Daniel Radcliffe took a break from his successful turn in Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and the press tour for the final “Harry Potter” film to accept the Trevor Project’s Hero Award at Monday night’s Trevor LIVE gala in New York.
“The fact that I’m able to help with something like this makes me very, very proud,” Radcliffe told MTV News at the event. “It’s a huge honor, and it’s lovely of them to give it to me. I’ll say it again later, but the real heroes are the people who are staffing those call centers and picking up the phones saving lives every single day.”
The Trevor Project Hero Award recognizes individuals who serve as an inspiration to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Previous recipients of the prize include Nathan Lane, Vanessa Williams and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”).
Founded by the filmmakers of the Oscar-winning 1994 short film “Trevor,” the Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that offers support to sexual minority youth. The group’s 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, available at (866) 4-U-TREVOR (488-7386), offers those experiencing emotional difficulty dealing with their sexuality someone to talk to and endeavors to foster safe and inclusive environments in homes and schools.
“It’s incredibly important because all over the country there are many young people who are going through incredibly difficult times coming out or accepting who they are or coming to terms with who they are,” Radcliffe said of the Trevor Project. “And it’s wonderful that compassionate, brave people work at the Trevor Project and are ready to take calls 24 hours a day to help those people.”
Radcliffe has been involved with the Trevor Project since 2009, appearing in public service announcements for the group’s prevention hotline and speaking out in support of LGBT youth. Radcliffe has called his work with the Trevor Project “one of the most important, if not the most important, thing that I’m associated with.”
Last year, the actor told MTV News that supporting gay rights is “something I’ve always been quite passionate about … and now I am in a position where I can help an amazing thing like the Trevor Project.”
Asked about the recent passage of marriage-equality legislation in New York , Radcliffe said, “The more widespread equality is the more young people growing up [who can] look to an older generation and see gay men getting married and having families, the more it just looks like a normal part of life.
“The more it becomes something run-of-the mill and ordinary, in a way, the better,” Radcliffe added. “Because then there’s no reason they should grow up feeling that they’re in any way different or that their difference should separate them from their peers.”
The politically aware actor is currently promoting “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” the eighth and final “Potter” film. To honor the end of the historic film franchise, visit the MTV Movies Blog to participate in the “Harry Potter” World Cup and vote for your favorite character from the films.