Mr. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, recently opened up to Parade magazine about his work with charities and the significance of giving back, especially as someone who makes a great deal of money and who has opportunities that the average person does not.
Radcliffe discusses his involvement with The Trevor Project and how he first started working with the organization that works as a crisis intervention and suicide prevention for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
“I got involved in The Trevor Project in late 2008 when I was in New York doing Equus. A few of my friends had made me aware of it. It sounded like such a fantastic thing. People need it. The suicide rate for gay teens is four times that of straight kids. I couldn’t believe that nothing like this had existed before,” he said.
The “Harry Potter” star when on to say, “I think that any free-thinking person who becomes very wealthy and has strong opinions on things would get involved with something like The Trevor Project or scholarships for schools or whatever. Fame is very useful in directing attention toward those things.”
As someone who makes good money, Radcliffe feels its only right to give back. “I got paid so well for doing the Harry Potter films, it’s ridiculous. If somebody asked me, ‘Did you think you deserve that money?’ No, of course I didn’t. ‘But would you have taken it anyway?’ Of course. I happened to have found this industry where people get paid stupid amounts of money. That’s the reality. I feel almost guilty for having done so well out of Potter. But there’s a moral imperative to help others.
“You know, the fact that I wake up in my lovely apartment in New York and get to stroll down here and do a couple of shows, and there is somebody in some country waking up wondering where he’s going to live that week—it’s a horrendous feeling. There is a sense that you have to do something. I feel Brad Pitt would agree that the way to help is to really get behind things that you’re passionate about, like The Trevor Project. You have to give back.”
In addition to discussing charity work, he also revealed his stance on homophobia. “Realizing that other people have a problem with [homosexuality] was the weirdest thing for me. As a kid it wasn’t even something that was mentioned. It was never something that was even explained to me. It was just, “That’s Mark and he’s gay.” Mark was just another friend of my dad’s who would talk about his boyfriend instead of his girlfriend. I was 5.
“I didn’t care. It seemed perfectly normal, and still does….It just drives me crazy…that people can make such sweeping, ignorant statements and bring religion into it….Why would you want a god that’s up there picking and choosing who he lets in?…That doesn’t make any sense.”
Even as a rising star, Radcliffe seems to have a strong head on his shoulders. If you’re a fan of the 22-year-old actor, you can see him in his next film, “The Woman in Black,” out in February.