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Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Jacob Radcliffe (born 23 July 1989) is an English film and stage actor who rose to prominence playing the title character in the Harry Potter film series.

Radcliffe made his acting debut at age ten in BBC One's 1999 television movie David Copperfield, followed by his film debut in 2001's The Tailor of Panama. At age eleven he was cast as the title character in the first Harry Potter film, and he starred in the series for ten years until the release of the eighth and final film in July 2011. He also began to branch out to stage acting in 2007, starring in the London and New York productions of the play Equus and in the 2011 Broadway revival of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In addition, he starred in 2007's December Boys and the 2012 horror film The Woman in Black, the latter of which was his first film project following the conclusion of the Harry Potter film series.

Radcliffe has contributed to many charities, including Demelza House Children's Hospice and The Trevor Project. He has also made public service announcements for the latter. In 2011, he was awarded the Trevor Project's "Hero Award".[1]

Although Daniel had a Jewish and a Christian parent he says, "I wasn’t really brought up in kind of any religious context at all."

Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Radcliffe: Bet you’re surprised to see me! because it would be… because I’m not, as I said, religious…

Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton

Radcliffe was born to a Northern Irish Protestant father and a Jewish mother, both of whom were initially adamant against their son entering the entertainment industry due to their religious piety. At around 12 years old, Radcliffe became decidedly less religious. I realized I can’t believe more out of fear than anything else, he said. Ultimately, his folks backed him in his ambitions. [2]

In an interview with Esquire magazine, Radcliffe risked the US box office prospects of the new Harry Potter film by declaring himself to be an atheist.

In a pronouncement that will dismay America's religious Right, which has long voiced suspicions about Potter's "anti-Christian" message, the 19-year-old actor said he did not believe in God.

He also expressed his admiration for Professor Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and bete noir of Evangelical Christians. Radcliffe has been reticent on the subject of religion in the past, but in an interview to promote the latest instalment in the film franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, released on July 15, he said: "I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it. I don't preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch."

He joked: "There we go, Dan, that's half of America that's not going to see the next Harry Potter film on the back of that comment."

interview with Esquire July 2009[3]

Your dad is a Protestant from Ulster and your mom is English and Jewish. Were you raised in a particular religion?

There was never [religious] faith in the house. I think of myself as being Jewish and Irish, despite the fact that I’m English.

My dad believes in God, I think. I’m not sure if my mom does. I don’t. I have a problem with religion or anything that says, “We have all the answers,” because there’s no such thing as “the answers.” We’re complex. We change our minds on issues all the time. Religion leaves no room for human complexity.


Parade Magazine JANUARY 07, 2012 [4]

In an interview with attitude magazine Daniel Radcliffe talked about being a militant atheist. “I’m not religious, I’m an atheist, and a militant atheist when religion starts impacting on legislation. We need sex education in schools. Schools have to talk to kids from a young age about relationships, gay and straight. In Britain it’s better – more of a conversation is being had.” [5]

Radcliff also told attitude magazine that he is a liberal on the very left wing side of the scale. He was disappointed with the Liberal Democrat he backed in the last UK election because he would like more left wing values. He said: “I will probably be going to Labour. From what I’ve seen of Ed Miliband I really like him and he speaks for what I believe in. I think he’s genuine, genuinely left wing and will act as such if he gets in.”

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