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What We Learned From Daniel Radcliffe’s Playboy Interview

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Daniel Radcliffe got real about the realities of being a teenage boy on the set of Harry Potter and the series’ everlasting fandom in a new interview for Playboy’s November issue.

And he spoke quite openly about the fact that nothing from Madame Pomfrey made him immune to the normal distractions that teenage boys experience.

The actor responded to a question about masturbation by explaining that he always tried to stay focused at work.

“Yeah, I was like every other teenager in that sense…But not when I was on set. I wasn’t going, ‘When is Alan Rickman going to nail this scene so I can run back to my trailer?,'” he said. “It would have been embarrassing to walk back on set and look the dignitaries of British acting royalty in the eye, knowing what I’d been doing.”

When asked about why the magical allure of the wizarding world hasn’t faded, the 26-year-old actor said that it’s because the series is almost universally loved.

“There are people who don’t want to read it, but the number of people who actively dislike it is very low,” Radcliffe said. “The books are great, and they came along at the perfect moment, when there was a fear, because of the rise of computer games, that reading was going to become a thing of the past. When kids suddenly found these books, it was something everyone could get behind as a global populace.”

Radcliffe has given himself high marks when dealing with the (sometimes intense) global fanbase he and his co-stars attract when out in public.

“I’m better at saying no than Rupert Grint. He ended up going back to a fan’s house because he couldn’t say no to anything they asked. That’s when it’s gone too far,” he commented.

Harry Potter Illustrated Edition Illustrations

Harry PotterJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Hermione GrangerJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Ron WeasleyJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Draco MalfoyJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Rubeus HagridJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Hogwarts Grand HallJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Harry Potter Illustration Jim Kay Dragon Alley
Dragon AlleyJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Illustrations Harry Potter Hagrid
Hagrid Jim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Illustrations Harry Potter
Harry PotterJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
An owlJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
The Golden SnitchJim Kay—Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com