Dan Radcliffe has come a long way since his first screen outing as David Copperfield. After growing up famous with Harry Potter, he’s since taken on a variety of unusual roles, seemingly in an attempt to shake his association with the wizarding franchise. As he graces NME’s cover to celebrate his role in new blockbuster Victor Frankenstein (in cinemas December 3), we trace his key roles.
The first time little Dan ever appeared on screen, aged just nine, playing a chubby-cheeked young David in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel about a boy beset by bad luck.
Radcliffe’s first film role was a small one, playing one of the children of Geoffrey Rush’s character, a criminal-turned-tailor-turned-government informant, in an enjoyably twister espionage thriller. Mainly he wears a school uniform and sits in the kitchen.
You may have heard of it. Had some wizards in it. Made Radcliffe reasonably famous. There were eight films. All did pretty well, really, all told.
Radcliffe’s decision to play an exaggerated version of himself in Ricky Gervais’ film-set comedy was rather savvy. The Extras version of Dan was a highly hormonal perv who chatted up older women by showing them condoms and then accidentally threw one at Dame Diana Rigg’s head.
For his first film role post-Potter, Radcliffe picked a role that couldn’t be less boyish. If anything he’s a bit young to play the role of a widowed father who is dispatched to a spooky house to sort out the legal affairs of a recently deceased woman. There he encounters a very vengeful ghost. It’s terrifying and he’s very good in it.
Radcliffe got great reviews for playing beat poet Allen Ginsberg at college age, when he’s forming a friendship with seriously messed up classmate Lucien Carr and working out who he is, sexually and intellectually.
A young man wakes up after a terrible night to find that he has some devilish horns sprouting from his head, which cause anyone nearby to confess their darkest thoughts. It’s based on an excellent book by Joe Hill. The film isn’t a match for the book, failing to find a way to translate its jumpy timeline into a workable screenplay, but it has some memorable imagery.
A cute rom-com in which Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play best friends who have never quite managed to make the jump to romance. Very mainstream by his usual standards.
A junior doctor is sent off to a tiny Russian village in the early 1900s where he struggles with curing the odd locals and a growing morphine addiction. Radcliffe has frequent chats with his future self, played incongruously by Jon Hamm.
Radcliffe, a massive Simpsons fan, has appeared in the series twice. In Treehouse of Horror XXI he played Edmund, a vampire schoolboy in a Twilight parody. In Diggs he played a transfer student with a pet falcon. There’s range for you.
A BBC TV movie about the genesis of the Grand Theft Auto videogame series and a court case brought against Rockstar Games, GTA’s publisher, and the game’s creator Sam Houser (Radcliffe) when a young man who was a keen player of the games murdered several policemen. Not particularly well reviewed but an interesting choice.
In his first studio movie since the Harry Potter series ended, Radcliffe plays Igor, the unworldly, hunchbacked assistant to Victor Frankenstein, the bonkers scientist who wants to create a living creature from bits of old dead bodies.