Daniel Radcliffe says his parents helped him cope with fame

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Daniel Radcliffe
Image caption,
Radcliffe is currently appearing in Endgame at London's Old Vic theatre

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has revealed that remaining in the UK and having supportive parents helped him stay grounded after he became famous.

The actor was 11 when he won the title role in the Potter film series.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, Radcliffe said his family helped him keep a sense of "perspective".

Yet he said he could understand why other child actors have had substance issues in the years following their youthful stardom.

"I think a huge problem for a lot of people is they get into a situation where they start doing something when they're 10," the 30-year-old told presenter Lauren Laverne.

"They are committed for several years, and they stop enjoying it.

"They are, by that point, the breadwinner for their family, so multiple people are reliant on them continuing to do this job and they feel pressured into it.

"If they don't enjoy it they go 'well, I will enjoy all the other things this life gives me, even if I hate the work'. So I think that's why you can see people going to drugs.

"You can also just see people go to drugs and drink because it's fun and they're available and it seems like a good idea, and there's nobody around you talking about the consequences or being honest about that."

Image caption,
Radcliffe with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in 2003

The actor praised his parents and his fellow Harry Potter actors, "who were able to give me enough perspective on my life and help me at key moments".

The main reason he has continued to work in the entertainment industry as an adult, he continued, was that he has always "loved being on set".

The actor has starred in several films and TV series since the Potter series ended after eight films in 2011.

His post-Potter films include Horns, Swiss Army Man, Now You See Me 2 and current UK release Escape from Pretoria.

Radcliffe also said that living and working in London had helped to ensure he had not been carried away by fame.

"I spend time in LA [Los Angeles] now and I feel like I'm going insane," he said.

"I don't know what it would be like to grow up in LA from the age of 10 and continue growing up there.

"I think the other thing that's hard about being famous when you're young is you haven't figured out who you are yet," he continued.

"If you are having a perception of your identity reflected back at you, where everyone else expects you to be a certain thing while you're still figuring out what you want to be, that can be really hard for people.

"But again, very fortunately, I knew that I liked being on set enough so that if everything else about it went away, the money and the fame, I would still like being on set, and I would like to still do that in some way."

Radcliffe is currently appearing alongside Alan Cumming at London's Old Vic theatre in Endgame and Rough for Theatre II, both by Samuel Beckett.

Desert Island Discs is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11:15 GMT and will be available on BBC Sounds.

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