FROM HARRY POTTER TO MIRACLE WORKERS: WHY WE LOVE DANIEL RADCLIFFE

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FROM HARRY POTTER TO MIRACLE WORKERS: WHY WE LOVE DANIEL RADCLIFFE


Born in Fulham, London, July 23, 1989 and raised in London, Daniel Jacob Radcliffe, began acting at age six when he appeared as a monkey in a school play. After passing up an opportunity to audition for a television production of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, he caught the attention of television producer Kate Harwood, who was impressed by his “charm and simplicity”. He was cast for BBC One in the title role of David Copperfield (1999) where he made his acting debut at age ten. Two years later he appeared in the film The Tailor of Panama (2001) alongside Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush.

His big break came when he was cast in the film adaptation written by British author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001).

Whether or not you’re a full-blown fanatic of the fantasy films inspired by the seven “Harry Potter” novels you probably know the movie’s star wizard-in-training is played by Daniel Radcliffe, who landed the role when he was 11 years old.

Radcliffe played Harry Potter, a lonely orphan who discovers that he is actually a wizard and enrolls in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The film was a box-office hit, and he reprised his title role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).

The franchise has so far spawned a stage play and ten movies, including the original eight “Harry Potter” films, which earned almost $8 billion worldwide. There may even be a new small screen entry in the series coming to expand on that already-impressive figure. As the eponymous character from the original series, Radcliffe definitely earned a big paycheck playing wizard. In fact, his salary increased significantly over the course of the film series’ run, after it became apparent that the films would remain a sure thing at the box office.

Given all the success he had at a young age, you might be curious about just how much cash the lead actor in the hugely successful “Harry Potter” franchise earned. If so, you’re in luck, because we’ve got all the details about how much money Daniel Radcliffe made from “Harry Potter.”

According to Celebrity Net Worth, the British actor earned $1 million for the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, $3 million for the second, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and $6 million for the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. After the huge success of these first three films made it apparent that a bona fide franchise had been born, Radcliffe saw a boost to his salary.

For the next two films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Radcliffe earned $14 million apiece. He then earned $24 million for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The studio opted to split the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into two movies, for which the actor took home about $50 million in total.

Despite those eye-popping figures, Daniel Radcliffe hasn’t gone on a major spending spree with his cash. He says he’s hardly touched it, as he feels lucky that he’ll never have to worry about money in the future, according to The Telegraph.

We should also mention that while Radcliffe made a fortune for his time starring in “Harry Potter,” his earnings from those films is only part of the actor’s entire net worth. He’s appeared in several film and theater projects, and Showbiz CheatSheet estimates he’s really worth closer to $110 million, while the Sunday Times puts it closer to $112 million, making him one of the richest actors in Britain, and richer than Prince William.

Whatever’s currently in the actor’s bank account, there’s no doubt the more than $95 million he earned from “Harry Potter” makes up the bulk of his fortune.

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Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone © 2001 Warner Bros.

In 2007 Daniel Radcliffe is not the young kid who first graced our screens in the first “Harry Potter” film back in 2001. Mature and eloquent he is been talking up his first non-Potter feature, December Boys, based on the classic Michael Noonan novel. 

An Australian coming-of-age story, in which he plays Maps, the oldest of a trio of orphans in 1960s South Australia, in considering what to do between filming the Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe says there are a number of factors that he considers in taking on a project.
“One is that the film scripts are great and that would always be the thing that I initially consider. And on the whole some of them I’ve read were good, but they just weren’t what I was looking for, because they weren’t different enough, or enough of a challenge.”
That is until December Boys came along. “That was the one that really did and it would be something I’d never done before, or anything resembling it before. So that was amazing,” Daniel Radcliffe explains. “Also, weirdly enough, the thing that made it really stand out, were the stage directions, because normally directions are very typically formulaic: ‘He walks over there, he opens the door, he goes through it,’ along those lines. But in this one, they were just outtakes from some fabulous novel, beautifully written, special and descriptive. It just made it – to use a horribly overused phrase, leap off the page.”

