any rock concerts yet and which ones?


I went to my first concert last week – to see The Strokes and it was an awesome experience.


Are there any other types of instruments you would like to learn how to play besides the bass guitar?


Piano and drums.


Dan, have you tried your hand at singing, or can you sing?


I love singing, but so far I have only practiced in the privacy of my bedroom.


It was published in Vanity Fair that you prefer Playstation2.  What type of games do you like?


I like a lot of sport games – boxing, rugby etc and I love the Simpsons game ROAD RAGE.


Do you like theme parks with rides and have you ever been to Disney World?


I do like theme parks and I have been to Disney World twice, several years ago.  My favourite ride was Space Mountain.   When I was in Barcelona a few years ago, I went on a ride called Dragon Kahn which had eight 360 degree loops which I loved.  My Dad thought he was going to die.


While visiting Japan and China last year, what were some of the most interesting experiences you had? Did you like sushi?


I love sushi and one of the best experiences I had was seeing the temples in Kyoto and, of course, walking on the Great Wall of China in the snow. We were the only people on the Great Wall at that time because the weather was so bad and it was amazing and surreal.


Throughout your life, what are the different countries you have been able to travel to and which ones were your favorites?


I have visited the following countries – USA, SWEDEN, SPAIN, ITALY, HOLLAND, FRANCE, JAPAN, CHINA, AUSTRALIA, and I love them all but I had a particularly good time in JAPAN, USA, HOLLAND AND AUSTRALIA.


Are there any countries that you haven’t visited yet that you would consider taking a vacation in?


I would love to visit Russia and New Zealand and India.


As an American visiting London for the first time, what is the one thing I should absolutely see or do while I am there?


Camden Market is a very cool London experience and I would also recommend the Tate Modern Art Gallery – a fantastic building.


How did you become involved in visiting and supporting the Demelza House? Are there any other charities that you support? If so, what inspires you to support these wonderful causes?


It was a place I became aware of, as I was actively looking to support a charity or organisation after I was cast in Harry Potter.  When I discovered Demelza House, there was no doubt that this was the place I wanted to be involved with. The spirit of the place is amazing and the people who work there are extraordinary.  I feel very humble when I visit it.


You seem like a generous and giving person. Have you ever considered going to poor countries where the people are starving and help them build homes, bring them food and education?


Very kind of you to say something like that. Going overseas is not something I can do at the moment but perhaps in the future when I am older.


What made you decide to get involved with the “Mind Reading DVD” production, and what triggered your interest in Autism?


On the first Harry Potter film, one of the crew working in the wardrobe department explained a lot to me about autism, as he has an autistic son and that triggered my interest.  As I had mentioned this in several interviews, the people who produced the Mind Reading DVD asked me, would I like to take part and I jumped at the chance to be involved with it.


A lot of talented actors now are doing narration work in feature-length cartoons. Have you ever thought of narrating, especially for filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki?


Yes, I would gladly do a voice in an animated film.


How would you describe yourself in three words?


Loyal, curious, fun.


When you are sad or depressed, what helps to make you feel better?


Watching an episode of the Simpsons usually makes me feel better.


Are you actually able to go places on your own with friends or do you have to go with a bodyguard because you get mobbed by fans?


There is an assumption that I can’t go anywhere without protection and that is simply not true.  I recently went to see The Strokes in concert at Alexandra Palace – no security, no bodyguards – just with friends and it was absolutely fine.  Likewise, I went to see a preview of Lord of the Rings in Leicester Square, which is one of the biggest cinemas in the country.  It was packed and again no one recognised me.  I do more things than people think I can.


What is the one thing your parents still make you do that you absolutely hate? For instance, even though you’re in perhaps the largest grossing movie franchise of all time, do you still have to take out the garbage?


Tidy my room –  it drives them mad when it’s a mess.


Dan, if you could write yourself two letters and send one to yourself five years ago and one to yourself five years from now, what would you say?


