When Daniel Radcliffe appeared in the Broadway play Equus in 2007, bang in the middle of his tenure as Harry Potter, it raised eyebrows. The British tabloid media had a field day reporting stories about behind-the-scenes disturbances, and even said that the actor had jeopardised his future as Harry Potter.
To quell the reports, Warner Bros had to issue a statement in support of the actor, and his career choices. “Daniel Radcliffe is an extremely talented actor, as well as a great collaborator and friend to Warner Bros. Pictures,” the statement read. “We’ve had great experiences working with him on our films and fully support him in the artistic choices he makes as an actor.”
Equus, directed by Thea Sharrock, also starred Radcliffe’s Harry Potter co-star Richard Griffiths, who played Vernon Dursley in the film. The play tells the story of a stable-hand with an erotic fixation for horses, and made headlines for Radcliffe’s full-frontal nudity. Asked about the scenes, he told Reuters, “After the first couple of previews, I didn’t really care anymore.” He added, “It all seemed to imply the nudity was gratuitous which it isn’t at all.”
The actor had also said that he didn’t think that Harry Potter author JK Rowling would take issue with his decision to do the play. He said, “She is coming to see it at some point. I don’t think she objected in any way. She was very happy to see me going off and doing something else.” The actor was recently involved in a controversy when he seemingly spoke up against Rowling, who’d made questionable comments about the trans community on Twitter.
“Part of me wants to shake up people’s perception of me, just shove me in a blender,” the actor had told Newsweek in an interview. “It’s a really challenging play, and if I can pull it off — we don’t know if I can yet — I hope people will stop and think, ‘Maybe he can do something other than Harry’,” the actor continued.