RSS
Daniel Radcliffe’s drinking problem confession: Commendable?
The young star surprises fans by admitting that he struggled with booze on the set of Harry Potter
Beloved child wizard Daniel Radcliffe said he relied on alcohol to enjoy his young life, but has been sober since August 2010.
Beloved child wizard Daniel Radcliffe said he relied on alcohol to enjoy his young life, but has been sober since August 2010.
Walter McBride/Corbis
T

he hero of Harry Potter has a confession. In an interview with the U.K.'s GQ, Daniel Radcliffe admitted to having previously suffered from an alcohol problem. "I became reliant on [alcohol] to enjoy stuff," he said. The 21-year-old said he started drinking whiskey on the set of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2007, but realized it was a problem and hasn't had a drink since August 2010. "As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time, that doesn’t work for me," he said. Should we commend this former child star for his candor?

Radcliffe deserves our respect: The young actor is lucky that he "became aware that he was headed down a dangerous path," says Kate Ward at PopWatch. The fact that he's willing to admit he had a problem is "respectable." Maybe other young stars can take a cue from Radcliffe when they find themselves struggling with substance abuse. "As he proves, not every young star with problems needs to turn out like Lindsay Lohan."
"Daniel Radcliffe reveals problem with alcohol"

It's amazing he was able to hide this for so long: It's no surprise "that a very young person thrust into worldwide fame should find himself overindulging in the spoils of success," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. But it is surprising how well Radcliffe hid his problem. "Fueled by the 24-hour scandal cycle of tabloid news, the past few years have been a seemingly endless parade of youth in revolt." But the stars of Harry Potter "represent one of the least dysfunctional young ensembles ever assembled," and if this is the darkest thing they have to hide, so be it. 
"Daniel Radcliffe: Young and sober"

This smells like a publicity stunt: Everyone in Hollywood does drugs or has a substance abuse problem, says Andy Greenwald at Grantland.com. But no one in Hollywood actually admits to it, which is why Radcliffe's confession is "more than a little suspect." He is desperate to be taken seriously as an adult actor, and "has been known to resort to all manner of stunts" to accomplish that goal. (Remember, he did appear completely naked on stage in Equus on Broadway.) Is it hard to believe that his so-called drinking problem might be an attempt to garner some attention? 
"Daniel Radcliffe and the half-promotional drinking problem"

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week