The letter I would write to myself 5 years ago, when I was nine, would be concerning a teacher in my school who was horrible to me at that time.  I would tell myself to ignore him, don’t rise to his petty comments and to have more confidence in myself, even though this teacher is trying to drain me of it. The letter I would write to myself 5 years from now is more difficult.  Who knows what I will be doing.   It would probably concern being true to myself and hoping that I make the right decisions both in my career and my personal life.


What are three things you like best about yourself? Three worst?


The things I like best about myself at the moment are 1. I like my taste in music,2. I enjoy my life 3. I think I have a good sense of humour and can always see the funny side of any situation.  The things I don’t like are 1. I am terrible at art and would love to be able to paint. 2. While I love my music, I can also be very opinionated about it, which isn’t good and 3. I don’t reply to my emails fast enough which drives my friends mad.


If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?


I would love to be able to paint.  I have very clear images in my head of what I want to paint but unfortunately, when it comes to getting them down they are absolutely useless!!!!!!!!!!


Everybody dreams of something they yearn for, want to know, or experience.  So, honestly and sincerely, what is that BIG question in your life that you want answered, or that DREAM you want fulfilled would make you sigh and say ‘I finally feel happy and content; I’ll need no more, no less’?


That’s a big question!!!!!!!!  I would love to go on a mountain expedition to say, Everest and make an attempt at that. I would like the challenge. I’m not sure if that would make me content – who knows –  it might make me restless to take on more challenges!!!!!


What are your favorite colors now?


Yellow and Blue


What characteristics do you like when it comes to girls? i.e. funny, smart, pretty, clever, mysterious?


Funny, smart and original


Is there anything you’re particularly scared of, for instance spiders?


Spiders don’t frighten me but the thought of nuclear war does!!!!!!!!!


If you could meet one historical figure whom would it be and why?


It would have to be Marco Polo. Apparently his last words were “I have not told half of what I saw”.  So, I would love to hear about the other half.


What genre of film do you like best and why? (Action, Romance, Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Sci-fi)


As long as it is a good film, I don’t care what genre it is.


Do you cook at all, and if so, what things do you like to cook?


No, I don’t cook at home . After filming  I don’t get back home till very late, so there is no time for me to experiment with this.  However, it is my New Year’s resolution to learn.


If a movie was made about your life (so far), which actor would you choose to play you (age doesn’t matter) and what songs would be in the soundtrack?


I feel it would be arrogant to think that any actor I admire would be interested in playing me.


What do you say when people come up to you and tell you that you look like the guy that plays Harry Potter? Do you actually tell them that you are that actor or do you say something else, not telling them who you are?


I always tell them that I am the actor who plays HP as it seems completely pointless and not very nice to lie to them.


Whom do you consider to be the most influential/admirable person in your life and why?


The people who have been most influential on me know who they are and would be embarrassed if I mentioned them.


What do you feel is the most important advice you can give to aspiring young actors and actresses around the world?


Giving this sort of advice is tricky because it is different for each person. I  respond to actors who are totally real and never overact, so in a way that would be my advice: Be real – be truthful.


How do you find time to study and keep your school grades up while you are filming and is it difficult to do while working?


I do a minimum of three hours a day with a maximum of 5. It is one to one tutoring and with the support I receive from my school, my grades are where they should be.  This method of working may not suit everyone but it certainly works, so far, for me.


Do you like the Lord of the Rings? Which character would you like to portray in LOTR if given the opportunity?


I do like LOTR – I saw the final film last week and really enjoyed it.  The character I would like to play is GOLLUM.


Is there any particular injustice in the world that outrages you?


I am always upset wherever I go in the world to see people living on the streets.


Can you speak any foreign languages? What languages would you like to learn?


I am learning to speak French and Spanish and I would like to learn to speak Japanese.


Do you like Shakespeare and have you ever thought that you might like to act in a Shakespearean production?


I love Shakespeare.  I have seen several productions and would love to play Puck in A Midsummer Nights Dream.  I am also studying Macbeth for my exams.


Is it more comfortable for you to act on a film set, or on stage?


I suppose you get more of a buzz being onstage because it is a live experience but I love the film making process. The two processes are so different but I feel comfortable with them both.


