For seven years he’s played a beloved boy wizard, but these days New York City theatergoers are getting a look at a very different Daniel Radcliffe: bold, buff and, yes, completely bare. On Sept. 5 the 19-year-old Harry Potter star made his Broadway debut as a disturbed young man with an unhealthy horse obsession in a revival of the drama Equus—a performance that earned him rave reviews in London last year. Complete with a nude scene that lasts several minutes, the role “has given me a little more confidence,” says Radcliffe. And a more adult image. Says Potter producer David Heyman: “I think one of the amazing things seeing him onstage is that he’s put Harry behind.” And that’s not the only proof that Radcliffe is ready to graduate from Hogwarts.
He still loves candy, but that toned physique isn’t kid stuff.
Despite scenes that reveal all of a seriously ripped bod, Radcliffe has a metabolism that can handle junk food. “He loves Mars bars,” says Joanna Christie, who costarred with him in the London production of Equus. “I don’t think he cut down on those at all.” As for the nudity, “it never really was an issue,” Radcliffe told The New York Times. “I don’t know why; it probably should have been. I am terribly self-conscious.”
He’s blending in on Broadway.
“I think the depth of his performance is really impressive for somebody not just of his age, but of the level of stage experience that he’s had,” says Equus director Thea Sharrock. Since previews began for the play—which officially opens Sept. 25—Radcliffe has avoided much of the New York celebrity scene. But he fit right in at theater-haunt eatery Angus McIndoe, where he often drops by after shows with castmates and his parents, Marcia, a casting director, and Alan, a former literary agent. Says costar Collin Baja: “He has no ego at all, which is really nice.”
He’s no mere pretty boy.
Citing John Keats and Robert Frost among his favorite poets, “he always seems to have a book in his back pocket,” says Christie. “He told me he wrote his own [poems] and showed me a couple. They were brilliant.”
He’s got more adult roles planned.
With his wizarding days numbered—Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due out next summer, and he will begin shooting the final, two-part Potter film after wrapping Equus in February—Radcliffe told Details.com he would love to work with the Coen brothers. He is also attached to a biopic about British photojournalist Dan Eldon.
He’s single—for now.
“Most of my friends have been girls, and I see how they are with their boyfriends, and I think, ‘I couldn’t do that,'” he told Details. “I just don’t have the time.” Then again, a girl with a taste for Keats and Mars bars just might have a shot.