Thursday, December 02, 2010

Harry Potter's Dan Radcliffe: Accidental Star

Daniel Radcliffe has been a household name ever since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hit the scene in 2001, but his interest in acting began much earlier with the prestigious role of a monkey in a school play. Although his mother was a casting agent and his father a literary agent, it wasn't his parents that pushed him into acting (in fact, they were quite reluctant about it at first), so Dan's first audition was at the prompting of a friend as a 'bit of fun', to try out for a role of a television production of David Copperfield and was quite surprised when he got it!

His next project was a small role in The Tailor of Panama, starting Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis. It was Jamie that suggested one day that it seemed Dan would be a good fit for Harry Potter and said so to Dan's mother. Although his parents were reluctant for him to audition, they eventually relented and, of course, Dan got the part, beginning a 10-year wild ride.

Dan has said that his acting career has been sort of an accident, but his chart doesn't seem to think so! With 5 planets in Leo, including his south node and Sun, there does seem to be a bit of a mark of destiny! While not every Leo longs to be an actor, there is the urge among everyone who wears the lion's mane to roar -- to express themselves, be heard and seen, to get in touch with what makes them special and share that creativity.

Leo does not always deserve the rap it gets from pop astrology as the overbearing, loud, egomaniac and show-off. Dan has been asked what qualities he shares with Harry Potter and he has listed loyalty, curiosity, standing up for himself and a propensity to land himself in trouble as the greatest similarities. All unsung Leo qualities.

Perhaps Leo can show itself as a diva when it feels too ignored, suppressed, or insecure, but the goal of Leo is not to be the star of every show, only the star of its own life; to be special, not more special than everyone else. With Dan, there is a strong soul desire to express himself creatively, often through performance, and acting certainly fits the bill. However, he also enjoys playing music, film (not necessarily his own), and has actually written and published a book of poetry under a pseudonym, befitting his Mercury (our 'voice') conjunct his Sun in Leo.

In fact, Dan has said several times that he doesn't exactly enjoy seeing himself on screen and avoids reading or watching any interviews of himself. Doesn't sound like the Leo stereotype we've been fed, does it!? Ironically, when asked Which of Harry's magical powers Dan would like to have, he replies: "Invisibility. That would be so cool just to go anywhere without people seeing you." While it's not shocking for an actor to want a little more anonymity so they can live their daily life, it's also striking that a Leo would want to be invisible. Yet, Leo, ruled by the Sun, is very much like the Sun: it shines so brightly, yet you can't look directly at it.

One of the challenges for a Leo south node (and therefore an Aquarius north node) is to learn the difference between expressing themselves in an authentic way, not just whatever gets applause or appreciation. In Dan's case, he might also be learning how to be seen for who he truly is, not just what people want him to be. His Jupiter (planet of opportunity and luck) opposite Uranus (planet of individuation) illustrates the tension he must feel between opportunities for growth in a direction that his fans or the industry and the real opportunities that come from authentic growth, even when no one's watching or understanding. Equus, a play that Dan starred in during 2008, was certainly a shocking departure from the role of lovable hero Harry Potter and could certainly be seen as an attempt toward a leap at breaking away from expectations of what people want to see vs. what he really is.

On an amusing note, his co-star in Equus has said that even with his incredible physique during the play, he loves candy. In particular, Mars bars. Gotta love that!
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