Just to hear him enthuse about playing “Cripple Billy” – another orphan hero, derided by those around him, who dreams of Hollywood stardom circa 1934, and the filming of Robert J Flaherty’s enduring documentary Man of Aran – is to receive a powerful adrenalin rush by osmosis.
When I try to coax him into talking about his love life, he replies with a smile: “I’ve learnt that no matter what I say or don’t say, people form their opinions anyway, so I’m now going to let everyone guess and leave it there.” But he’s also chatty, self-deprecating, articulate, focused – all of the things many young men would like to be at his age but often aren’t.
But there’s no time for staying in mourning: “He wouldn’t be wanting me to slow down.” Going slow isn’t in Radcliffe’s nature.
“Hyper” is how those who know him would describe him, he reckons.
You can end up provoking a huge range of reactions.” Radcliffe is in the early stages of rehearsing Martin Mc Donagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, an uproariously funny, dazzlingly intelligent modern classic, set on the Aran Island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, and not seen in London since its 1996 National Theatre premiere.
It is his first appearance in the West End since his triumphant 2007 debut in Peter Shaffer’s Equus.