The most surprising thing I discovered about Daniel Radcliffe was that when he was still living with his parents, his mother made his bed. Eventually he moved out of his parents home when he was 17.
Now 28, he may still be the richest actor under 30 thanks to his cumulative earnings from the Harry Potter movies, which made him the most famous teenager on the planet.
But after eight Hogwarts movies, it was time to move on.
So what did he do post-Harry Potter?
He played the pathological stable boy in Equus, both on West End and on Broadway and followed that with the singing lead in How To Succeed In Business Without Trying, again on Broadway, receiving excellent notices for both.
But since then he’s appeared in over a dozen movies, most of them American indies, none of which have been breakthrough successes.
At his press conference for his latest foray, doing a TV series Miracle Workers, in which he plays a heavenly angel, he’s as articulate as ever.
You’re recognised wherever you go. So, what has been your best disguise?
It’s a hat. That’s about as inventive as it gets.
A beard helps a bit but only from a distance. But the voice is probably the biggest give-away, particularly over here in America, but I’ve been very lucky most of the time when people come up to me, they’re really nice.
Very rarely do I get somebody coming up to me and saying, I hated your movies. You don’t get too much of that, so that’s all right.
In navigating your career, has Harry Potter been a help or a hindrance?
I think I am in a really lucky position – very few actors have a say over their career – and at a very young age I was in a position where I could make choices and just do the things that I wanted to do.
Things that interest me and excite me, and which have been really helpful in showing people that I can do other stuff aside from just this one character.
I enjoy working with different people in different styles of things. And I’m fortunate because people keep giving me chances to try that stuff out.
Is there anything you haven’t accomplished that you’d like to achieve?
Oh, definitely. I mean, I would love to write and direct, and that’s something I’ve been working on, but I don’t want to do it until I’m really confident that what I’ve written is worth filming.
And until that happens, I’m happy to do what I’m doing. I love my job and my life. I’m quite happy to continue on at this pace as long as people will have me.
I have been doing this for longer than most people my age and it certainly hasn’t diminished in any way my wanting to do more of it. But eventually I’d like to direct when I’m ready.
You seem to be working non-stop. Do you ever need to take breaks between films?
Not really. I have breaks. There’s always breaks between projects. Right now I’m trying to spend time with my girlfriend (actress Erin Darke), so I have time off.
What fun things do the two of you like to do?
We play a lot of games. Her family are big card players so she’s kind of introduced me to that.
I often feel very lucky that I have found somebody that I can turn to at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and be able to play Scrabble with.
I grew up thinking, because this is so nerdy, I’d never be able to do this with a girl; so that’s the wonderful thing about finding the relationship that you’re meant to be in. She thinks it’s fun too!
So, we play a lot of games, we watch a lot of TV, we see movies, we hang out and eat, and in my spare time I go to the gym.
Which is all good because when I’m working, I have a habit of becoming just completely anti-social and kind of dropping off the radar totally from all my friends.
Is there a place you can go to be alone?
It’s hard to find a public place, but actually, that’s not true, because around where I live in New York, it’s very easy to walk around by the river, you can chill out on a park bench, you can get some introspective time there.
Is that where you feel most comfortable and happiest?
This may come as a surprise for you to learn, but it’s on a film set. That’s my place of comfort where I feel totally at home.
It’s the only place where no one cares who I am, cause everyone is used to actors on film sets, and people are just grateful if you are not a horrible person.
So, yes, I feel just immensely comfortable in that environment.
What is your definition of love?
The feeling of being happier with one person than you are with anybody else I suppose is the simplest way of defining it.
But I don’t know if that’s a blanket definition. Love is different for everybody.
How do you feel about Harry Potter today?
It very much depends on the context. If a young kid or their family, or anybody in their 20s come up and they are really excited and enthusiastic about Harry Potter, then I understand it. That’s lovely.
When I was doing the play, I would have people at stage door every night just telling me how much those films meant to them, and that’s fantastic.
The flipside is when you get a group of drunken, obnoxious people – and you are out with some mates – and they are shouting Harry Potter or something, that’s when I get annoyed.
But on the whole, when people talk to me about it, it’s fantastic.