The education of Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe grew up before our eyes as Harry Potter in a series of wildly successful movies. Katie Couric shows us what a wizard can do for an encore without actually trying...
"This boy will be famous," said Professor McGonagall. "There won't be a child in our world who doesn't know his name."
The prophecy came true.
"It's funny how I can just turn around and they start screaming," Radcliffe said.
Now 21, Daniel Radcliffe's star just keeps getting brighter.
But Hogwarts' most famous graduate is ready to make some magic of another kind.
He's starring as J. Pierrepont Finch in the 50th-anniversary revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
Is he nervous? "A Broadway musical - are you a natural song and dance man, do you know?" asked Couric.
"No, no," he replied. "I mean, singing, I can do. But dance took a lot of work. I worked for about a year and a half with two dance teachers, one after the other, to get half-decent. And now, hopefully, you know, I'll be able to surprise a few people."
"Can you bust a move for me right now?" Couric asked.
"No, no, no, no, no," he said. " I will make you pay for that!"
@katiecouric: Daniel Radcliffe (expanded video)
The dancing shoes might be something new. But performing is old hat.
Ten years ago, a blockbuster series of books inspired a big budget series of movies, and 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe was picked to play Harry Potter.
With each new film - and every red carpet appearance - the world watched Daniel grow up, myself included.
"Obviously, your childhood was unconventional," Couric said. "Do you feel as if you had one? Do you feel at all robbed?"
"No. I don't feel in any way robbed, because the thing is, growing up on those sets, you were still allowed to be a kid. You could get away with a lot more running around, and playing games, on a film set than you can at school. Certainly!"
His school was Hogwarts, and his classmates and teachers were the cast and crew around him.
But unlike a number of child stars, Daniel says his extracurricular activities have not included late night parties and nightclubs.
"Oh, it's horrible, it's just horrendous! Noise! Ridiculous, rubbish!" he laughed.
"Are you really 65?" Couric asked.
"Well, yeah! This is the joke about me that people have on set, is that I'm an old man in a young man's shell," Radcliffe said. "So, at the last 'Potter' premiere, it was my ideal premiere, because I did the red carpet, went inside, introduced the film, went off. I was at home by 10:30, with a bowl of Sugar Puffs, watching The History Channel.
"And I've never been happier!" he said. "Rock 'n' roll!"
Like his character in the musical, Daniel is all business.
But J. Pierrepont Finch isn't his first grown-up role on Broadway.
In 2008 he starred in the macabre psychological thriller "Equus," and stunned audiences with something you'll never see in a "Harry Potter" movie ... a nude scene.
"Was that terrifying?" Couric asked. "Or do you really have no fear?"
"No, of course you have fear," he replied. "I mean, of course. And I hate these actors that say, 'Oh, God, being naked on stage is so liberating!' Oh, God, shut up! No, it's not.
"It's scary!" he laughed. "And it, it's terrifying! You know, I found it scary every night, pretty much - which was kind of great for the scene we were doing, it really helped."
Couric pointed out Ben Brantley's New York Times review of "Equus" which began, "The Wizard has chosen wisely."
"Thank you very much, Mr. Brantley, yes!" Radcliffe laughed.
"This isn't the first time you've heard that, is it?" Couric asked.
"Yes. It is, actually. I don't read the reviews."
"Even the good ones?" Couric asked.
"No, no, no," he said. "If you're going to read the good ones, you have to read the bad ones. And I certainly don't want to read the bad ones! So I'm not going to read the good ones. The closest thing I've done to that is, I once went online and read, like, some things people were saying about me. And that was just the biggest mistake. I mean, like, that is just, anybody who ever feels like doing that is, it's just insane."
"I highly recommend you don't Google yourself," Couric said.
"I know. It is like opening a door into a room of people telling you how terrible you are. So, I did that once, and I've not made mistake again."
"Do you Twitter, or Tweet?" Couric asked.
"I don't Twitter, or Tweet," Radcliffe said. "I think Twitter is a really strange thing, because there are certain people in the world who are naturally epigrammatic, and can say things very concisely, and very brilliantly, in natural space and time. But I think they are a very small number of people."
Offline, Daniel's been hanging on the words of veteran Broadway director Rob Ashford.
From their first meeting, Ashford says, he knew he'd found the next Finch.
"He's a great student and wants to do it well and wants to be the best he can, and that is always in the fore for him," Ashford told Couric. "And it's thrilling to work with someone who has that kind of ethic, work ethic, really."
Daniel will be working eight shows a week, and living in his new home - Manhattan - with his mom and dad.
Couric asked how he enjoys being in New York City.
"It's fantastic. And it is great, 'cause are just very, very chilled out over here. You know, you don't get many people who are rushing up to you on the street."
Well, at least in theory ... as people came rushing up to Radcliffe on the street.
"What were you saying about being able to walk around New York with no one bothering you?" Couric asked.
"Well, yeah, well, I think the camera definitely brings more attention!" he replied.
All eyes will be on him once more this summer, with the release of the final "Harry Potter" film.
But for Daniel Radcliffe, that book has already closed.
"You know, I cried, I wept like a child on the day we finished filming," he said. "It has been like a family, and it's scary to have to go out into the real world. It feels like you're, you know, leaving the nest. But at the same time, you know, we always knew it was going to end. And we can't just go on indefinitely, filming Harry Potter films."
"You could be a middle-aged Harry Potter, Daniel!' Couric said.
"I couldn't!" he replied. "I don't think I would, I don't think I'd like that. I think I would go mad. You know, I've loved every single second of Harry Potter, and everything that happens to me, the rest of my life, I owe to those films.
"But, you know, to now walk away from it, is exciting, in another way. Because I feel it's given me the grounding in a career that people could only ever wish for. And I want to make the most of the opportunity I've been given."
Now, with no wand and no magic spells, a boy wizard named Harry Potter is turning into a man ... named Daniel Radcliffe.
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