Radcliffe starred as the lead role of Harry Potter—a young wizard tasked with saving the magical and non-magical world from a dark wizard known as Lord Voldemort—in eight Harry Potter movies: 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
So…how much did Daniel Radcliffe make from the Harry Potter movies? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Radcliffe made $1 million for the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in 2001. Due to the box office success of the Sorcerer’s Stone ($974 million grossed worldwide and $1 billion in re-releases), Radcliffe made $3 million (a raise of $2 million from the first film) for the second Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in 2002.
For the third Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, in 2004, Radcliffe made $6 million (double what he made for Chamber of Secrets). He made $11 million for the fourth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in 2005 and $14 million for the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in 2007. He received a $10 million raise for the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in 2009, which made him $24 million. For the last two Harry Potter movies—2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Radcliffe made a combined $50 million for both movies.
In total, Radcliffe has made $109 million from the Harry Potter movies, according to Celebrity Net Worth. As for the Harry Potter movies, the eight films have grossed a total of $7.7 billion.
In an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in 2021, Radcliffe revealed that he was cast as Harry Potter after he was recommended for the role by Maggie Smith, who played Professor McGonagall. “I met Maggie Smith when I was 9 for the first time,” he said at the time. “I did a thing before Potter called David Copperfield, a BBC adaptation… Maggie was the person that recommended me for Potter.
So she’s the reason I ended up doing that. I met her when I was 9 for the first time. I didn’t know who she was. My parents were like, ‘Oh my God, you’re working with Maggie Smith, that’s huge.’ But I was not like a Prime of Miss Jean Brodie fan, so I didn’t know who that was!”
Casting director Janet Hirshenson told The Huffington Post in 2020 that she had a specific requirements for the main cast members of the Harry Potter movies.
The first was that the lead actors had to be British, which ruled out American actors like Robin Williams, who wanted to play Hagrid. For the roles of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, Hirshenson also wanted actors who were the same ages as their characters. “It was really specific on ages because there were several movies hopefully, so we could not go for a small 13-year-old to play anybody. They had to be at least the proper age of the character,” she said.
The requirements became even more specific for Harry, who has blue/green eyes in the books. “And for Harry, to complicate things, I needed a blue-or-green-eyed kid because part of Harry is his green eyes or blue-green, but they couldn’t be brown eyes, so that was another elimination thing. We said, ‘Oh, drat! He’s great, but he has brown eyes,’” she said.
In the end, it came down to Radcliffe (who director Chris Columbus had his eye on because of his work in David Copperfield) and another actor, with Radcliffe winning the role. “The other kid was terrific and very vulnerable and very Harry-looking, but besides that, Harry was going to become a very powerful kid, too,” Hirshenson said. “And Daniel had both sides. He was very vulnerable, but the other kid ― it was like, he [was] not going to have the balls that Daniel has, to put it that way.”
During HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts in 2022, Radcliffe revealed that he cried when he learned he was cast as Harry Potter. “I heard the phone ring. My dad went to answer it,” Radcliffe recalled. “He came upstairs and stood in the doorway of the bathroom — my mum was there and my dad was facing me … He said ‘you got the part’ or ‘you’re playing Harry’ or something. I’m pretty sure I cried … but I don’t know why! He continued, “Looking back at that, I don’t know what that was, really. They were happy tears. But to acknowledge that almost feels as if I knew on some level how momentous it was, and I really don’t think that I did.”