Michael Gambon Made It A Goal To Throw Daniel Radcliffe Off His Game During Harry Potter

Even besides the obvious lifetime of financial security, being cast in the "Harry Potter" franchise was a huge boon to a young Daniel Radcliffe's acting career. Sure, he was being thrust into a wildly bright spotlight, but he would also get the opportunity to act with so many fantastic performers from such a young age. For many young actors, it's the sort of dream scenario they'd dare not dream of.

Radcliffe got the opportunity to work with such esteemed British actors as Richard Harris and Maggie Smith (though the young Radcliffe was not nearly as excited to work with them as he was to work with Sandra Bullock as an adult), people from whom he could take countless lessons about the craft.

But according to a recent GQ interview, the veteran actors Radcliffe admired most were the ones who still acted like normal human beings.

"I don't think I was thinking particularly deeply about the characters or acting when I was that age. The people I really admired were the people that didn't mystify acting too much, who were just able to come to set and do it. Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon; they're all people that can be very normal and chatting away, and then can just turn it on and 'action.'"

Making him laugh

Despite it being a major motion picture production, Radcliffe always had plenty of fun while filming "Harry Potter," particularly enjoying filming the films' underwater scenes. But according to the GQ interview, another major source of fun was Radcliffe's interactions with Michael Gambon, who Radcliffe says was always acting unserious until the very moment the cameras began rolling.

"Michael Gambon could do that to a frustrating degree. He learned that he could, when I was a teenager, he could make me laugh very, very easily. Making me laugh right up until the word 'action,' at which point I was pretty much unable to recover and he could just snap into a performance with inherent gravitas and charm. Yeah. He's awesome."

Gambon, who signed on to the "Potter" franchise before its third entry after the death of Richard Harris, clearly proved himself a kind and fun mentor for the young Radcliffe. For a performer who's gained a reputation as one of Hollywood's nicest guys, it's clear Radcliffe learned a lot from this casual on-screen behavior and carries it with him into all of his projects as an adult.

It's always very heartening to hear of older performers giving help and advice to their younger peers, but it's even nicer to hear about the extremely organic relationship of trying to make someone laugh. While formal mentorship can be very helpful, sometimes it's just a warm and friendly person to look up to that can make the most difference.