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Is Daniel Radcliffe gay? The Harry Potter star’s sexuality has always been a hot topic of debate

Emma Finamore April 23, 2018
Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe (Photo by Remy Steiner/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger)

Harry Potter star, PinkNews’ “Bottom of the Year” 2015, and now seasoned stage thespian, Daniel Radcliffe has spent basically his whole career being asked about his sexuality.

With an estimated net worth of $110m (£66m) to his name, he’s one of the most famous faces in the world – and apparently it’s a “gay face” too.

In an interview with the Daily Express, Radcliffe said he was “thrilled” that newspapers suspected he was gay, simply because of his face.

He said: “I had to smile when stories emerged questioning whether I was gay. Obviously I knew I wasn’t but people were curiously desperate to suggest I was.

“The papers used to say I had a gay face, whatever that is, or a gay voice but it simply wasn’t true… (But) when you know a gay guy has a crush on you, it’s the most flattering thing.”

Related: Daniel Radcliffe named bottom of the year

Daniel Radcliffe has had a number of girlfriends (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty)

He also sees this gossip as a positive thing in terms of his career: “If people are speculating about your sexuality, then you’re doing OK.”

It’s not just his face that has seen Radcliffe linked to the gay community: he’s a vocal, supportive advocate of LGBTQ+ rights and issues.

In 2012, he recorded a video for the California-based organisation The Trevor Project, which runs a support helpline for gay, bi and trans youth.

In this recording he said: “I’m Daniel Radcliffe, and I believe that reaching out for help is the bravest thing a person can do.

“If you are struggling and need support, call the Trevor Lifeline. It’s free and confidential, and trained counsellors are there to listen 24/7 without judgment.”

Radcliffe has also spoken about the importance of the right all couples should have to same-sex marriage. He told Attitude magazine: “The ultimate reason gay marriage should be legalised everywhere is because, as a kid, you look to your mum and dad and they’re married…

“Then you look at the gay couple who’ve been together for the same amount of time, but because they can’t get married their relationship doesn’t seem the same.

Related: Daniel Radcliffe: Newspapers believed I was gay because I had a ‘gay face’

“Yes, gay marriage is about symbolically blessing a relationship, but the larger issue is about transmitting a fundamental message about equality. Gay people should have equality in law everywhere.”

Radcliffe has also discussed the sex scenes he played in the film Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays gay poet Allen Ginsberg, as well as depicting a gay character falling in love.

Despite potentially generating yet more gay rumours, he told Vanity Fair in 2013: “I don’t really see the sex scene in this film as a risk. It just was a part of the movie.

“I totally understand that people are going to talk about it, because it’s salacious and whatever, but the thing that was much more nerve wracking to me about this film was hitting all those big emotional beats.”

He went into detail about the acting in this scene too.

Radcliffe discussed with Flaunt the learning process he went through for it, as the intricacies of gay sex (or more specifically bottoming) were explained to him by the Kill Your Darlings director, John Krokidas.

The Harry Potter star has a run of theatre performances under his belt (Uli Weber)

“I was talked through it by the director,” said Radcliffe. “He would be telling me what I would be feeling in each take.

“Basically, gay sex, especially for the first time, is really f***ing painful. And [Krokidas] said that he had never seen that portrayed accurately on film before.”

Radcliffe has also not shied away from discussing why gay actors might feel pressured to keep their sexuality under wraps.

In a 2016 interview on the Victoria Derbyshire, he explained why he thought celebrity actors might be scared to reveal their sexual preferences. “I suppose because, then people just want to cast you as gay,” he said.

“Rather than the lead role, whose married with children or whatever?” Derbyshire asked.

Daniel Radcliffe has long been a gay ally (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty)

“Yeah, often,” Radcliffe replied. “I mean, there’s very few (gay actors) – well, Neil Patrick Harris has made a career out of playing the the straightest guy on television, which is fantastic.

“But in film, yeah, it’s sad – because, again, we’re in this industry that likes to see itself as being totally progressive and liberal, but there is a line where people go, ‘Oh no, people won’t buy him as straight anymore.’”

Dating Kill Your Darlings co-star

There is no real evidence to support the gay rumours around Daniel Radcliffe.

The 28-year-old – who has been teetotal ever since beating alcoholism in 2010 – has been dating his Kill Your Darlings co-star Erin Darke since 2012, and last year it was widely reported they are engaged to be married.

He has also been romantically linked with other women, such as Irish actresses Laura O’Toole and Rosie Coker.

Radcliffe said: “Now I have a girlfriend so I’m guessing everyone finally believes me…

“I decided a long time ago to be open about everything in my life so when photos appeared of me and Rosie together I confirmed we were dating and it put an end to the rumours.”

Related: Attitude magazine speaks up for bullied gay youth

British actor Daniel Radcliffe (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty)

As well as the Harry Potter films and Kill Your Darlings, Radcliffe has starred in both West End and Broadway plays – like Equus (in which he appeared fully nude on stage) – and horror movies such as the Woman in Black and Victor Frankenstein.

He’s often sought out roles that go against the wholesome Harry Potter ‘type’, such as an FBI agent going undercover as a white supremacist in Imperium, and a drug-smuggling pilot in independent film Beast of Burden.

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