How did you get involved with the “Play What I Wrote” production? What was it like to perform on stage, and did this experience inspire you to want to do more theatre productions in the future?


I was asked by the Producers if I would be interested in taking part and as I had just worked with Ken Branagh on HP2, and Ken directed THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE, I jumped at the chance.  It was great fun.  I had never been on stage before so it was a little scary at first but it certainly gave me the desire to do more on stage.


Apart from the help that you receive from the directors, what do you do to put yourself in Harry’s character – to show his emotions with your facial expressions, particularly if a scene is performed over and over?


The most important thing is to focus on the scene, no matter how many times you have to do it and listen to the other actors and respond as if it is the first time you have ever heard what they are saying to you and it is the first time you have responded to them. I also play a lot of music when I am preparing a scene.


After looking at so many promotional photos of you, one can see that makeup artists and stylists have given you many different “looks”. How much say do you personally have over how they make you look for studio shots?


Yes, I have a big say in all of this. If I don’t like the look of something I will obviously say so.  I won’t just stand there wearing clothes or do something I am not comfortable with.


What is it like to publicly appear for press and interviews in so many various countries in rapid succession? Are there aspects of the experience that are challenging for you and what would you change?


I wouldn’t actually change anything because they are a lot of fun. It gets tiring after a while but we do have a laugh when we’re doing it and of course, I like getting to see the countries.


Fast forward 5 years from now… assuming that you wish to remain an actor, if you were given the choice to play the lead in a romance, drama, comedy, action/adventure, horror, or sci-fi/fantasy film, which would you choose and why?


I would choose the one with the best script and best director irrespective of genre.


What did you do for your audition for Harry Potter? Cold reading? Impromptu? Did you read with another actor or by yourself?


For the first two auditions I read with Chris Columbus and then for the last interview I read with Emma and Rupert,  which was a lot of fun, as it was the first time we had met.


What is more difficult to do while acting, to react to something that isn’t there (i.e. Dobby), or exhibit emotion such as anger, sadness, even crying?


Both have their own difficulties because acting with Dobby is a very technical business, focusing on eye lines and you have to be very precise at all times.  When you are expressing emotions, you have to find those emotions within yourself and be totally real and truthful.


Has being in the “public” eye, being asked many serious questions, or dealing with difficult issues matured you as a person a bit sooner than you would have expected?


I don’t think so. Perhaps being on the set for so long with adults has made me grow up a bit faster but I’ve never really thought about it, because I’m still a kid deep down.


If you continue with the acting profession, would you consider ever taking on a controversial or dramatic role? This could be a homosexual character (like Tom Hanks in Philadelphia), or something like a serial killer (Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs). Or if you become a filmmaker, would you ever consider making a film that could be construed as controversial?


I would consider doing any part as long as the script is good and the film has an interesting director.


Do you like filming at the studio or on location better?


I prefer filming at the studio because I like to get home every night and have my own things around me.


If you could direct a movie, what type of movie would you like to direct (i.e. fantasy, drama, horror) and what method would you use in your direction?


Again, I would direct any film as long as the script was good. I suppose I’m not really into horror – just don’t find it interesting. I’m a huge fan of Mike Leigh films and I really like the way, I hear, he works with actors – very detailed – so perhaps that would be the method I would employ.


How and why did you get started in acting?


By accident. A friend suggested that I audition, as a bit of fun, for the role of David Copperfield.  I never expected to actually get the part as I knew there would be hundreds of boys trying for it, so when I did, it came as a huge surprise.


What is the most difficult part of acting; remembering lines, doing emotional scenes, or doing physical scenes?


Remembering the lines is not difficult.  I suppose recreating the emotions over and over again can be very intense but challenging. Doing physical scenes can be punishing but I usually have a lot of time to practice the stunt. 


As an actor, do you ever feel any pressure by your fans, the media, or even from within yourself? Are you fine with the spotlight or sometimes does the intrusion go a bit too far?


The only real pressure I feel is the one I put on myself, trying to portray the character as best I can.  With regards to the media  – to this day I have never ever read a word that has been printed about me or the films – and I never ever watch interviews I have given on television.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of being famous?


