Today Daniel Radcliffe turns 23, ten years younger than the current age of the character he played for ten years.
For ten years, Dan put a face to the character of Harry Potter. Out of thousands of boys, he was the Chosen One, so to speak. So, how did this blue-eyed Brit become the face of Harry Potter? An article in a 2002 magazine, Movie Magic (a special edition of Life Story magazine) covered the making of Harry Potter.
In explaining how he was cast, Radcliffe himself explains, "I went to go see a play with my mom and dad called Stones in the Pockets. In the row in front of us were David Heyman and Steve Kloves, the producer and writer of the films. David introduced himself to us during the break. He was a really nice guy and my dad knew him from work. I was only introduced to them as a producer and a writer; I didn't know they did Harry Potter. Then we got a call askng if we would meet with David, and I went. Now, I never thought of me as being Harry, although when a friend of mine told me they were holding auditions, I was dead keen. Later, we got a call asking me to go on another audition and it just went from there. I had to go on three auditions and two or three screentests."
Of course, there's a reason Dan was chosen. And not just because, with glasses and scar, he's nearly a twin for the Boy Who Lived.
As to why he was so insistent that Radcliffe be cast as Harry, director Chris Columbus offers, "Dan is a 12-year-old with a 35-year-old heart. There is so much depth; so much going on behind his eyes and you realize: 'This is a kid who has lived a life. This is a kid who can appear haunted and troubled by his past. Yet he's charming.' That kind of maturity is hard to find in a 12-year-old."
Radcliffe remembers getting the news that he passed the audition as if it were yesterday. "I remember thinking, 'There are a million boys auditioning and I know I won't get it,'" he recalls. "I was in the bath at the time and my dad picked up the phone. I hear him say, 'Hello, David.' David Heyman was the only David that we knew at the time, so I was pretty sure it was him. My dad came upstairs and I thought that it was going to be a letdown call to say that I didn't get the part. But he came upstairs and told me, and I just sat there for a while to klet it sink in. It still hasn't! I just started to cry, because I was just so happy. There's no words for it, really. I just sat there, wiped out for a while. Then I woke up at 2 a.m. and woke my mum and dad up andasked them, 'Is it real? Am I dreaming?' I was so excited."
That day was the day that Dan became Harry. Dan put a face and a voice to a character loved around the world. For ten years, he put on the glasses, and became the Chosen One. Just an ordinary day in the not-so-ordinary life of the boy who became Harry. Happy birthday Dan.