Daniel Radcliffe has traveled a long way from his “Harry Potter” days, and the path to adulthood has not always been easy for the Boy Wonder. Radcliffe is feverishly working to project his new adult image to the public.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.
Excerpt: Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick…By Susan Dominus The New York Times Magazine
“Before Daniel Radcliffe became the most famous child actor in history, he was just a child: an only child, a poor sleeper, a nonstop talker, a picky eater. He was also disarmingly sweet. In the screen test he took at age 10, in 2000, for the first Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” he smiles brightly, ebullient, his delight in being there apparent; he is concentrating, concentrating so hard at one point that he mouths words under his breath while waiting to deliver a line, but even still, when he does finally speak, he is all natural sincerity. His face is a flawless little-boy face, his eyes huge and cerulean blue. ..
Thirteen years later, on Sept. 2, Radcliffe was on a small boat in Venice, speeding along the Grand Canal toward the Rialto Bridge. Radcliffe was making his way from the Lido, a small resort island that hosts the Venice Film Festival, to a department store that had agreed to publicize, with huge banners, the independent film, “Kill Your Darlings,” that Radcliffe was in town to promote.
Since the Potter movies ended, Radcliffe has thrown himself into a frenzy of projects, at times working 90-hour weeks and rarely taking vacations. He seems intent on proving that he is, if not worthy of the golden ticket he received at age 10 (because who could be), at least working as hard as anyone could to show he won’t squander his fame. In 2010, while he was finishing the last Potter films, he trained with a choreographer and learned how to dance so he could star in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway.
This summer, he played the lead role in “The Cripple of Inishmaan” in London’s West End. .. Among the wealthiest men under 30 in his country, Radcliffe, particularly when he smokes, has the pallid, slightly starved look of an artist who might live in a garret.
At times in his professional life, Radcliffe said, he has felt self-conscious about other idiosyncrasies of his face, particularly when he was acting in his first post-Potter movie, a horror film called the “The Woman in Black.” During filming, he said, “I was struggling in vain to not come close to making a face that would make people think of Harry.” And how would he characterize a Harry face? “There isn’t,” he said, exhaling smoke and shaking his head. “It’s just my face. I have to accept the fact that my face is going to remind people of Harry because I played that character.”
Radcliffe has been most successful, outside the Potter franchise, in roles in which the physicality of the character helps him over the hurdle of his past on-camera self. When he was 18, he starred in “Equus” on Broadway, playing a disturbed adolescent, a role that required extensive nudity.
The range of roles reflects Radcliffe’s ambition and his desire to prove, as quickly as he can, that he can genuinely act… Radcliffe told me he tries to dispel the image of a spoiled child star within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone; sometimes he does that by extending his hand and introducing himself — “Hi, I’m Dan” — but as often as not, he finds something, anything, for which he can apologize…Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking. By his own description, this was not casual drinking at parties, but every-night drinking, heavy drinking, drinking to the point of making a scene and then blacking out. ..In August 2010, when he was 21, after awakening from a blackout, bruised and unable to account for the previous eight hours, he decided to stop drinking…
Thrown into an adult world early on, Radcliffe nonetheless still clings to some adolescent habits. He subsists on a diet based largely on cheeseburgers and pizza… Radcliffe says he confers with his parents about his career options, but he ultimately makes his own decisions and sets the pace.”
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: Approximately 2 hours.
Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Analyzing headings and photos
Directions: Ask students to read the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them examine the photos. Based on these sources, ask students to create a list of words and ideas that they think might be related to this article. Have L2 learners use this Pre-reading organizer by Scholastic.
II. While Reading Activities
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. They might find this vocabulary chart by Education Oasis useful as a guide.
- In the screen test he took at age 10, in 2000, for the first Harry Potter film, he smiles brightly, ebullient.
- His face is a flawless little-boy face.
- Thirteen years later, Radcliffe was hoping to lure at least some of his Harry Potter following to see his new film “Kill Your Darlings”.
- After so many years, he is accustomed to the frenzied desire of fans wanting to see him.
- A few feet away, behind a barrier, a phalanx of young fans pressed up against one another to get closer to Radcliffe.
- At one point, he scrawled an autograph on a piece of paper, then threw it away quickly.
- Radcliffe, particularly when he smokes, has the pallid, slightly starved look of an artist.
- At times in his professional life, Radcliffe said, he has felt self-conscious about other idiosyncrasies of his face.
