The young Harry Potter actors and actresses truly grew up on camera. Between 2001 and 2011, we watched them grow from children to teens to adults, going through puberty and coming into their own. The franchise boasts eight movies that were released over ten years. As viewers, not only were we able to watch them grow physically, but also as actors.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson graduated from the Harry Potter School of Acting, learning from their supremely talented co-stars like Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Gary Oldman. Their skills were honed and sharpened with every movie released. Or were they? Daniel Radcliffe slightly disagrees, and here’s why.
“In every movie up to the sixth one, you can see a big step forward in my acting,” he said in an interview with Playboy. “And then it stopped, or went backward maybe, in the sixth film.”
Daniel Radcliffe was just 11 years old in the first Harry Potter film. By the time Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, he was 20. What was different about the sixth movie?
“You’re watching a mistake you made for 11 months,” he continued. “I had the idea that Harry was like a soldier traumatized by war, and as a result of that, he shuts down emotionally. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s not the most interesting thing to watch for two and a half hours.”
Ah, well, that makes sense. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a pretty intense movie. Harry’s nights and weekends are spent trying to make sense of other wizards’ memories in the Pensieve, his relationship with Ginny is confusing and he’s feeling more pressure than ever to save the wizarding world. Not to mention that he watches Snape go all Avada Kedavra on Dumbledore before his very eyes.
That said, we still think Daniel Radcliffe did a knockout job of portraying all of Harry’s sadness, confusion and angst! If being emotionally shut down is what he was going for, we think his performance is on point.
(Image via Warner Bros.)