Daniel Radcliffe was 12 years old when he appeared in the first Harry Potter film, released in 2001. The second part of the film series was released in 2002 when he was 13 years old. The third Harry Potter was released in 2004, and the star was 15 years old at the time.
The English actor was 16 years old by the time the fourth installment of the film series arrived. He was 18 years old in 2007 when part five was released and 20 years old when part six came in 2009. Radcliffe was 21 years old in the penultimate installment and a few days shy of celebrating his 22nd birthday when the last Harry Potter film series was released in 2011.
Born Daniel Jacob Radcliffe on July 23, 1989, the English actor became a household name after he started portraying Harry Potter, a young wizard in the Harry Potter film franchise, which was based on J.K. Rowling’s hugely successful book series of the same title. With the release of each installment of the film series, fans and other viewers of the film series constantly debated the actor’s age in comparison to the character he portrayed. This article answers the burning questions about how old Daniel Radcliffe was in each Harry Potter film series.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in The First Harry Potter?
Daniel Radcliffe was 11 years when filming for the first Harry Potter started, but was 12 years old when the first installment of the film series titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in 2001. His journey to portraying the iconic character began in 2000 when he met producer David Heyman while he was at the theatre with his dad who was a recognized literary agent and was a good friend of Heyman’s.
Somewhere down the line, he convinced Daniel to audition for the role of Harry Potter for the first installment of the film series. After around eight months of auditions, the English actor landed the role, and he was a popular choice too, a fact established by Rowling’s glowing endorsement of the choice, even claiming that director Chris Columbus could not have found a better Harry Potter.
Radcliffe almost missed out on portraying Harry Potter because of his parents’ initial reluctance to let him take the part after they were told that it would involve six films shot in Los Angeles, United States. To accommodate the actor and his parents’ demands, Warner Bros. offered Radcliffe a two-film contract that involved filming in the U.K., and even Daniel did not know whether his role as Harry Potter would exceed the first two film installments.
When the movie was eventually released, it was well received, and Radcliffe earned rave reviews for his performance, none more concise than the review he got from San Francisco Chronicle’s Bob Graham, who called the English actor an embodiment of every reader’s imagination.
He further described how wonderful it was to see a young, scholarly-looking hero who was filled with curiosity and connected with very real emotions ranging from solemn intelligence and the delight of discovery to deep family longing.
Beyond the verbal accolades, Radcliffe’s first involvement in the Harry Potter film series more or less set him up financially for life. According to several sources, he was paid a seven-figure salary for the lead role. Even though he said the fee was not that important to him, he is quite fortunate that he had parents who were willing to invest the funds for him.
Was Daniel Radcliffe The Same Age as Harry Potter in the First Movie?
The age difference between the character and the actor who played the role was negligible for the first two film series, but that statistic changed significantly in the following installments due to various reasons.
Harry Potter, the character portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe, was 11 years old in the first Harry Potter film franchise titled Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (released in India, United States, and the Philippines as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).
When filming began on September 29, 2000, Radcliffe was just a few months over 11 years old and was significantly over that age when filming wrapped on March 23, 2001. By the time the film was released in November 2021, Radcliffe had already celebrated his 12th birthday.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in The Second Harry Potter Movie?
Daniel Radcliffe was still a few months over 12 years old when filming for the second part of the Harry Potter film franchise titled Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets started in November 2001, just days after the release of the first part. However, his age difference from that of the character he portrayed remained negligible because Harry Potter was 12 years old in the second Harry Potter.
Nonetheless, Radcliffe had celebrated his 13th birthday by the time the film was released in November 2002.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in The Third Harry Potter?
Daniel Radcliffe was 14 years old in the third Harry Potter film installment titled Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is important to establish the fact that by the time the film was released in May/June 2004, the English actor was already 15 years old, compared to his character, who was still depicted as a 13-year-old teenager.
The delay in the start of production of the third Harry Potter film series was down to the producer David Heyman who believed it would give each film the time it required, hence the significantly longer 18-month production cycle.
The third installment in the Harry Potter film series is often considered by critics and fans alike as the best Harry Potter film because of the noticeable change in the tone and directorial style.
That significant change was rewarded with two Academy Awards nominations for Best Original Music Score and Best Visual Effects at the 77th Academy Awards in 2004.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in The Fourth Harry Potter?
For the most part, Daniel Radcliffe was 15 years old when filming of part four of the series titled Harry Potter and the Goblets of Fire with the main cast began in June 2004, and he was just a few months away from celebrating his 16th birthday when filming wrapped in March 2005.
The film was released worldwide in November 2005, and a then-sixteen-year-old Radcliffe watched on with the rest of the world as his character, still depicted as 14-year-old, thrilled audiences.
