Daniel Radcliffe: Actor We’re Most Thankful For In 2011

'Harry Potter' star refers to 2011 as 'not a breakout year, a breakaway year.'

After our nods to rising stars Elizabeth Olsen , Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston , MTV Movies’ Thankful Week continues with — drum roll, please — the actor we’re most thankful for in 2011: Daniel Radcliffe.

Really, what’s not to like about this talented young man? He’s dazzled audiences for more than a decade as “the boy who lived” in eight “Harry Potter” films and has most recently been the talk of the Great White Way with his critically acclaimed work in the musical “How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.” We feel pretty confident in saying that the future looks bright for this guy.

MTV News recently caught up with Radcliffe to get a sense of how he’s feeling post-Potter and where he wants to be in 10 years.

MTV: This is your first full year working outside “Harry Potter.” How has it been?

Daniel Radcliffe: It’s been a great first year away from “Potter.” It’s been very successful. I’ve done some work I’m really proud of in that time, particularly onstage in “How to Succeed.” Just the process of doing it and doing it and doing it, I’ve got so much better, I think, during the run, as is the way it should be. It’s been a great year, but I think next year is the big one for me. “The Woman in Black” is coming out, and I’ve also got a couple other things I’ll be doing. The next two or three years are going to be pretty important, I think, and if [2011] is not a breakout year, it’s a breakaway year.

MTV : What was the highlight for you this year?

Radcliffe: [Performing at] the Tony Awards, definitely. We were the first show to perform, and there is just that weird moment when you’re all standing there. I haven’t been that nervous in a long time. I don’t think I was as nervous on our opening night as I was at the Tonys. I was really, really nervous. Suddenly that huge LED screen goes up, and you’re all revealed like prizes on a game show, and Al Pacino is in the front row, sitting next to Bobby Cannavale, sitting next to Mark Rylance, all these brilliant actors, and you have to do your number. That’s probably a surreal, weird triumphant moment of that year, performing on the Tonys. That’s pretty cool. That’s something I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I did.

MTV : What have you learned about yourself and your work abilities?

Radcliffe: I think the most vital thing I’ve learned — and this is a thing I have to adapt and be able to find throughout my career, be it onstage or film in comedy or drama — is that the more I try and suppress my own natural oddness, the less successful I am. I have a slightly staccato way of moving and talking … the realization hit me that I’m working so hard to try and be something else, and actually, I just have to learn to be my most natural self onstage or onscreen, however that comes across. That is one of the biggest lessons there is: Don’t shy away from your own weirdness. Own your oddness.

MTV : Would you consider taking a role in a movie musical?

Radcliffe: Yeah, definitely. My hesitation about doing this one ["How to Succeed"] is that I’ve played parts for a long time, and I’ll have spent a long time with this, and I want my career to be about getting as many different characters under my belt as I possibly can. But yeah, I would love to, provided it was the right one, because they can go wrong. They can go spectacularly wrong, so we’ll see.

MTV : Looking back at “Potter” and going through the huge promotional push surrounding the final film, was any of that surprising in any way even though you’d been through it so many times before?

Radcliffe: It’s always what it is. I have a slight tendency when you’re doing these insane press days where you do a few interviews then the red carpet and it’s just mad, I have a slight tendency to shut down and go on autopilot just to get through it and not feel completely weirded out by the whole thing. What was strange to me was, in a way I felt slightly bad because I wasn’t getting upset like everyone else was. I’ve seen Rupert Grint cry once, on the last day of filming, when I was also in bits, but I’ve never seen Rupert get emotional like he did at the premiere … I cannot go on enough about how much I loved my time on “Potter.” It was the most amazing, happy time, but all good things must come to an end. We couldn’t have gone on forever. As much as people wanted us to, it would have been terrible. I’m glad to have done it and gone out on such a high note and now be moving on as we all are.

MTV : Do you hope you’ll continue to have a relationship with J.K. Rowling?

Radcliffe: I hope so, yeah, I really hope so. For somebody that was indirectly and directly such a huge influence on my life, I really hope so. I don’t know if she’s going to write anything else about Harry, but maybe I could direct something in years to come or something; we know each other.

MTV : Looking ahead 10 years, what do you hope to be doing, best and worst case scenario?

Radcliffe: My worst nightmare is that in 10 years, I will be not working and not doing anything. Even if in five years time I decide to leave the film industry and go off and become an archaeologist, even if I’m doing that, that’s great, fine. Best-case scenario is that in 10 years time, I’ll have got a good few films under my belt, I don’t know how many that would be … suppose we did eight “Potter” movies in 10 [years]; double that, maybe 16? Who knows. Hopefully I’ll do a few films with very different parts, very different directors, and ideally, I would have liked to direct something by then; that’s the ambition. I do feel having spent so much time on a film set, I would have a very good idea of how to run a film set, how to lead that set and, I don’t know, I love telling stories, so I would like that as a job.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”

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