8 Daniel Radcliffe Facts All Harry Potter Fans Should Know

Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images / Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

The great thing about the Harry Potter series is that it's such a rich world packed into seven easy-to-read books. Fans can jump into it quickly, and learn everything there is to know about the Wizarding World. And they have.

It's hard to find a Potterhead who doesn't already know every fact in existence about the Boy Who Lived. What is much harder to have is an encyclopedic knowledge about Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played him. They know Radcliffe is a fantastic actor, but some people don't know that he enjoys poking fun at himself ... or that he's regularly mistaken for Elijah Wood. Here are a few things every Harry Potter fan should know about the award-winning actor, who was born on July 23, 1989.

1. Daniel Radcliffe isn't afraid to poke fun at himself.

No former child star is as self-aware as Daniel Radcliffe. In a 2007 appearance on the Ricky Gervais comedy series Extras, a then-17-year-old Radcliffe played himself as an arrogant, oversexed teen who's still terrified of his parents. Even the fake movie he's filming in the episode is an obvious Harry Potter parody.

2. Daniel Radcliffe was a noted prankster on the harry potter set.

At the age of 10, Radcliffe was a mischievous little kid, and being cast as Harry Potter didn't change that at all. If anything, it probably encouraged it. He once took Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane's cell phone and changed the settings so that all his messages displayed in Turkish. (Radcliffe, proving that his pranks were always good-natured, later apologized for it.)

3. Daniel Radcliffe met the producer of Harry Potter at a play.

Producer David Heyman happened to be attending a play at the same time as Radcliffe and his father, Alan. Since Radcliffe's father is a literary agent, he and Heyman knew each other. Alan introduced his son to Heyman, who was just starting to think about casting, and couldn't take his eyes of Daniel, thinking he would make a perfect Harry Potter. Daniel auditioned a short time later and got the role. The rest, of course, is history.

4. Daniel Radcliffe didn't see the first movie he was ever in until years later.

In 2001, Radcliffe had a small role in the spy thriller, The Tailor of Panama. Because it was rated R, the then-11-year-old actor didn't get to see the film when it came out, and never really thought to go back and give it a watch. But in early 2019, Radcliffe was shown clips from his first feature film credit ... and was pretty impressed. "Oh my god! Put that kid in a franchise!," was Radcliffe's initial (and joking) reaction to the clip.

5. Daniel Radcliffe wasn't an immediate fan of harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone.

Radcliffe tried to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when he was eight years old, but it didn't instantly captivate him the way it did millions of other young readers. He put it down and didn't finish.

"I kind of got into it later," Radcliffe said. "And then when I got the part what was interesting … was that I was reading the fourth book when we started making the first movie and I remember being in my hotel room in Newcastle when we were about to go out and shoot the first scenes on the platform at 9 and 3/4 and everything. And I remember being in my room reading passages of the book and getting really excited and pretending to be Harry in character in the books, jumping around my room acting out bits of what I would then be acting out for real like six years later."

6. There's a reason Harry potter's eyes weren't green in the movies.

Warner Bros.

So that Radcliffe could look as much as the green-eyed Boy Wizard described in the books, the original plan was for Radcliffe to wear contact lenses. However, he had a terrible allergic reaction and the idea was scrapped. They were prepared to go through the expensive process of digitally altering his eyes in post-production, but J.K. Rowling said the color wasn't essential as long as he had "his mother's eyes."

7. Daniel Radcliffe has regularly been confused with another early 2000s fantasy star.

On more than one occasion, Radcliffe has been confused for Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. One time, someone handed him a photo of Wood to sign. He wrote, "I am not Elijah Wood, love, Daniel Radcliffe."

8. The director of the first two Harry Potter movies wanted Radcliffe to star from the very start.

Even before David Heyman happened to see Radcliffe's father at a play, Chris Columbus had Daniel Radcliffe in mind for the role of Harry Potter. When asked what kind of actor he wanted to play Harry, Columbus pointed to Radcliffe's performance in David Copperfield. At the time, they thought they wouldn't be able to cast him as his parents wanted him to focus on school.