The advantages are that I have met a lot of very interesting people and visited extraordinary places – e.g the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbour Bridge (I did the climb!!!!) Disadvantages – occasionally people become very aggressive in order to get autographs.  There was one incident, last year, when Emma and I arrived in Chicago and the people who were looking after us were kicked and shoved by guys (they weren’t fans but professional autograph hunters) who wanted autographs  – it was very ugly.  We always try to sign for fans whenever possible but sometimes it just isn’t…


What other actors would you most like to work with and are there any that you would love to see cast in a Harry Potter movie?


I would love to work with Jake Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Billy Bob Thornton, George Clooney, Sam Rockwell.  I would love to see Ralph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush and Robert Carlyle cast in the Potter movies.


Would you like to do “voices” for the Harry Potter video games?


Yes, but unfortunately there is never enough time to fit it in with the filming schedule.


You would make an excellent James Bond in about 10 years. Have you considered possibly pursuing a role as James Bond if one should come your way?


In ten years that would make me a very young James Bond! I could never see myself being as suave or as sophisticated as Pierce Brosnan.


When you watch yourself on screen do you lose yourself in the movie, or are you self conscious and critical of yourself?


I hate watching myself.  I am always intrigued as to how the final film looks so I manage to control my self-criticism and lose myself in other people’s performances. I see the film about four times.  Once privately, then we have a private screening for my friends, then at the two premieres and that is it.  I never ever watch them again.


How long does it take for them to do your make-up on the set before you start filming?


About 30 minutes – mainly because of the scar.


Do you personally have, or want to have, any control over the way you are presented in the media – photographs, magazine articles, TV interviews, newspaper reports etc.?


I have no control over the way I am presented in the media. As I have said, to this day, I have never read a word that has been printed about me so I have no idea what anyone has written about me.


What in your opinion do you think it means to be a great/legendary actor? What must an actor do to be worthy of this classification?


I think the actor must have done a huge body of diverse and interesting work.


Have you played any pranks on anyone during the filming of POA? Did anyone play a prank on you?


During POA, Alfonso and Alan Rickman put a whoopee cushion in my sleeping bag in the Great Hall and when I started to move it went off. The scene was a very quiet one so you can imagine the hysteria which took place once everyone heard it.


After watching the Harry Potter movies, I can no longer read the books without associating you, Rupert, and Emma as the characters.  When you read the books, do you actually imagine yourself as Harry in the books?


Yes, it is quite difficult not to.


I would like to ask, considering you are the age that Harry is in The Goblet of Fire, how will you prepare for the emotionally charged graveyard scene at the end?


No idea as I haven’t seen a script or talked to Mike Newell about that specific scene.


If you could keep any Prop on the Harry Potter set, which would you choose?  wand, broom, sword or other?


It would have to be the sword.


If you could choose to play any other character role in the Harry Potter films, whose character would you choose and why?


Probably Sirius, as I am intrigued about the relationship he has with Harry and his father.


What’s the most bizarre piece of Harry Potter merchandise you have seen your face appear on?


Without a doubt – kitchen roll!!!!!


What did you think of the 5th Harry Potter book? What was your favorite part?


I loved it.  There are lots of interesting parts but I thought the detention scenes between Harry and Professor Umbridge were particularly dark.


Are there any funny stories you can tell us about that occurred on set during the current film?


There are always funny things happening on the set but I suppose on this film the one thing that was different, was whenever anyone had a birthday Alfonso made sure that everyone sang Happy Birthday to the person in English and then Alfonso and his Mexican colleagues would sing it in Spanish.  Even people who thought that no one knew it was their birthday and were trying to escape unnoticed, were always found out and had the full birthday treatment.!!!


Are you, Emma, or Rupert allowed to “ad lib” any of your lines, or do you have to state them strictly by the script?
  Yes, we are when it is appropriate.  There are certain scenes when a bit of “ad libbing” is useful and Alfonso encouraged that.

 Copyright DanRadcliffe.com ©2003.  Please do not reproduce this article without permission – contact Jenna for more details.

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