The Venice film festival descended briefly into chaos on Sunday as screaming Harry Potter fans stampeded across the seafront after British star Daniel Radcliffe, in town to present his new film.
Radcliffe, who rose to fame playing the child wizard, was surrounded by bodyguards and police, but that did not stop some admirers pushing their way into the bathroom with him during a press conference break.
The 24-year-old shrugged off suggestions that the clamour of hyperventilating teenagers on Venice’s picturesque Lido island was intimidating.
“Thankfully, it’s not always like this,” he told the press conference, as a crowd outside thumped on the walls and rattled the windows trying to get in.
“I’ve been dealing with it in various ways since I was 11. I don’t take it seriously, actually I think it’s funny,” said a smiling Radcliffe, sporting a blue polo shirt, rainbow-coloured socks and pastel pink sneakers.
The actor – with his parents in tow – may be an A-lister, but he still has a schoolboy air, and rather than the usual cocktail soiree held to honour Venice stars, he has requested a Karaoke party.
Radcliffe was in Venice to present Kill Your Darlings, a Beat Generation film by John Chokidars, in which he plays a young Allen Ginsberg.
He said he thought fans would enjoy the flick, which explores themes from drug use to homosexuality.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the swirl of support behind me. My fans seem excited by the unconventional path I am taking,” he said.
“I love poetry and it was fantastic to get the part and have the opportunity to dive into Ginsberg’s life. The diaries he made when he was young gave me an amazing insight into his character,” he said.
For fans of A Young Doctor’s Notebook, a television series starring Radcliffe as a doctor forced take up a post in a small, remote hospital in Russia, the actor promised “series two is funnier and even darker.”
This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on September 2, 2013. For similar stories, go to sph.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.