As if by magic, Daniel Radcliffe has gone from Harry Potter to buff young man.
The 17-year-old actor, who is about to bare it all in the London stage revival of the play Equus, has shed his spectacles – and just about everything else – to reveal his acting chops for a series of sexy photos to promote the upcoming production, which opens on Feb. 27.
Even the play’s producers are surprised at Radcliffe’s dramatic transformation. “To have a six-pack like that at that age, when some people try for 25 years to get one … we were gobsmacked (translation: amazed) at how suddenly he turned into this swan,” producer David Pugh tells PEOPLE.
Equally amazed is the public’s response. Radcliffe’s camp has told the British press his Potter fans are very supportive of his new image. Writes one admirer on a news Web site: “OMG he has got a great buff bod!!”
Radcliffe will not only appear naked but also have a sex scene in playwright Peter Shaffer’s drama, which won a Tony award for Broadway’s best play in 1975. Richard Burton starred in the 1977 film version, in the adult role Richard Griffiths (The History Boys) will now play opposite Radcliffe.
As for the young star’s stage presence, “Peter (Shaffer) and I were watching the workshop production, and you couldn’t take your eyes of Daniel,” says Pugh. “That’s when Peter said I could have the rights (to revive the play). We had faith in him.”
Equus isn’t the only opportunity for Radcliffe to step out of character. In the brand-new second season of Ricky Gervais’s BBC/HBO series Extras, he guests stars as a whiny and sex-starved version of himself who’s hilariously unsuccessful at hitting on women.