Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Book of Daniel

The child actor is one of the most volatile of creatures---when he or she stops being a child actor and has to be, simply, an actor----or a person.

The road to Hell is paved not only with good intentions, but also with the souls of cherubic youngsters who had the misfortune of gaining fame before puberty.

No need to drag their names through the mud once more---chances are you know of whom I speak.

But there may be hope that the newest generation of kid actors and entertainers has learned from their predecessors.

Daniel Radcliffe, the bespectacled lead in the "Harry Potter" franchise, told GQ UK that he leaned on alcohol while filming "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" in 2009.

But Radcliffe kicked the bottle, he says, last August.

"As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn't work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully," Radcliffe told GQ UK. "I'd just rather sit at home and read, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh. There's no shame in enjoying the quiet life. And that's been the realization of the past few years for me."

That, and the love of a good woman---that age-old tonic, has appeared to also be a cure for the sauce.

"I'm actually enjoying the fact that I can have a relationship with my girlfriend where I'm really pleasant and not f--ing up totally all of the time," Radcliffe says.

The revelation of Radcliffe's bout with alcohol comes as the final installment of the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," approaches. It opens on July 15.

Radcliffe saw trouble brewing with alcohol and kicked it last August


It was another case of celebrity's bright lights and ubiquitous presence threatening to engulf a young performer.

“I became reliant on [alcohol] to enjoy stuff." Radcliffe says. "There were a few years there when I was just so enamored with the idea of living some sort of famous person’s lifestyle that really isn’t suited to me," he adds in the GQ UK interview according to U.K. paper the Telegraph.

Radcliffe considers himself lucky, because “I really got away with (it), because there were so many instances when a paparazzi shot like that could have been taken" while he was consuming heartily.

If this is a case of a professional and personal derailing being nipped in the bud, then it's a grand story, indeed. How many times has a celebrity as young as the 21-year-old Radcliffe been able to reel himself in before any serious damage is done?

Don't forget, Radcliffe has been doing this Harry Potter thing since before he was a teenager, as have his co-stars, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. None of the three have so much as sniffed controversy off camera.

So maybe there's hope for today's child actor, after all.

It would be a change, I'll tell you that.

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