In the film, Daniel Radcliffe plays an Australian character far removed from Harry, and says getting into the psychology of an Australian teenager was not as challenging as it sounds. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Australia these past few years, and I love the place. But to be honest, I didn’t actually consciously think, ‘Right, this is how an Australian teenager thinks,’ so it was mainly about putting myself in that situation.” As for identifying with this latest character, Daniel Radcliffe says that was the easy part “because I felt very early, from the first reading of the script, I knew what Maps was about and the sort of person he was.”

Film Still December Boys © 2007 Warner Bros

Off-screen, Radcliffe starred in Peter Shaffer’s Equus, which opened in London’s West End in 2007. He played the challenging role of psychotically deranged teenager Alan Strang, whose unnatural love of horses drives him to blind six of them with a hoof pick. He debuted on Broadway in Equus in 2008, in which he also had a short nude scene.

To play the disturbed stableboy who blinds six horses with a metal spike, Equus required the then 17-year-old actor to appear on stage entirely naked. A bold choice for the bespectacled kid with the totemic cinematic scar on his forehead. Cue groan-worthy “Harry Gets His Wand Out” headlines. Radcliffe was sensational in the role.

Radcliffe claimed that his controversial role in the explicit stage play Equus helped establish him as a serious actor, saying:

“Doing Equus was important. It showed people that I wasn’t just here to capitalise on the Potter fame for as long as I could.
I think ultimately, I’m ambitious because I want to prove everyone wrong who thinks that it’s impossible to emerge from Harry Potter and do well.”

In 2011 Daniel also appeared in a Broadway revival of the satirical musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and in a 2014 Broadway production of The Cripple of Inishmaan. Off-Broadway, he starred in Privacy (2016) at New York’s Public Theater. Radcliffe returned to Broadway in 2018, playing a scrupulous fact-checker in the stage adaptation of the book The Lifespan of a Fact (2012).

Radcliffe was named the fifth best-value actor (based on salary to movie-gross ratio) in Hollywood in a recent list, placing behind Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart, Shia LaBeouf and Robert Pattinson.

Daniel is also covering many magazines all over the world. This years april cover from Empire Magazine which features Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe talking about the 20 years of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter Franchise.

Back in 2001, two young actors set off on fantastical cinematic journeys that would capture the hearts and imaginations of fans for years to come. Elijah Wood slipped on a pair of hairy Hobbit feet for the long walk to Mordor in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, while Daniel Radcliffe donned those round glasses and that lightning-bolt scar in Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – a pair of fantasy classics that began two concurrent game-changing franchises. And now, in a major world exclusive, Empire has united Wood and Radcliffe for the very first time, bringing them together in conversation and for a (distanced, Covid-compliant) photoshoot – looking back on their experiences at the heart of the most expansive fantasy sagas of the ’00s, discussing their memories of playing Frodo and Harry, and how those films changed everything in their lives and careers, and in the Hollywood landscape.

This april issue of Empire is an epic 20th anniversary celebration of the two most iconic magical franchises in cinema history – and this month’s newsstand cover features Wood and Radcliffe together at last, photographed for Empire by Art Streiber.

GQ magazine has uploaded a new video on YouTube from their Actually Me series in which Daniel goes undercover on the internet and responds to comments from Twitter, Reddit, Quora, Wikipedia, YouTube, and more. Interesting is that the Instagram account daniel9340 is featured in the video. The info on the page recently changed, adding “Fan page for the actor Daniel Radcliffe”. That’s good because people did think it was really him.

Daniel also did a Cover Story and Photoshoot for Sharp Magazine in Spring 2020 and shared some tips for isolation.

Now what? The wand has been retired, the Hogwarts robes burned, but can Radcliffe still magic up a future – a career – for himself?

Yes! Radcliffe’s other film credits included the romantic comedy What If (2013), Kill Your Darlings (2013), in which he portrayed American poet Allen Ginsberg; the supernatural thriller Horns (2013); the thriller Victor Frankenstein (2015), based on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic horror novel; and the heist flick Now You See Me 2 (2016). He won plaudits for his portrayal of a corpse who befriends a man stranded on a desert island in the surreal comedy Swiss Army Man (2016).

