I’d forgive Daniel Radcliffe if he never wanted to hear the words Harry Potter again in his entire life. After all, he sacrificed much of his childhood in bringing the boy wizard to life, following which he’s been continually mobbed by fans eager to see the man who played the boy who survived. His career since then almost seems to have been a conscious effort to shake the stigma of the franchise, largely eschewing blockbusters to focus on small indie projects like farting corpse comedy Swiss Army Man (which is actually really good).
So, it’s understandable that he hasn’t made the trek down to New York’s Broadway or London’s West End to see the stage play that continues the Potter mythology, featuring Harry, Ron and Hermione in their middle age. He was recently asked by Seth Meyers why he hadn’t seen it on – after all, he is busy starring in The Lifespan of a Fact, which is just a 15 minute walk away – and his explanation was quite surprising.
Radcliffe said that he feels his presence would be a distraction for the audience, which would make it a stressful night at the theatre for him and spoil the play for others, with the actor saying: “I just feel like I would be being watched for my reaction.” It’s a decent point. I mean, even if he spent the play studiously doing nothing, I can guarantee that lack of a reaction would be news in and of itself.
Meyers then pointed out that he could go in disguise, but apparently Radcliffe is done with disguises. He explained that he once went to the Reading Music Festival in England with fellow Potter star Rupert Grint. Their cunning plan was to wear World War II gas masks, thus concealing their faces. What they didn’t consider, though, was that wearing a full rubber mask over your head in the summertime makes for a sweaty and uncomfortable experience. Having to reveal himself (red-faced and perspiring) to the crowd then made him realize that trying to conceal who he is just isn’t for him.
There are rumors that one day Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be adapted for film, and if that happens, hopefully Radcliffe can get hold of a copy and watch it in peace, where his reactions can be his own and no one else’s.