Daniel Radcliffe's Eclectic Roles Aren't A 'Comment' On Harry Potter

Of all the main kids from those "Harry Potter" movies, Daniel Radcliffe has probably gone on to have the most exciting career. Since "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" came out, Radcliffe has starred in movies like "The Woman in Black," "Kill Your Darlings," "Swiss Army Man," and most recently, "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story." 

So far, few of these movies have been big box office hits, especially compared to the cultural phenomenon that made Radcliffe a household name, but that's a little beside the point. More than anything, Radcliffe just wants an acting career with a good sense of variety. "Early on I wanted to, you know, try and get a reputation for being someone who wanted to try lots of different stuff," he explained in an interview with GQ. "Everything I do is — I want it to be different from the last thing I've done and everything else."

This mindset makes sense, considering the first decade of his acting career was spent stuck to one franchise. He did manage to squeeze in some projects between those movies, like the 2007 TV movie "My Boy Jack," but it wasn't until the series ended that he had complete freedom. Since then it's been one fascinating choice after another, but don't think that this is intended as any sort of commentary on the Potter movies themselves. "Not everything I do is, like, a comment on 'Harry Potter,' or an attempt to distance myself from it," Radcliffe said, "and I think I knew at the time that was never gonna be achieved by just one film."

Being more than just the guy who played Harry

As what tends to happen with actors who play iconic characters, Daniel Radcliffe spent those first few years after the series ended being written off by casual viewers as Harry first, Daniel second. Scroll through the old comments on YouTube clips for "The Woman in Black" and half of them are just "Harry Potter" references. This probably wasn't surprising to Radcliffe, who acknowledged that it was always going to take a while to get to the place he is now. 

"I think I knew at the time that was never gonna be achieved by just one film. It wasn't gonna be one thing that everyone sees and goes, 'Oh, he is no longer Harry Potter to us.' Because that's just, it's not how it works."

But after a decade's worth of unique, varied performances (in one of which he played a farting corpse), Radcliffe has reached the point where it seems safe to say he's not defined by his first big role. He's not like Harrison Ford, who managed to avoid getting defined by his Han Solo role by also starring in the "Indiana Jones" movies; he's more like Christian Bale, who's managed to avoid being defined by his Batman role by playing a string of contrasting characters afterward. 

More than anything, it's just nice to see Radcliffe embracing projects he genuinely seems to enjoy, not just what'll get him the biggest paycheck. He's already known what it feels like to be in one of the biggest franchises in the world, after all; now he's just having a good time.