In Swiss Army Man Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded alone on a deserted beach. A corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up onto the shore and through a series of events, Hank and Manny become best friends. The duo embarks on a fart-filled journey that finds them both becoming more human as they make their way back to civilization.

A windy friendship: Daniel Radcliffe as a corpse and Paul Dano as a stranded man © Capelight Pictures

One might suspect a kind of metaphysics of methane in this film, just as it proverbially celebrates every fart as a natural event and every flatulence as a revelation or existential beacon of connectedness, authenticity, and presumably true being. Man is only where he farts. In terms of film history, this is certainly a novelty. And possibly Swiss Army Man is suitable for the future as a cult film for lovers of gastrointestinal upsets and fans of delicately necrophilic tendencies. “I want sex now,” Manny says at one point, after he has learned to speak and henceforth babbles to himself mostly in the mode of childish shamelessness.

Radcliffe also appeared in the series A Young Doctor’s Notebook from 2012 to 2013. In the British miniseries, Daniel plays a young doctor who is sent to the provinces of 1917 Russia directly after graduating from university in Moscow to put his theoretical knowledge into practice. He gets advice and sarcastic comments from his alter ego from the future – played by John Hamm.

The basis for the mini-series is the series of short stories that appeared under the name A Country Doctor’s Notebook. The author Michael Bulgakov was himself a doctor during the Russian Civil War and processed his experiences in the texts. The TV adaptation of the novel was directed by Alex Hardcastle, who is best known for his directing work on the American sitcom The Office.

The narrative is always the same: Daniel Radcliffe is doing something that’s not “Harry Potter”! Since his formative (both personally and professionally) “Harry Potter” days, the British actor has consistently mixed up his roles.

For Daniel Ragussis’ crime drama Imperium Daniel Radcliffe is again doing something different, playing an FBI agent who goes undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group about to launch a major terrorist attack. What his character, Nate Foster, ultimately finds surprises both him and the audience, and the role offers Radcliffe yet another chance to expand his oeuvre. For Radcliffe, being different is his standard setting.

When he recently was asked in an interview Radcliffe if he ever gets sick of addressing that wrung-out narrative, the actor grimaced just a bit, but was quick to clarify his thoughts on the matter.

“No, that was the face of ‘Yes, you’re right, I do get that a lot,’” he laughed. “I’m not sick of people asking about new work or anything like that, but I suppose I do get slightly bored with the idea that people think that every role I pick is somehow a comment on my relationship to Potter.”

He’s also just sort of used to it at this point.

For Radcliffe, all that variety isn’t commentary on his signature role, it’s simply a mark of his dedication to his career as a whole.

“I feel like I get a really undeserved amount of credit for picking a diverse range of things because I play one part for so long,” he said. “I think every actor, or all the good ones at least, want to do as varied a range of things as possible.”

Radcliffe’s ever-morphing career has also benefitted from directors who are equally as disinterested in the “he’s breaking away from Potter” narrative foisted so often on the young actor. Or, in the case of Daniel Ragussis, directors who are willing to use Radcliffe’s established charms in a fresh way.

Then followed Jungle (2017), which recounts the true story of a man’s harrowing effort to survive in the Amazon jungle after a rafting accident. He later starred in the action comedy Guns Akimbo and lent his voice to the animated Playmobil: The Movie (both 2019).

In 2020 Daniel was cast for Escape from Pretoria, a story of a real-life former anti-apartheid activist in South Africa and political prisoner, Tim Jenkin, played by Daniel. He joined his fellow Harry Potter alumnus, Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell) playing fellow inmate Denis Goldberg, for eight weeks of filming in Adelaide, Australia.

It always feels like a win when you get one of these films made that has been a labor of love not just for me but [also] for many, many people for a long time. It’s an incredible story, a true story of these guys, Tim Jenkin and Stephen Lee, and the true story of them breaking out of this prison in the most incredible way. And it’s always nice to be able to tell a story that feels like one that more people should know, because it’s such a crazy brilliant escape story.

