Daniel Radcliffe is the face of the Harry Potter franchise, having played the titular character in eight movies over the course of a decade. Despite being in a number of movies and TV shows since Harry Potter ended in 2011, Radcliffe continues to be associated with the franchise. But what did the actor do before he was cast as the "Boy Who Lived"?
The actor was cast as Harry Potter in the summer of 2000. From then on, his life would forever change. He, along with co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, went from unfamiliar faces to household names in a matter of a few years. The character of Harry Potter was obviously at the focus of the movie franchise, so Radcliffe spent a decade dedicated to playing the powerful wizard. The role launched his career in acting, but it wasn't actually his first gig in the industry.
Radcliffe has stated that he wanted to be an actor from a very young age. He received his first on-screen role in BBC One's David Copperfield. The two-part television adaptation was based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Radcliffe was 10 years old when he played the young version of Copperfield.
His feature film debut came a year late in 2001, a few short months before the premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The Tailor of Panama was a spy thriller from director John Boorman, based on the novel of the same name by author John le Carré. Radcliffe starred alongside Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brendan Gleeson, and Catherine McCormack.
Radcliffe's short resume helped him land his audition for Harry Potter. When Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter movies, saw Radcliffe's work in David Copperfield, he instantly thought the boy would make the perfect Harry Potter. Author J.K. Rowling fully supported the casting decision, as she wanted someone relatively unknown for the character she created. In the beginning, Radcliffe turned down the casting offer at the persuasion of his parents who didn't like the idea of a six-movie contract. He was then offered a two-movie deal, but that was later extended after the Harry Potter popularity skyrocketed.
The actor's first role after Harry Potter ended was the supernatural horror movie, The Woman in Black. It was clear he wanted to reinvent himself after spending the majority of his career in one role. Radcliffe bounced around between film, TV, and theatre and continues to find fitting roles. He currently stars in the TBS series Miracle Workers and is set to appear in the upcoming interactive episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Radcliffe also has a number of movies coming out including Guns Akimbo, Playmobil: The Movie, and Escape from Pretoria.