‘Harry Potter’ Star Jason Isaacs Reveals Young Cast Members’ Heavy Drinking, Smoking Habits

Jessamyn Dodd
By Jessamyn Dodd
February 17, 2024Entertainment
‘Harry Potter’ Star Jason Isaacs Reveals Young Cast Members’ Heavy Drinking, Smoking Habits
Cast members of the film 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' pose upon arrival for a screening. From L: British actor Jason Isaacs, Irish actress Evanna Lynch, French actress Clémence Poésy, and Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, in Paris, on July 12, 2011. (Patrick Kovarik/AFP via Getty Images)

Jason Isaacs, best known for his portrayal of Lucius Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” film series, recently delved into the behind-the-scenes dynamics of the iconic franchise’s youthful ensemble.

Reports from the New York Post unveil Mr. Isaacs’s revelations about the prevalent culture of heavy drinking among the younger cast members during their time on set.

The franchise, based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, catapulted its young stars into worldwide fame. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character Harry Potter, was 12 years old when he first donned the iconic glasses and scar. Alongside him were Rupert Grint as the loyal Ron Weasley, Emma Watson as the brilliant Hermione Granger, and Tom Felton as the complex Draco Malfoy, the son of Mr. Isaacs’s character Lucius Malfoy.

These actors, along with numerous others in supporting roles, grew up on screen, with each film installment chronicling their characters’ journey through the magical world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Mr. Isaacs interacted closely with the younger cast members throughout the series. He recently shared insights into the challenges posed by the significant age gap between himself and his co-stars. As the years passed and the actors matured, Mr. Isaacs found himself navigating the evolving dynamics of their relationships both on and off set, according to the New York Post.

Despite the magical allure of the “Harry Potter” universe, Mr. Isaacs revealed a more mundane aspect of life behind the scenes—the prevalence of heavy drinking among the younger actors. He described a culture of excessive alcohol consumption, noting that it wasn’t just occasional indulgence but rather a consistent pattern among the cast members.

The film’s star, Daniel Radcliffe, admitted his alcohol habit affected his work, recalling instances where he arrived on set still under the influence. In a previous interview with “Off Camera,” Mr. Radcliffe stated, “I can honestly say I never drank at work on ‘Harry Potter,'” he clarified. “I went into work still drunk, but I never drank at work. I can point to many scenes where I’m just gone. Dead behind the eyes.”

The actor revealed feeling constantly scrutinized during his formative years, leading him to seek solace in alcohol. “The quickest way to forget about the fact that you’re being watched is to get very drunk,” the now 34-year-old admitted. He described a vicious cycle wherein heightened awareness of being observed fueled further drinking to numb the discomfort.

Mr. Radcliffe defended fellow child stars who resort to extreme measures to cope with fame, emphasizing the lack of guidance for young celebrities. Drawing parallels, he remarked: “That’s like when people have a go at Justin Bieber and drag racing cars. I’m like, yeah, but stuff could be super crazy for him right now.”

Having embraced sobriety since 2010, Mr. Radcliffe acknowledged the challenges of quitting drinking, sharing that he made several attempts before succeeding with the support of friends. Reflecting on his decision, he said: “Ultimately, it was my own decision. Like I woke up one morning after a night going like, ‘This is probably not good.'”

Mr. Felton has openly addressed his battle with addiction. In his 2022 memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” the actor candidly reflects on his struggles with alcohol.

“Drinking becomes a habit at the best of times,” he penned. “When you’re drinking to escape a situation, even more so. The habit spilled out of the bar and, from time to time, onto set. … It came to the point where I would think nothing of having a drink while I was working. I’d turn up unprepared, not the professional I wanted to be. The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom.”

Mr. Felton described the turning point in his journey, detailing how his agents, managers, lawyer, and former girlfriend, Jade Olivia Gordon, staged an intervention and devised a plan to support him through rehabilitation.

From The Epoch Times

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