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Daniel Radcliffe opens up on his alcohol use: 'It was not making me as happy as I wanted it to'

June 16, 2014
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Daniel Radcliffe has been tee-total since 2010. The Harry Potter star has made no secret of his troubled relationship with alcohol in the past, and now he has spoken about how he turned to drink to cope with the pressures of worldwide fame. "I would have benefited from not drinking as it was not making me as happy as I wanted to," the 24-year-old admitted in a new interview with Sky Arts, set to air later this year.

Daniel said that he turned to alcohol as he tried to cope with life after being propelled into the spotlight at the tender age of 11. "It is not a real pressure, but it is a pressure of living with the thought, 'Oh, what is all these people are saying I am not going to have a career? What if they are all going to be right and will be laughing and I will be consigned to a bunch of 'Where are they now?' lists?'" Of course, since Harry Potter, Daniel has gone on to carve out an impressive career both on screen and on the stage. He said that while he credits the hit franchise with the opportunities presented to him, he is glad to have left the boy wizard behind him.

"People don't shout Harry Potter at me now, they tend to know my name, which is lovely," he said. "But I will always credit the opportunities I get to Harry Potter. I would not be a happy person if I was bitter about those ten years of my life." Daniel, who made his red carpet debut with girlfriend Erin Darke at the 2014 Tony Awards last week, has previously spoken about his dependence on alcohol, and admitted to frequently "blacking out".

Speaking to ShortList magazine two years ago, he said, "Seriously, in the last three years of drinking I blacked out nearly every time. Blacking out was my thing."

The drinking was unhealthy and damaging to my body and my social life. That's beyond question. "I was living in constant fear of who I'd meet, what I might have said to them, what I might have done with them, so I'd stay in my apartment for days and drink alone."

"I was a recluse at 20. It was pathetic – it wasn't me. I’m a fun, polite person and it turned me into a rude bore. For a long time people were saying to me, 'We think you have a problem,' but in the end I had to come to the realisation myself."

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