Harry Potter's Heroic New Role

Daniel Radcliffe discusses dream project

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As his new film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens in cinemas around the country, including the Vue in Fulham Broadway and Cineworld on Fulham Road, SW6's biggest star Daniel Radcliffe has been talking about his future plans.

Daniel, who turns 20 on July 23, told American magazine Paste: " There are a few projects on the boil, but the one that I am really interested in is based on the real-life story of a photo-journalist, Dan Eldon, who was only 22 when he was killed by an angry mob in Somalia. A really heroic guy.

"We are waiting for the green light for that one, and it all depends on the funding we want. "

Daniel adds that starring in the stage play Equus, where he famously appeared naked, both in London's West End and on Broadway, has made him more daring about the roles he takes on.

" That play gave me the taste for pushing the boundaries and for doing something that bit different," he told the magazine.

" I have discovered that, when you are acting, that the best quality that you can have is fearlessness­—that is what you should aim for. You should be willing to try anything. You might fail, but at least you’ve made the attempt. That’s what I aspire to. "

Daniel has also published a private book and some poetry, using the pen name Jacob Gershon - Jacob being his middle name, and Gershon being the Jewish version of his mother's maiden name, Gresham. The poems apparently cover subjects such as Pop Idol, Pete Doherty, infidelity and attempts to seduce women. " I write verse, yes. Not sure if it is any good, " he admitted.

" It’s appeared in some magazines, one of which is called Rubbish: It’s What Everyone's Talking. I don’t write under my own name, that would be a bit scary."

On a more serious note, he also talked about Robert Knox, a fellow teenage actor who played at trainee wizard in the new film, but was killed in a knife attack in Sidcup, Kent in May last year.

" I can’t pretend that Rob was a great mate of mine, or that I really knew him that well, but I will say that he was a great big ball of sunshine in every group that he was in," he said.

" Everyone who knew him, liked him. And then he was knifed in that cowardly attack, and he died. Whenever I was in contact with him, I liked him a lot. His death cast a long shadow. What a waste, a stupid, tragic waste. "

Daniel, who was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, grew up in Fulham with mum Marcia, a casting agent and literary agent dad Alan. He has now bought a flat in the local area and says: " I keep it reasonably tidy, and I’ve been there for, oh, nearly two years now. I still take the washing around to mum occasionally though!"

And he adds: " When I’m on the red carpet for a premiere or whatever, I still think inside, 'Why me?' I can tell you that the Daniel Radcliffe who does all the press conferences and all the premieres is a very different guy from the one that you’ll find at home in my flat, wearing a t-shirt and underpants, eating popcorn and watching cricket on the telly with the curtains drawn. That is the real me."

July 15, 2009