And then there is that relentless compulsion to show off his body. One startled British tabloid saw his nude scene in Equus and headlined an article hairy botter. “First, it’s a crap pun because botter isn’t even a word,” Radcliffe says. “But equally it’s that thing of being shocked that I should have hairyou know, anywhere else other than on my head. It’s not so much that they don’t want me to grow up. It’s that they’re annoyed that I’m growing up adjusted. They’d much rather I was growing up and going wild and crashing cars.”
We’ve been chatting away for half an hourRadcliffe swigging his drink and jiggling his legs, me trying to decipher the lettering on his T-shirtwhen it suddenly seems timely to ask about the problem of getting a hard-on (maybe this was prompted by the design on his shirt, a plastic-toy-soldier illustration of the Battle of Little Big Horn). In Equus he made out with the stable girl, played by Joanna Christie, a looker seven years his senior. You’ve got to ask . . .
“It’s the least arousing process,” Radcliffe says. “Jo’s beautiful, but after you’ve gone through it a hundred times with an audience there . . . To be honest, when you get naked in front of 900 people, quite the opposite happens. Not to become too graphic, but yeah.”
For readers who failed to catch the show, I bring significant news: Our hero’s member is “average”; that is, no one gasped with envy when he unzipped, but no one asked for a refund, either.
And does he like performing nude before an audience close enough to smell him? “I’d be lying if I said I was completely fine,” he says. “I was nervous and I was a little bit worried. But not meaning to drop a name, I talked to Gary Oldman about it, because we get on very well and I know he’s been naked onstage. And so I said to him, ‘What’s it like?’ and he said, ‘On the first night you’ll be terrified and on the second night you’ll be terrified and after that you won’t care.’ And that’s absolutely true. When you’ve done it twice, it doesn’t matter anymore.”
The leg-jiggling continues. He clearly needs a bathroom break. I ask about how he hopes to spend his cash. At the moment, his parents look after his finances (his mother is a casting director and his father a former literary agent). They have set up a business called Gilmore Jacobs, Ltd., to handle his assets; it is registered in London as being engaged in the provision of “artistic and literary creation.”
“His parents are wonderful,” David Heyman informs me. “They understand the business, appreciate that the work is very serious and that an awful lot of the other stuff that surrounds it is ridiculous. They protect him but at the same time allow him to be the teenager he is.” Their son professes to have no talent for math or finance and a deep dislike of conspicuous consumption. “Even when I was very young and before any of this had happened, I remember being repulsed by ostentatious displays of wealth,” he says.