Whilst Daniel Radcliffe is widely known as Harry Potter, he’s so much more than the bespectacled annoyance of the wizarding world, regardless of all the banter that the character of ‘The Boy Who Lived’ invites. Despite his close ties to the most petulant student at Hogwarts, Radcliffe is actually one of the more human Hollywood A-listers – and one of the most interesting – as his candid interviews often show.
Since the early days of the Harry Potter franchise, Radcliffe has sought to escape the character. Whilst it turned him – and his co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – into megastars, starring in such an iconic franchise brought many negative side effects.
These obstacles have only fuelled Radcliffe’s desire to escape the ghost of Potter, and since then, we’ve seen him star in an array of exciting titles that are a far cry from J.K. Rowling’s universe. Horns, Swiss Army Man, and Imperium are just three films that have established him as a very adept character actor outside of the world of Ron, Hermoine, and Hagrid.
Radcliffe’s thoughts on the Potter franchise are well known. Although he has asserted that he is honoured to have played the part, he has no intention of playing the wizard again. It might be heartbreaking for Harry Potter fans, but for Radcliffe, this is certainly the best move for the longevity of his career.
Given his complex relationship with the film series that made him, it is understandable that none of the eight titles in the series rank among his favourite films.
Speaking to Wired in 2021, Radcliffe revealed the names of his two favourite films, and they will certainly come as a surprise. The first is an old film, a classic of the golden age of Hollywood, and the other is one of the most memorable teen movies of the early 2000s, a nostalgic movie that came out in the same year as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
“There’s a movie called A Matter of Life and Death. It was made by, like, [Michael] Powell and [Emeric] Pressburger in, like, 1952,” Radcliffe said of his first favourite film. “It’s this magical, realist story about a fighter pilot getting shot down over the [English] Channel, but then the angels miss him in the chaos of war. So he has to go to heaven to make a case that he should be allowed to keep living. It’s so imaginative and fun.”
Starring the legendary David Niven, Richard Attenborough, and Kim Hunter, the film actually came out in 1946 and is more commonly known as Stairway to Heaven. Whilst this niche title might be surprising, particularly because of how old it is, it is the next movie that really says a lot about the sentimental nature of Daniel Radcliffe.
This is 2001’s Get Over It, starring Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Colin Hanks and Martin Short. A Y2K staple, it tells the story of a high school student struggling to get over his popular girlfriend breaking up with him and how he accidentally falls in love with one of his co-stars in the school play.
“In terms of films I have rewatched the most, it’s probably the Ben Foster-led teen movie Get Over It,” Radcliffe said. “It was one of the first films my girlfriend and I bonded over. It’s an incredible cast. Ben Foster, Kirsten Dunst, Mila Kunis, Colin Hanks, like, so many people are in that. Martin Short is unbelievable in it. Great movie.”
Watch the trailers for both films below.