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How Daniel Radcliffe became Hollywood's nicest guy

Daniel Radcliffe is set to rejoin his Harry Potter castmates in Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts

There are a few stars out there who exude so much warmth and friendliness to everyone that they meet, that their reputation for being decent human beings is almost legendary. 

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Graham Norton once recalled that Tom Cruise will remember every single person's name on production. Lady Gaga made time for everyone who stood waiting for her at the A Star is Born premiere. Tom Hanks wandered up to newly married couples taking photos to offer his congratulations, much to their delight.

The list of friendly famous faces goes on, but there is no one who has quite made their name as being a genuinely lovely person quite like Daniel Radcliffe.

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WATCH: The Harry Potter anniversary special is finally here

The star of Harry Potter, who went on to find success with arthouse films and blockbusters alike, with Swiss Army Men, Victor Frankenstein and the upcoming film Lost City making up just some of his impressive filmography, is an advocate for plenty of charities, and has passionately spoken of his support for the LGBTQ community. Not to mention that he has fully embraced his Harry Potter days, and is well known for having a lot of time for the franchise fandom. 

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So what separates Daniel from his peers? Perhaps it is the knowledge that he has kept up with the respect and admiration from his fans for as long as he has. Debuting on our screens aged ten in the BBC adaptation of David Copperfield, the actor received worldwide fame shortly afterwards by landing the coveted role as the boy wizard Harry Potter, a role that would span a decade with eight films in total.

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Daniel played Harry Potter for a decade

Daniel opened up about how his approach to meeting new people during his Desert Island Discs episode back in 2020, explaining that he hates if people assume he is a "horrible human being" due to finding fame as a child actor.

"The thing I always remember my dad saying… I remember I was going to meet the cabinet secretary and my dad gave me this piece of advice… but he said, 'Whenever you meet somebody, always get your hand out first and shake their hand,' and that really is ingrained in me," he explained at the time. 

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Daniel has a huge fan base

"I know it sounds simple but the thing that I hate is if people assume that because you got famous young, you're going to be a horrible human being so I feel like I have a need to establish, at all times, that I'm not perfect, but I'm not terrible!

"Sometimes I introduce myself to people and they say, 'Oh I know who you are!' or they make a joke that I introduced myself, but I'm always like, 'But I would hate to be the sort of person that assumes you know my name, you might not!' There are, believe it or not, people who have never seen a Harry Potter film so I don't want to assume that you know that!"

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Daniel even struggles with playing bad characters, and previously opened up about his discomfort in playing a racist character in the 2016 film Imperium, admitting that he would apologise to his cast mates for the script's offensive language.

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Daniel played a skinhead in the 2016 film Imperium

He told The Daily Show: "Whenever I was using racial slurs and stuff in the film I would have to go up to the actors afterwards and be like, ‘I’m so sorry’. I know you know that I don’t mean this, but I still feel like I have to say it’. We were the most apologetic bunch of skinheads."

The star has been widely praised by his fellow cast members, with one speaking very highly of him in our HELLO! Kindness List in 2020. Daniel's Miracle Workers co-star Karan Soni told us: "Daniel Radcliffe is everything you want him to be. Like many others, I grew up watching him and found myself quite starstruck when we first met.

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Karan co-starred with Daniel on Miracle Workers

"Dan instantly relaxed me with his kindness. He's aware of how much he means to so many people and takes it upon himself to operate in the world with grace and humility. His passion for acting hasn't dimmed after all these years of doing it. His work ethic is infectious and it is only surpassed by his capacity to care for others."

This affection for the actor appears to be present throughout his career. As a teen, Daniel's work ethic impressed his older co-stars, although Robbie Coltraine once joked that he recalled that Daniel felt so bad after pranking him by changing his phone settings to Turkish that he penned him a letter apologising.

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Will you be watching the Harry Potter anniversary?

Robbie told The Daily Mail: "Nobody could work out how to change it back into English and it became a bit of a problem. Eventually we found a girl in the Harry Potter make-up department who was Turkish Cypriot... I think Daniel was so upset at what had happened that he wrote me that note, 'Dear Mr. Coltrane, I’m sorry I changed your mobile telephone into Turkish.'"

The praise continued into Daniel's later acting career, with Ted Lasso star Juno Temple giving him a glowing review to Collider for their 2013 film, Horns. She said: "I think it’s going to be really great for people to see Daniel Radcliffe in it. Everything for him is about to just blow up. He’s about to take over. He’s such a great person, and I’m really excited for people to see him in Horns."

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Daniel and Juno in Horns

His Harry Potter co-star, Gary Oldman, similarly sang his praises on The South Bank Show. He said: "You could learn from Daniel Radcliffe. I don't know many 17-year-olds who would have done Equus for a start. That's risky. And now he's popped up in a musical and he's out there learning to sing, learning to dance, all those things he didn't do in drama school because he didn't have a formal education.

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"He knows that when he leaves Potter, he is going up with people who have that training and he is not resting on his laurels. He doesn't think, 'The world owes me a job because I was Harry Potter' and I think that is an incredible attitude to take. You could learn from young Mr Radcliffe." 

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Gary Oldman starred in the Harry Potter franchise as Sirius Black

Of course being an LGBTQ supporter is something Dan is now well known for. In 2010, he said: "I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals. Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it." However, his passionate stance on the community came into its own in 2020 after he admitted that he felt "compelled" to disagree with JK Rowling's controversial essay expressing her views on sex and gender, which received a massive backlash, with many calling the piece transphobic. 

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Daniel was given the Hero Award at The Trevor Project

He wrote via The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, from which Daniel previously received the Hero Award. In his open letter, he explained: "While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honoured to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.

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"Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."

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Daniel was honoured with a The Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2015

We will always have a nostalgic affection for the legend who shaped our childhoods so much, but Daniel's approach to his life and career make being a fan of the franchise all the more enjoyable – as does his appreciation for his success! As he said in 2020: "I have been insanely lucky. And I think I probably have a vague sense of guilt about having something so amazing happen so young." Respectfully, we might have to disagree with Dan. Sure luck is important, but we think he has earned every moment of his success. 

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