VIDEO: Daniel Radcliffe casts his magic spell over devout fans

Smoke, mirrors, and just a few PR spells are always central in the quest to make a film star.

VIDEO: Daniel Radcliffe casts his magic spell over devout fans

But last night one of the best known modern day actors gave an A-list performance in how to ensure the most important part of real movie magic: Making a genuine connection with your fans.

At the Irish premiere of What If... in Dublin’s Cineworld, Daniel Radcliffe — who shot to fame as Harry Potter in the series of films — showed that despite 14 years of fame, he is as keen as ever to keep in touch with those who helped make his success.

In a 30-minute meet and greet with 50 screaming fans — including 21-year-old Rebekah Moran, from Corbally, Co Limerick, who joked she wanted to turn up at 6am just to get a glimpse of her idol — Radcliffe posed for photos, signed autographs, and chatted at length until every quivering fan had their moment in the spotlight.

Afterwards, the Londoner said he believes his core support have grown with him since Harry Potter, allowing him to try out more adult horror (The Woman in Black), drama (The Cripple of Inishmaan), and romantic comedy roles like his latest.

The 25-year-old insisted he is not deliberately choosing unexpected parts, joking about a number of roles involving the boy wizard stripping on screen and stage by saying “I don’t go, ‘Oh great, the script!’ And flick through looking for the naked bit”.

He said he is grateful his fans are allowing him to grow, a situation he hopes can lead to directing roles. “That [Harry Potter] is definitely what those people know me from, but there was also a couple of [independent film] Kill Your Darlings and [TV movie] My Boy Jack things there to sign.

“There’s never going to be one film that’s going to separate me from the character I’m most famous for, so what I have to do is build up a diverse enough body of work so people can’t say, ‘He’s only done Harry Potter’.”

Radcliffe’s latest venture sees him play a love-lorn 20-something. While he gave a slightly unusual reason for why parts of the film were shot in Dublin — “we were supposed to be going to Argentina in the script, but your Government is a lot more friendly” — the star said he was delighted to come here again having recently performed to widespread acclaim in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan.

The actor — whose father is from Banbridge, Co Down — talked about his admiration for Pat Shortt, who performed in Inishmaan, and said while he has “been out with two Irish girls, I don’t want to say anything else; I don’t want to perv on the entire nation”.

However, he joked that the beauty of Ireland goes hand-in-hand with hidden danger: “I saw a guy dangling his toddler over the Cliffs of Moher. That kid isn’t even making memories yet, all he’ll grow up with is a crippling fear of heights.”

* What If... opens on August 20.

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