“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe opened up this week about his intense struggle with alcoholism and his ongoing journey to sobriety.
During a recent interview with “Off Camera” host Sam Jones, the 29-year-old actor said he “really struggled” with alcoholism in his late teens, when he was filming the “Harry Potter” movies and was constantly under scrutiny.
“In my case,” he explained, “the quickest way to forget you were being watched was to get very drunk, and then as you get very drunk, you become very aware that people are watching more now, because I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.”
For Radcliffe, things quickly spiraled out of control.
While he really enjoyed working on the “Harry Potter” series, Radcliffe said there is no “blueprint” for those who reach his level of stardom at such a young age.
“Ultimately,” he told Jones, “it was my own decision. I woke up one morning after a night, going, ‘This is probably not good.’ I don’t miss it, generally, now at all.”
He continued, “When I think about the chaos I used to invite into my life, I’m really much happier now.”
After a “few years and a couple of attempts,” Radcliffe said, he is sober. The young actor said in 2016 he began his journey to give up alcohol one month after the filming for “Harry Potter” wrapped.
At the time, he told The Telegraph, “I change when I’m drunk. I’m one of those people who changes. There is something in any person who drinks in a way that’s clearly not good for them, something that is attracted to that chaos.”
Radcliffe has benefitted quite a bit from his decision to give up alcohol, too.
When he was struggling with drinking, he said many of his passions were pushed to the sidelines. Before alcohol, Radcliffe explained, he was a “voracious reader.”
“That was one of the things I found drinking took away from me, bizarrely, as a side effect,” he revealed. “I didn’t have the compulsion or energy to read anything. So I’ve got that back.”
As a way to keep himself from drinking, the celebrity said, he would take “epic five-hour walks,” but that wouldn’t clear his head. So now he’s an avid exerciser.
“Like the cliché of anybody who is quitting something, I really got into exercise,” he said.
Actor Anne Hathaway announced a similar decision in January. The “Princess Diaries” star — a mother — said she doesn’t like the person she is when she’s drinking alcohol.
“I quit drinking back in October,” she revealed. “For 18 years. I’m going to stop drinking while my son is in my house, just because I don’t totally love the way I do it and he’s getting to an age where he really does need me all the time, in the mornings.”