“People who have car collections—I never understood that. I always thought that was unnecessary. It’s not beautiful, it’s not creative. It’s just showing how much money you’ve got.”

He says that very early on in his Potter career he told his friends, “If I ever get cocky, just slap me,” and there is a reason for this modesty. In his younger days he frequently overheard his parents discussing what he calls “all these arrogant actors,” and he remembers thinking, Why would you be like that?

And then, 50 minutes into our conversation, Radcliffe says what he’s been dying to all along. “Can I just nip to the toilet very quickly?”

On his return, he talks about his future. For a golden moment, at least, his name will bankroll any number of teenage movies—for him, the darker the better. He says he wants to keep finding challenging roles and hopes to improve his own writing. What kind of scripts is he working on?

“Poetry,” he says, correcting me, admitting to a romantic crush on the work of John Keats. He also admits to having the nightmare about playing Harry Potter forever. He still has two more Potter films to make, and says he is looking forward to them. But he is relieved there will be no more. “I had a minor heart attack the other day,” he says, the result of a message on his phone that read: ROWLING PROMISES EIGHTH HARRY POTTER BOOK. Radcliffe thought, Aaaargh, no! But it turned out Rowling was contributing to a charity book about magic. So for a brief and nasty moment, the star of Harry Potter was . . .

“Yeah, the only kid in the world who doesn’t want an eighth Harry Potter book.”

Radcliffe says that the recent (fifth) Potter film is the only one he completely enjoyed as a finished product. “Normally I sit there in the films really hating watching myself. Loving watching the films, hating watching myself.” He looks back to his first effort, at the age of 10, and says he didn’t really know what he was doing.

“Quite sweet, a little boy,” he remembers, referring to those far-off days when no one asked him about sex scenes and when his manhood was as imaginary as wizards and goblets of fire.