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What Daniel Radcliffe Was Really Eating During Harry Potter's Gillyweed Scenes

There's plenty of delicious and delectable magical food in the world of Harry Potter, but one of its delicacies doesn't sound particularly appealing.

During the fourth book and film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is faced with an unexpected challenge when he is chosen as the rule-breaking fourth champion for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the international, multi-school Triwizard Tournament. Faced with everything from dragons to merpeople to magical mazes, Harry must fight to survive, and in the second task, that seems like a pretty daunting prospect.

Told that what he values most — which turns out to be his best friend, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) — will be taken to the depths of Hogwarts' Great Lake and must be rescued, Harry is faced with an impossible hurdle: how will he be able to breathe underwater? Ultimately, resourceful friends help him discover gillyweed, a magical plant that allows a witch or wizard to grow gills and breathe underwater for a limited amount of time. If you've ever wondered what Radcliffe was actually eating, you're in luck. Here's the disgusting truth about what Daniel Radcliffe was eating during Harry Potter's gillyweed scenes.

Harry Potter's gillyweed was made from something pretty gross

In December of 2020, Radcliffe appeared in the year's final episode of Hot Ones, the imaginative First We Feast show where celebrity guests eat increasingly hot wings with a lineup of fiery sauces. (Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Radcliffe filmed his segment remotely, eating his wings over video chat.)

Towards the beginning of the episode, host Sean Evans asked Radcliffe, "Can you give me one highlight and one lowlight when it comes to the food that you had to eat in the world of Harry Potter?" Almost immediately, Radcliffe had his answers.

"The crazy banquet scenes at Hogwarts where there [were all these] breakfasts... I was just an eleven and twelve year old child piling on fried eggs and bacon and sausages and baked beans every morning for... days," Radcliffe revealed, laughing. However, his lowlight was definitely the gillyweed.

"In one of the films I had to eat gillyweed, which I think was black licorice lace," Radcliffe reminisced. "It was designed to look like a kind of underwater seaweed plant that I could then shovel down my throat. That was pretty gross. I remember by the third or fourth take, I was like, 'Oh, how many more of these are we gonna do?'"

Compared to Chocolate Frogs or Sugar Quills, gillyweed was already pretty unappealing, but knowing it's made of black licorice makes it even worse. All of the Harry Potter films, including Goblet of Fire, are available to rent or buy on major streaming platforms now.