It remains one of the best-viewed films in the series earning more than $102 million just five days after release at the North American box office. It also received positive reviews because of the higher level of maturity and sophistication of the characters, story, tone, screenplay, and the performances of the lead actors.
Harry Potter and the Goblets of Fire was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction before winning the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design. It was the second film in the film series to be released in IMAX.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in Order of the Phoenix?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth part of the Harry Potter film series, and Radcliffe was well over 17 years old when filming began in February 2006. According to several sources, filming had to be suspended for two months to allow lead actors Radcliffe and Watson to sit for their A/S Levels and GCSE exams, respectively. Filming resumed afterward before concluding in November 2006.
The film was released in July 2007, just a few days before Radcliffe’s 18th birthday. It is significant to point out the fact that by this time, Radcliffe was around three years older than his character, who was 15 years old and whose age progression had been quite straightforward.
It grossed around $942 million total following a five-day opening of $333 million, even though Warner Bros. claimed the film had lost around $167 million. The film was also nominated for several awards, not the least of which was the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design and Special Visual Effects.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in Half-Blood Prince?
Daniel Radcliffe was eight days away from celebrating the two-decade anniversary of his birth when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in July 2009. Filming principally began on September 24, 2007, shortly after Radcliffe’s 18th birthday, before wrapping on May 17, 2008, a couple of months before his 19th birthday.
In keeping with the progression of the film series, Harry Potter, Radcliffe’s character, was 16 years old at this point, meaning that the actor who portrays him was roughly four years older by the time the film was released worldwide.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in Deathly Hallows – Part 1?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 reached global audiences in November 2010, and by that time, the film series’ lead actor was already a 21-year-old man, which was in direct contrast to his character, whose identity became that of a 17-year-old teenager.
Filming for the seventh installment of what is now an iconic film series began on February 19, 2009, and was filmed back-to-back with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. That part of the production was done on June 12, 2010, about a month before Radcliffe celebrated his 21st birthday.
How Old was Daniel Radcliffe in the Last Harry Potter?
As previously indicated, filming for the seventh and eighth installments of the Harry Potter series took place at the same time, which means that Radcliffe was about 20 years old during filming. Given that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the aforementioned last part of the film series, was released in July 2011, a year after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, the English actor was almost 22 years old at the time while his character remained 17 years old.
Daniel Radcliffe is Now 34 Years Old
The decision of Warner Bros. to stick to the age range J.K. Rowling established in the book series when casting mostly children for such a blockbuster franchise was unusual, to say the least, but it paved the way for actors/actresses like Emma Watson (as Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (as Ron Weasley), and of course, Daniel Radcliffe to make their mark on the big stage at such a young age.
All of those cast members, including Radcliffe, finished the film series as adults and have gone on to have different life and career experiences. Even though he was in his early 20s when the last installment of the film franchise was released in 2011, Daniel Radcliffe is now a more mature, worldly 34-year-old man. He was born at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in Hammersmith, London, England, and is the only child of Marcia Jeannine Gresham nee Jacobson, a casting agent, and Alan George Radcliffe, a literary agent.
Radcliffe has strong Jewish roots through his South-African-born mother, who traces her Jewish ancestry to German, Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian immigrants. He also has Northern Irish ancestry through his father. Due to his early venture into the spotlight, Daniel Radcliffe did not have a normal childhood experience which essentially affected his formal educational background.
According to several verified reports, he attended three all-boys private schools in London, including Redcliffe School, Sussex House School, and the City of London School. His academic schedule became even more distorted when he landed the Harry Potter role, and he had to resort to on-set tutors to continue his education.
Despite achieving A grades in three AS-level exams, which he took in 2006, Radcliffe decided against going to the university because he already knew he wanted to be an actor and screenwriter and that any attempt at furthering his education would prove rather difficult.
Harry Potter Was Not His First Movie Role
It would prove rather illogical to argue against the fact that Daniel Radcliffe became a big deal in the movie industry during and after his successful portrayal of the young wizard Harry Potter in the Harry Potter film franchise. However, it is important to establish the fact that his portrayal of the iconic film character was not his first film role as an actor.
It is also important to establish that Radcliffe’s desire to be an actor was first expressed when he was just five years old. What followed afterward was that one of his mother’s casting agent friends helped him get an audition which led to him making his acting debut at the age of just ten in David Copperfield (1999), a BBC One adaptation of the novel by the author Charles Dickens. Daniel was tasked with portraying the role of the title character as a young boy.
His film debut arrived a couple of years later when he played a part in the 2001 American film The Tailor of Panama, which was based on John le Carre’s 1996 spy novel. Including the iconic Harry Potter film series, Daniel Radcliffe’s showbiz career has seen him appear in more than two dozen feature-length films, more than a dozen TV series, a couple of music videos, and several stage productions.