Movie Article

Mr. Wizard

The 16-year-old Daniel Radcliffe, hitting the screen again as Harry Potter in ''Goblet of Fire,'' talks about the franchise and why he's ''crap with girls''

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Image credit: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Murray Close
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For someone technically in the warp of adolescence, there's little about Daniel Radcliffe that can be called awkward. At 16, moviedom's Harry Potter is confident and curious, full of opinions but not at all full of himself. ''He feels he owns the part, but he doesn't feel he's finished learning,'' says Mike Newell, director of the upcoming Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. ''I'm very glad the gild hasn't come off his gingerbread yet.''

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Four films down. Looking back, how would you describe your growth?
DANIEL RADCLIFFE The first film, there was a lot of energy, but the energy wasn't being focused. That's what I'm gaining: focus. Also, on the first three films, I didn't offer any suggestions. I didn't feel I had the right. Now I'm finding it's better to say something than not say anything. Of course, then they say, ''Oh, Dan! Shuffle along.'' But in general, I'm more self-assured about Harry being my character.

In Goblet, you tangle with dragons, mermaids, a sinister hedge maze. What was most challenging?
The underwater sequence. I trained six months for it. There was talk of someone else doing it and superimposing my face on it. That would have looked like rubbish. I'm glad I did it — despite the two ear infections.

Does playing Harry ever get boring?
Definitely not. I might as well be playing a different person each film, because he changes so much. Like here, he's going through all that puberty crap.

''Puberty crap''?
You know: the first crush. Of course, when it's your first crush, it's not just a crush — you looove her.

Can you relate?
Every guy can relate, at least once. In my case, more than once. I'm crap with girls. Guys my age, they think they're suave, but they're rubbish and they know it.

You're quite the little Hitch-in-training, Dan.
I don't see myself going in that direction.

But you are a budding music aficionado — who are you listening to these days?
The Libertines. Franz Ferdinand. I respect Green Day, but my problem with American punk is that it all sounds like Good Charlotte. But I like that ''American Idiot'' song. ''Now everybody do the propaganda''? Genius!

Last we spoke, you were playing bass and mulling a rock career yourself.
Not so much anymore. The future of music doesn't rest on me. If I formed a band, I don't think anyone would say, ''Wow! What was he doing acting?!''

Originally posted Oct 28, 2005