Celebrities nowadays are either carefully constructed beings complete with a bevy of hard-working PRs and an excellent Instagram strategy, or they’re all out there normal humans in the vein of Jennifer Lawrence. People you could grab a beer with and not feel bad about saying you don’t actually like beer.
When a famous person is relatable, they genuinely affect people. Look at Chrissy Teigen. The model recently opened up about her fertility struggles on a talk show, speaking about how prying questions can hurt a couple. When she announced her pregnancy after years of disappointing news, it felt like we were all involved in her journey to happiness.
Daniel Radcliffe’s career is a strange one. We watch him grow up as Harry Potter. He lived out his transition from awkward teenager to a talented young man on multiplex screens. Because of this, people treat him with a sense of ownership, as if they know him. He’s generous in interviews, and anyone who has ever encountered him has nothing but nice things to say. Which is why his honesty about his relationship with alcohol is so important.
The 26-year-old is interviewed in Playboy this month and talks about how the era of the camera phone pushed him towards drinking heavily. The young actor had spoken before about how he showed up to the set of one movie drunk and punctuated his late teens with heavy nights out.
“Anytime I’d go out to dance, camera phones would come out,” Radcliffe says in Playboy. “That would make me very self-conscious, and what’s the easiest way to escape being self-conscious? Alcohol is a quick way of doing that. So it was related in that way.”
Constant media surveillance, either by a news organization or citizens, must be awful to contend with. Radcliffe says in the interview that he is not a fan of the whole camera phone phenomenon:
“A few years ago there was a TV ad that showed a lot of inventors, including a guy who invented the camera phone. He was smiling smugly into the camera, and I was just like, Fuck you. What have you wrought?”
“It becomes painful to watch your personal issues that you’ve tried to be sincere about get turned into fodder for TV gossip shows,” he said. However, there is a danger with opening up about these kind of demons; words get taken out of context, and the message is manipulated. “I was forthright about it,” the Victor Frankenstein actor says. “But once you start talking about this, that’s all you talk about. I can say lots of well-meaning stuff — why it happened and how I stopped — for three hours, and the headline would be ‘Drunk on the set of ‘Harry Potter.’ So I don’t talk about it as much now.”
Well, we think Daniel Radcliffe is doing society a great service for talking about alcohol and its effects in such a down-to-earth, honest manner. Everyone goes through a rough patch in their early twenties, and in having such an approachable celebrity open up about theirs, other people can feel comfortable about addressing their problems.