Daniel Radcliffe’s Clever Trick for Evading Paparazzi
Being hounded by paparazzi dedicated to snapping a photo of every inane part of celebrity life is a given when you’re famous. But that doesn’t mean that most celebrities enjoy it. Some decide to avoid basically any public space, only fly in private jets, and hide behind hats, hoodies, and sunglasses. Dustin Hoffman, notably, likes to hide behind trees, while Taylor Swift occasionally walks backwards or sideways so that photographers can’t get an image of her face.
But the most effortless way to stymie the paparazzi, Daniel Radcliffe found during his 2007 performance in Equus, was to make sure photos of him were as boring as possible. The paparazzi waiting for him outside the theater after the play could never get a usable shot, because he was always in the same outfit.
"I would wear the same jacket and zip it up so they couldn't see what I was wearing underneath, and the same hat," he told Jay Leno in an interview on The Tonight Show. As a result, every photo looked like it had been taken on the same day, and the photographers couldn't sell them. "They became un-publishable, which was hilarious because there’s nothing better than seeing the paparazzi get really frustrated," he told Leno. He kept up the habit for the entire run of the play.
It seems like a lot less work than Leonardo DiCaprio's plan to walk around town in a mask—because people definitely still paid to see Leonardo DiCaprio eating pizza in a mask. Some famous figures also foil paparazzi by preempting the sale of photos to a magazine, posting images themselves so that the publication won’t buy them (as Anne Hathaway has been known to do).
Though celebrities have pushed for laws preventing the sale of unauthorized photos of their children, it’s still a common occurrence. The UK’s royal family has taken the opposite of Radcliffe’s approach, dressing Prince George so differently between public and private appearances that he might not be recognized. All those dapper event outfits disguise what he looks like when he’s dressed like a normal toddler. It doesn't totally work, but it might at least give him a few seconds of anonymity.