Daniel Radcliffe is still climbing out from the shadow cast by Hogwarts, the famous school of wizardry in the Harry Potter film series, and this time he's chosen a role that reflects his own Irish ancestry.
But first he admits he needs to find some interests outside acting. 'I have been thinking I have to find some outside interests. I went rock-climbing a few weeks ago. I need to find other stuff that I enjoy, because I will never take a break.'
The young actor, who is now unspeakably rich due to the success of the Potter franchise, is currently in rehearsal for a new production of Martin McDonagh’s play The Cripple of Inishmaan, which will shortly open on London's West End.
The opportunity to play the lead in The Cripple of Inishmaan was unbelievably fortunate, the 23 year old told The Irish Times.
'As soon as I saw Martin’s name on it I thought, I will probably want to do that one. And if I read that one first I won’t pay proper attention to the other plays. And as soon as I read it…'
'If you took the script for Cripple and covered up the names on the left you would still be able to work out who is talking every time, because every character is so distinct. I have always loved that.'
Born to a Northern Irish father and a Jewish mother, Radcliffe grew up listening to stories of his father’s life in Banbridge, County Down, before he left for England.
'My dad, rather wonderfully, was the All-Ulster Latin-American dance champion when he was in his late teens, and when all his peers were joining the territorial army my dad was leaping about in a Strictly Come Dancing costume.
'It is one of the things that I love about him,” he says, adding that his father’s accent was 'beaten out of him' at drama schools in England. 'It was just before having a regional accent was a boon to your career. He now sounds more middle class than I do.'
Radcliffe enjoys both of his tribal identities. 'It surprises people about me. When you say either of those things, people go, 'Oh, I didn’t know that.' I take pride in it, but I wouldn’t be one of those annoying British people who say that they are Irish on St Patrick’s Day.'
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?