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Confessions of a Comic-Con Virgin

Daniel Radcliffe recounts his adventures from his first-ever visit to the convention

Image credit: Courtesy of Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe with fans at Comic-Con 2014

''There are two facts that tend to amaze people,'' says Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. ''That during my whole life I've only spent four weeks total in L.A. and that I've never been to Comic-Con.'' Thanks to the fantasy thriller Horns (out Oct. 31), in which he plays a young man who sprouts devilish protuberances from his head, the actor made his first appearance at the San Diego fanfest on July 25. A few moments after leaving his inaugural Hall H panel, the 25-year-old shared some of the highlights of his trip.

VISA NOT ACCEPTED HERE
I was supposed to arrive two days earlier [from Toronto]. But what happened is that there's a computer system in Washington, D.C., that authorizes the physical printings of visas onto passports that was shut down for 48 hours. But there's a special circumstance that the U.S. government can grant a parole—and yes, that's what it's called, and yes, it does make me feel a bit like a felon—for extenuating circumstances. It felt like some sort of road movie: We have to get to Comic-Con! We finally arrived around 11 p.m. Thursday night.

FIRTH AND JACKSON AND TATUM—OH MY!
I did a bunch of interviews during the morning on Friday, going from room to room and hotel to hotel. I did run into people along the way—I saw Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson and Channing Tatum. It's always cool. I was able to congratulate Channing because I had just seen 22 Jump Street and loved him in it. It's nice to be able to meet people when you are truly fans of theirs.

SUITING UP FOR THE FLOOR SHOW
I didn't want to go to Comic-Con without actually getting onto the convention floor. I'd prepared by buying a Spider-Man costume a few weeks ago. And what I've learned is that kids just love Spider-Man. A lot of people asked for photos with me as Spider-Man. It's great to be able to put on a mask and interact with people who don't know who I really am—I spoke in an American accent the whole time. I felt like a spy about to be found out at any moment.

WHO HE GEEKS OUT FOR
Anything to do with The Simpsons. They were such a big part of my childhood—every day I came home from the Harry Potter set I'd watch it. Also, this sounds ironic, but I'd really nerd out if I met the cast of Sharknado 2. I'm not joking: I have a particular love for that kind of movie. I did get to take a photo in my Spider-Man outfit with a [Sharknado 2] poster with a face cutout. And actually? Spider-Man in Sharknado 2 looks really good. So I'm thinking maybe that's where they should go with it.

PROVING HIS NERD CRED
I did a live interview with MTV and was tested on my nerd knowledge, and I failed the whole thing miserably. [Josh Horowitz] asked me to complete this phrase: ''A Lannister always…'' and I said, ''keeps his hat on.'' I don't watch Game of Thrones! I was a huge comic-book fan growing up—Spider-Man, Daredevil, and The Flash. But I really must catch up on TV.

HALL PASS
What's really wonderful about Comic-Con is just how enthusiastic the crowd is. There's an atmosphere where you can just be a big fan unabashedly and without apology. I thought I'd be more nervous going into the Hall H panel, but I was with [Horns director] Alexandre Aja and [book author] Joe Hill and they talk so well. Our moderator mentioned that it was my birthday a couple days earlier, and I said I'd always wondered what 6,500 people singing ''Happy Birthday'' would sound like. And then they all sang. It was great. My life is made up of weird and amazing moments I'll never forget, and that's definitely been added.

Originally posted Jul 31, 2014 Published in issue #1323 Aug 01, 2014 Order article reprints
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