Few people have ever had a childhood quite like Daniel Radcliffe. In fact, only those other actors cast in the Harry Potter films really have any experience like what he had. The young actor was cast as Harry Potter and then proceeded to make eight movies over the course of ten years and basically grow up on screen. The films are generally regarded as one of the better adaptations of a major literary franchise to film, and so the movies are just as well loved as the books that inspired them. And Daniel Radcliffe says he's happy for that, even if he himself has had an ever changing opinion on them over the years.
CinemaBlend's Mick Joest had a chance to speak with Daniel Radcliffe ahead of his upcoming series Miracle Workers, and he asked Harry Potter himself about how his perspective on the film franchise has changed as he has gotten older. Radcliffe admits that he used to actively avoid seeing himself in the films, but only because he sees his performance in the films as perhaps not his best work. However, now he has a bit more sympathy for his younger self. Radcliffe explained,
If I was in my early 20s, or like, late teens, early 20s, and I saw a bit of those films on TV, I would immediately switch over. Unless it was somebody else's scene and I could watch that for a second. Bit generally, I'd like, switch over pretty quickly. I think as I am getting older, I am becoming more forgiving of my younger self, and a little more tolerant of, like 'Oh, yeah, you were bad, but you were young. It's fine, you're sweet.' But nor do I seek it out. I will watch them again one day, Maybe with my children one day if i have them, and let that be a weird emotional experience all its own. But yeah, generally I'm happy that they bring other people so much joy, particularly in COVID, but yeah, it's not my comfort film.
Daniel Radcliffe certainly isn't the only actor to have something of a love/hate relationship with their own performances. Many actors actively avoid seeing themselves on screen because they can't help but focus on anything they see as an error or a bad decision. Even Radcliffe himself says here, not that he now thinks his performances in the Harry Potter films was good, but that he's simply more forgiving of the fact that he was learning.
I'm not sure many people would entirely agree with Daniel Radcliffe's assessment here. Most fans think that the cast turned in largely impressive performances across the board. It's why the films are so widely embraced.
But it's just as understandable as to why the actors themselves might not agree. By the vary nature of getting older and acting more they've learned a lot, which they might wish they had known back when they were kids. Perhaps, if Daniel Radcliffe ever sits down with his kids to watch the films, when he has even more distance, he'll be able to see that he was actually pretty good.