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Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint: "We'd love to try selling The Big Issue"

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint reveal why they are considering swapping the stage for the street

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint at the What's On Awards

Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint.

The boy wizard had little difficulty in making things disappear. A shake of the wand here, a polyjuice potion there. Daniel Radcliffe, however, can’t call upon Harry’s cloak of invisibility and has asked The Big Issue to help him say ‘evanesco’.

Radcliffe has attracted a spotlight like no other for more than a decade after first slipping on the Potter round spectacles. Small in stature (and boasting a scruffy long-haired, unshaven look, for which he apologised when he met The Big Issue), yet colossal in name.

The 24-year-old grew up firmly in the public eye and would happily step from under the spotlight if he was allowed to go about his business quietly and with little personal attention.

Selling The Big Issue would undoubtedly be a challenge, especially for me and Rupert

“We’ve lived our lives in a certain bubble, which has changed the way people relate and talk to you,” Radcliffe said of himself and fellow Hogwarts alumnus Rupert Grint, both proving there’s life long beyond Gryffindor when they recently collected a pair of top prizes apiece at the WhatsOnStage Awards.

“As actors we are afforded a certain attitude towards us, and this is a very privileged way to walk through the world. To swap that and get a taste for how a huge amount of people are treated in the world would be a rewarding experience.”

Radcliffe was contemplating what it would be like to swap the stage for the streets to try his hand at selling The Big Issue. Inspired by the exploits of fellow theatre favourites and recent guest Big Issue vendors Alison Steadman and Haydn Gwynne, Radcliffe and Grint are open to the idea.

“Going out and selling The Big Issue would undoubtedly be a challenge, especially for me and Rupert,” explains Radcliffe, winner of Best Actor in a Play for Broadway-bound The Cripple of Inishmaan. “But it would be a positive and edifying experience and I’d be happy to support The Big Issue in any way.

“I’d love to try selling The Big Issue, absolutely,” added West End debutant Grint, winner of the same London Newcomer of the Year for Mojo that Radcliffe scooped in 2008.

“I can’t imagine how difficult a job it is for these guys out on the street. I was terrified about how I would handle the play before it started but I gave it my best and I’d certainly give this a go too.”

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The star-studded bash, hosted by Rufus Hound and Mel Giedroyc at the Prince of Wales Theatre last Sunday, was held in aid of The Big Issue Foundation. Now in its 14th year, the awards raised a glass to the finest West End talent of the last year and placed The Big Issue firmly in the limelight, with the Foundation also launching an initiative calling on theatreland’s leading lights to take part in their own stage swap.

Another big winner on the night included the all-conquering Book of Mormon. The hilarious musical, created by the team behind South Park, has broken all sorts of records from Broadway to Westminster. But that hasn’t stopped elder-in-chief Gavin Creel [pictured left], winner of Best Actor in a Musical, trying to lead a Mormon invasion of red Big Issue tabards around London.

“I’m a terrible salesman, I feel bad asking people to buy anything from me, but this is such a great cause,” he said. “We want to do this, for sure. “It helps people in need and you get a great magazine out of it for a decent price.

“You’re getting a great read while helping someone in the process, you can’t ask for much more really.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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