Actor Daniel Radcliffe says that he was told by his dresser on the set of the Harry Potter movies, that “money should give you room to maneuver in your life.”
Radcliffe, who has a reported net worth of $110 million, said his fortune had given him the freedom to choose what projects he wanted to do as an actor. He admitted this was something few actors had the privilege of doing.
He was speaking on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs radio program, which sees famous guests pick the eight songs they’d take if they were stranded on a remote island.
“This is something I was told by Will Steggle, my dresser in Potter — he said: ‘money should give you room to maneuver in your life, at best that’s is what it gives you — a bit of freedom to do what you like,'” he said on the show.
Radcliffe joked that he was “very bad at being famous,” adding that there were others who had done “way more cool, crazy, wild stuff with their money.”
The actor initially made his fortune starring as Harry Potter in the eponymously-named blockbuster franchise. The eight movies, which were based on the best-selling fantasy novels about a boy wizard, grossed $7.7 billion worldwide, according to Forbes.
Radcliffe said that he had managed to avoid becoming the stereotype of a burnt-out child actor since the movie series ended nine years ago, due to both the influence of his parents and the fact that he “loved being on set.”
However, he said he understood why this was not the case for all actors who had started working at young age and no longer enjoyed the job.
Some effectively become the “breadwinner” for their family, he said, with multiple people reliant on them to continue their career, making them feel pressured to work.
‘Sense of guilt’
Radcliffe said he had a “vague sense of guilt” for having achieved success so young and believed initially, when going into rehearsals for other movies or plays, that others thought he had landed a role because he played Harry Potter.
“In large part, they are right, so you have to make sure you are bringing something else to the table,” he said. “I think a little part of that will always be there in some respect, but if that’s the thing that makes me work hard then fine.”
Similarly, Radcliffe said it was “insane” to downplay how luck can influence a career as there are many “wonderfully talented and incredibly hard-working” people who are “just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The actor also said that being called “stupid” at school had motivated him to work hard.
“I do think, generally speaking, my reaction to hearing something negative is to work very hard against it, even if I fear it’s true,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I don’t agree with it – often it’s because I agree with it that I then feel like I have to work harder.”