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Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter Fame Came At A Hefty Cost

Child actors take on an immense burden in their line of work. Being thrust into the entertainment industry at such a young age can create genuine dilemmas for these actors. And sometimes, those dilemmas can bring on a lifetime of heartache. From Judy Garland to Macaulay Culkin to Jake Lloyd, the pressure to excel in the wild west world of Hollywood can prove to be too much for some people. And if we're talking about the pressure to succeed, nothing compares to the "Harry Potter" films.

Based on the J.K. Rowling novel series, the eight films in the beloved "Harry Potter" saga have entertained countless audiences and have earned billions at the box office (via The Numbers). But the stress put on the cast and crew to match up to the expectations of fans who love the books must've been unmatched in the world of movie adaptations. However, compared to many other productions, the child actors didn't face too many challenges in taking in their fame. Many of the creators on board, including the director of the first two "Harry Potter" films, Chris Columbus, put in the extra effort to protect the young actors from falling down the spiral of stardom (via USA Today). Still, no matter how much help was given, the pressure of fame was likely to catch up to the cast sooner or later. For Daniel Radcliffe, who has starred in the titular role since age 12, that pressure came at a cost.

Daniel Radcliffe turned to alcohol to cope with fame

Daniel Radcliffe told the Mirror that the hardest part of being in the entertainment industry at his young age was "[trying] to work out who you are while constantly coming up against a perception of yourself that everybody else already has." It seems that as every passing "Harry Potter" film grew more complex and grand, so did the weight on Radcliffe's shoulders to keep up with his public image. 

In another interview on "Off Camera", Radcliffe brought up how he would cope during his late teenage years. "In my case, the quickest way of forgetting about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk," he said. "Then as you get very drunk, you become aware that, 'Oh, people are watching more now because now I'm getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.'"

Radcliffe mentioned how it's hard for audiences to understand what celebrities go through, and said that there's no "blueprint" on how to make life work as a young actor. Thankfully, with the help of friends and family, Radcliffe was able to move away from his addiction. However, Radcliffe's love for his work shined through above all else. "Even at the lowest point, I still loved my job so much," he says. "I loved going to set ... There was never a point where I was like 'I wished this didn't happen to me. I wish I wasn't Harry Potter.' Like, that just didn't happen."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).