Daniel Radcliffe Remembers The Most ‘Intense And So Crazy’ Set Days Filming The Harry Potter Movies

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

With Daniel Radcliffe playing the magical title role of all of the Harry Potter movies, it required a lot of stunt work as Harry battled dark forces. And even though the actor's stunt work involved the help of green screens, harnesses, stunt people and other methods, it still required a lot of work from the British actor. Radcliffe recalled the most “intense and so crazy” moments he experienced on the set of the Harry Potter movies.

Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter time had a lot of action-packed moments ever since he was brought into the Wizarding World at the age of 11. Luckily, all of this stunt work didn’t cause the young actor to quit the franchise as a kid. In a video speaking to GQ about his most iconic characters, Radcliffe recalled the “intense and so crazy” experiences he had while filming the Harry Potter movies:

There was so much on Potter that was so intense and so crazy you don’t even think about at the time. You’re just like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re building a tank where D-stage used to be, they’re just like building a tank and they’re going to be filming underwater for six weeks.’ I had like a logbook of all the hours I’d done underwater. It was really cool. I’ve heard that we averaged like seven seconds of footage a day or something, like of usable footage. But again those are one of those things that you go, ‘I will never do that again, and if I do, I’ll be one of the only people who’s done it before.’ It was one of those moments you look back on and go, ‘That’s really special.’

Filming underwater scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is definitely not an easy task. According to the WB Studio Tour, Daniel Radcliffe swam in the largest underwater filming tank in Europe, which held two million liters of water. The Digital Fix reported that Radcliffe needed to have six months of scuba diving training, starting in smaller pools and eventually advancing to deeper ones. Not to mention he had to do all of this with webbed hands and feet! Now, that’s a dedicated actor. It's no wonder Radcliffe landed his signature role due to his spirit.

Not only were the underwater scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a dire task for Daniel Radcliffe, but so was an underwater scene in The Half-Blood Prince. He continued:

Those ones on the fourth film–the dragon sequence on the fourth film. One shot on the sixth film I think where I start off underneath the water and I was on a wire. So, I was holding myself by a rope under the surface of the water. And then on action I let go and they pulled me on the wire so I flew out of the water and there was like a ring of fire around me. So I was just like bursting out of the surface of the water through the ring of fire. It’s phenomenal that they allowed me do that myself. And again I’ll never probably be on a job where they do let me do that.

Well now we’ll be watching that scene a lot differently from now on. Daniel Radcliffe once recalled another crazy stunt he had to do in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This involved the scene when the Swiss Army Man actor had to free-fall down a roof when he was battling a dragon. Even though he had a harness on him, he was “absolutely terrified” at the concept of having only the harness to catch him in the end. This was another example of a stunt Radcliffe knows he’ll never have the opportunity to do again in any other movie he does.

Luckily, Daniel Radcliffe’s next role won’t involve “intense and so crazy” set days shooting underwater scenes and free-falling roof stunts. He’ll be gracing us with his quirky presence playing bespectacled pop culture icon Weird Al Yankovic in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story which is coming to The Roku Channel on November 4th. You can watch Daniel Radcliffe’s impressive stunt work in all of the Harry Potter movies with your HBO Max subscription and your Peacock subscription.  

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.