Daniel Radcliffe is proving to be a true triple threat on Broadway. He sings, dances and acts in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. But it hasn’t come easy for the “Harry Potter” star.
“I have no doubt this will be the hardest I’ve ever worked in my entire life,” Radcliffe told Gotham magazine about his role as J. Pierrepont Finch, a Manhattan window washer who becomes a corporate titan.
“I’ve been training really hard because I don’t want [director] Rob Ashford to feel like he has to censor himself for me. I want him to be able to treat me as much like a dancer as he can.”
Radcliffe, 21, says he went through two years of rigorous dance training for the Broadway musical, which opened March 27.
Radcliffe has pushed boundaries before. He was a film star in “Harry Potter” starting at age 9, and he debuted on Broadway in 2007 in the controversial play Equus.
He was required to be nude on stage for about one-third of the play, which is about a boy who has an unnatural love of horses.
But full-frontal nudity on stage every night was nothing compared with the grueling dance training. It was both physically and mentally exhausting.
“With the dance, particularly, there were some days when I was just so tired halfway through,” Daniel said.
“There was one time when I was in my dance class and we were like two-and-a-quarter hours in and I just have 45 minutes left, and I was like, ‘How am I going to get through the last 45 minutes of this lesson,’ ” he recalled.
Radcliffe was so exhausted he admits falling asleep during a bathroom break.
“I actually went to the toilet, sat down on the toilet with the lid down, [set] my phone alarm for five minutes and just went to sleep for like five minutes.
And I just woke up thinking, ‘Jesus, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to hack it if I can’t even get through a lesson,'” he sid.
Beyond being on stage, Daniel says he enjoys New York City. “There is something very special about being English in [New York City], because there’s a certain fascination with British culture,” he explains.
“I don’t know what it is, but I feel a lot cooler here than I do in England.
“I’ve never felt better about myself as an actor than when I was on Broadway doing Equus, because I felt part of an artistic community.
And I’m not slagging off London, because I love it, but the interplay and the amount of socializing between the shows in New York—it’s just glorious and doesn’t happen in the West End as far as I can tell.”
The 5’5″ Radcliffe, who enjoys taking walks in the West Village and playing ping-pong in Battery Park, says being short helps him move about unrecognized.
“It’s quite good being this short; you just put your hood up and no one gives you a second glance really,” he says.
How to Succeed in Business is on Broadway until Nov. 6, 2011.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which co-stars Emma Watson, comes out July 15, 2011.