- On the “Doctor” set that day, Radcliffe seemed to enjoy the small talk and the camaraderie among the crew as much as the acting.
- Radcliffe told me he tries to dispel the image of a spoiled child star within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- In the last year of filming Harry Potter, Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, and Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, were not happy because of the tightly controlled routine on set.
- Radcliffe also complained publicly about his experience on the Harry Potter set.
- Radcliffe says that he doesn’t actually know how much money he has and leaves financial matters to his mother, who is a casting agent, and his accountant.
- Radcliffe’s father, Alan Radcliffe, was a former actor who had a small role in one of the Potter films.
- “You’re not down in the mines” was a phrase Radcliffe’s father used to say to him.
- Acting in “The Woman in Black,” was the first time Radcliffe wasn’t accompanied by a parent.
- Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint are friendly and keep in touch constantly.
- Radcliffe was 21 when he moved out on his own.
- Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking, and having blackouts.
- Radcliffe stated that he was always sober on the set of “Harry Potter.”
- Radcliffe has an obsession with American football which he cultivated during “How to Succeed.”
- He subsists on a diet based largely on cheeseburgers and pizza.
Using Adjectives to describe pictures
Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.
For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: Have students use this advanced organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with discussing or writing about the main points from the article.
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
- Radcliffe makes the following statement about his fans, “I’m more nervous about the anticipation of feeling bad,” he said. “When you’ve got thousands of people who’ve gotten up at 4 in the morning and think they’re going to get something and they won’t. . . .” How would you put his sentiment into your own words?
- Daniel Radcliffe has enough money to take life easy, but he continues to work, “ Since the Potter movies ended, Radcliffe has thrown himself into a frenzy of projects, at times working 90-hour weeks and rarely taking vacations. He seems intent on proving that he is, if not worthy of the golden ticket he received at age 10 (because who could be), at least working as hard as anyone could to show he won’t squander his fame.” Give an example of what this statement means.
- The article states, “Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking. By his own description, this was not casual drinking at parties, but every-night drinking, heavy drinking, drinking to the point of making a scene and then blacking out. “I became a nuisance,” he has said. “I became the person in the group who has to be looked after.” He drank in local bars and eventually alone, because he was too embarrassed to go back to the bars where he had been so drunk on nights past.” During his years as young Harry Potter, Radcliffe claims that he was happy. Discuss possible reasons for this drastic change in his character as he grew older.
- Radcliffe states, “ I have to accept the fact that my face is going to remind people of Harry because I played that character. If I try to avoid being expressive in that same way, all I’ll do is stop being expressive, and I won’t be any farther away from that character.” Do you think that Radcliffe still resembles Harry Potter, or has he grown up and away from this image? Do you think it matters? Explain why or why not.
- If you were in Radcliffe’s position (rich and famous) what are some things you would do with your life?
- What are the most significant ideas in this article?
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: Inside The Actors Studio with Daniel Radcliffe
“Inside the Actors Studio is an American television show on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton…The program, which premiered in 1994, is distributed internationally by CABLEready and is broadcast in 125 countries around the world reaching 89 million homes.It is currently taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University’s New York City campus.”
Here are several terms used during the Daniel Radcliffe interview. Have students find meanings before viewing the video clip.
dyspraxia, innate, mournful.
While Listening Activities
Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- Radcliffe’s real name is Daniel Jacob Radcliffe.
- Radcliffe’s father is an actor and his mother is a producer.
- Radcliffe stated that he still lives in his imagination.
- Radcliffe was 5 years -old when he decided he wanted to be an actor.
- Radcliffe wants to eventually marry an actress .
- The first role Radcliffe auditioned for was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
- Radcliffe has a mild case of dyspraxia.
- He was 8 years-old when he auditioned for “Harry Potter”.
- Radcliffe has a stubbornness and an innate curiosity about life like harry potter and
- People often tell Radcliffe that he looks happy.
- Radcliffe also played the son of David Copperfield in the play “My Boy Jack”.
- The other profession Radcliffe would like to attempt is journalism.
- Radcliffe wants to do more comedy in the future.
- The stupidest question Radcliffe says he’s ever asked was, “What was Napoleon’s first name?”
Questions for Discussion
Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
- After listening to this video has your personal view of Daniel Radcliffe changed in any way? If yes, describe in what way. If no, describe your original opinion.
- With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask Daniel Radcliffe if you had the opportunity.
ANSWER KEY: Daniel Radcliffe