Belfast Telegraph

Daniel Radcliffe: 'I drank because I was scared'

Daniel Radcliffe finds it hard to socialise in London now he has given up alcohol.

Actor Daniel Radcliffe started drinking out of fear his career was done after the final Harry Potter movie was released.

The British star rose to fame as the boy wizard in the movie adaptation of author J.K. Rowling's books, starring in the first film in the Potter franchise when he was just 11 years old. The series spawned eight movies, and the final instalment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, was released in 2011 - when Daniel had already started taking an unhealthy interest in alcohol.

"If words as exciting and glamorous as ‘a bit wild’ could ever have been used to describe that period of my life, then it would be great, but it wasn't,” he told Britain's The Times Magazine, "People were saying, ‘Well, this is going to be it for you, isn’t it?’ And the thought of all of those people being right was really scary. Also, I had some image of this is how actors live and it didn’t do anyone any favours, living like that... I wasn’t very happy.”

While Daniel feared slipping off the radar, like many other child actors have done in the past, the 26-year-old realised he needed to change his ways and sober up if he was ever going to have any chance of longevity in his career.

"There are moments when you go, ‘Oh, I can't do this. I have too much to lose. I don’t want to screw this up.’ ” he added.

The star admits he has had a few boozy relapses since, but hasn't touched alcohol for two years. His resolve is tested when he's back in his native Britain and spending time in London, where there is a distinct social-drinking culture.

“That’s one of the things I find really hard about being here actually – it’s very hard to say to somebody, ‘Do you want to meet up for coffee?’ or, ‘Let’s go out for dinner.’" he admitted. "It’s weird; they think you’re asking for a date, but it’s like, ‘I just want to see you but not go to a place where we have to drink.’ ”

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