40 years after his mad dash for freedom with his collection of wooden keys and one chisel – which was, unbelievably, successful – Jenkin’s story is being told in the feature film, with Daniel Radcliffe playing the lead role.

Unbelievable true story behind daring prison break movie “Escape From Pretoria” – as Daniel Radcliffe plays South African inmate Tim Jenkins, Picture © SIGNATURE ENTERTAINMENT

This was Daniel’s second time working in Adelaide, following December Boys, which was released way back in 2007. Back then, he was still in the middle of filming the Harry Potter films. His fame has only grown since then, which he sensed when working on Escape from Pretoria, as he said, getting a bit flustered.

The shoot was very all-consuming, and we were there, I think, very much during the Fringe [Festival], so it was quite busy. […] I did feel very recognizable in Adelaide.

While the majority of the movie is set in a prison, Daniel filmed some speedy sprinting scenes on location as well. Despite the difficult subject matter of the movie, he took the time to wave at curious fans between takes with a big smile on his face.

When asked about the South African accent that he had to master for this movie, he said that “there [were] quite a few South Africans who worked on Potter, so it was an accent that I was around a little bit when I was younger, so I was hoping that some of that came out” and quoted a line from the movie that helped him get into it.

In 2019-2020 Daniel Radcliffe is an angel in TBS New Comedy Miracle Workers.

What if Heaven was a like a corporation and God decided to retire? In TBS’ new comedy series, Miracle Workers, God (Steve Buscemi), is bored of Earth, so he decides to destroy it and pursue his dream of opening an Asian Fusion restaurant.

Miracle Workers comes from writer and showrunner Simon Rich, who based the show on his 2012 novel, What in God’s Name? (also available under the title Miracle Workers). Rich has written a number of novels and short stories over the years, including Elliot Allagash and Ant Farm, and he turned his 2013 novel, The Last Girlfriend on Earth into the FXX comedy series, Man Seeking Woman.

Miracle Workers tells the story of Heaven Inc., a corporation in the sky that is haphazardly run by its CEO and founder, God, who seems to be spending more time Googling himself than actually working. After losing all interest in Earth, God announces his plan to destroy it, but two of his underpaid angels, Craig (Daniel Radcliffe) and Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan), think that it’s worth saving. They strike a deal with God, who agrees to save Earth if they can solve the toughest miracle yet — getting two of the most socially awkward people on Earth to fall in love. Craig and Eliza try to move heaven and earth to save the world, before God decides to check out completely.

Lord knows that the world is in disarray, and the premise of Miracle Workers is eerily reflective of the current powers that be. Hopefully, with Radcliffe and Buscemi on board, the series will give people the existential hope and laughter they need right now.

The series is meanwhile heading into its third season.

In 2022 Daniel Radcliffe is set to play the villain in Paramount’s romantic action adventure comedy The Lost City of D starring Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum. Patti Harrison and Da’Vine Joy Randolph are also on board. Bullock is producing through her Fortis Films banner with Liza Chasin and her company 3dot Productions. Seth Gordon is also attached to produce via Exhibit A.

The story follows a reclusive romance novelist (Bullock) who was sure nothing could be worse than getting stuck on a book tour with her cover model (Tatum) until a kidnapping attempt sweeps them both into a cutthroat jungle adventure, proving life can be so much stranger, and more romantic, than any of her paperback fictions.

The title The Lost City of D parodies The Lost City of Z, a 2009 nonfiction book and 2016 film adaptation about British explorer Percy Fawcett’s attempts to locate a mythical lost city in the Amazon.

The Lost City of D was commissioned by Paramount Pictures. It is not known when shooting is scheduled to begin. The production company has now at least held out the prospect of a theatrical release in 2022.

Daniel once said: “From the moment you start acting as a kid, you’re confronted with the perception that child actors are dicks. Getting to show a little self-awareness was very valuable. I think if my career was going in a way that I wasn’t happy with, I would probably be less pleased to talk about it, but I’m very happy with how things have gone.”

And that’s why we love Daniel Radcliffe.

Cover Photo © Kevin Sinclair for Essential Homme magazine.

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