Actor Daniel Radcliffe says he thinks he could have done with acting lessons when filming the early Harry Potter films.
The 24-year-old, who played the boy wizard in all eight of the films, tells Melvyn Bragg that he finds the early films “hard to watch” in an edition of the South Bank Show airing this Thursday.
He says that he and co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were not given acting coaching on the set of the blockbuster films.
“If we had a singing scene we had a singing teacher come in. If we had a dance scene a dance coach would come in. We never had an acting coach in all the time we were there and there were times we could have done with one. I know I could have.
“There wasn’t a lot of nuance to my performance when we were young and I find those early films very hard to watch personally. There were certain things I just didn’t know. There were certain things like how to break down a script, or even certain questions like what does a certain character want out of a certain scene.”
Radcliffe appears to be thinking of his first two films, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
He tells Bragg that he is glad to have developed his acting talents and credits the appearance of Gary Oldman as wizard Sirius Black in the third Potter film, the 2004 movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for helping his professional development.
The two became close friends and Radcliffe reveals that he also sought out relationship advice from his onscreen godfather.
“I was going on my first date and I was doing a scene with Gary Oldman that day so I ended up being anxious about my first date… with Gary Oldman and asking advice and all that stuff,” he says.
Radcliffe also reveals that he harboured an early ambition to be a professional wrestler.
“I definitely drifted into acting to start with…I saw an interview with myself, they asked me what do you want to do when you grow up and I completely, sincerely and earnestly answer ‘I want to be a professional wrestler’, because I was very very into WWF at the time.”
He adds that despite being embarrassed by his early performances as Potter he still owes a great debt to to the Potter producers.
“I never wanted to be one of those people that turned round and had to be disparaging about what they had done in the past in order to make a career for themselves in the future.”
The South Bank Show airs on Sky Arts 1 on Thursday at 9.30pm
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.