The Religious Right extremists now have another reason to burn Harry Potter books.
Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Potter in the movies, is an atheist.
We got lots of it.
In a recent interview on Inside the Actors Studio (with host James Lipton), there is an exchange where Radcliffe explains that his father has a Northern Irish background and his mother is Jewish (with an Anglicized name). He then adds:
… I wasn’t really brought up in kind of any religious context at all.
You can hear that around the 1:56 mark in the clip below:
We get this exchange later on in their conversation:
Lipton: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Radcliffe: “Bet you’re surprised to see me!” [laughs] because it would be… because I’m not, as I said, religious…
You can see that bit at the 5:31 mark below:
In an article about the interview by Charissa Che, we also read about a portion of their exchange which may have been left on the cutting room floor:
Radcliffe was born to a Northern Irish Protestant father and a Jewish mother, both of whom were initially adamant against their son entering the entertainment industry due to their religious piety. At around 12 years old, Radcliffe became decidedly less religious. “I realized I can’t believe more out of fear than anything else,” he said. Ultimately, his folks backed him in his ambitions.
There’s one more clip — an older one — from an Australian talk show in which Radcliffe is asked whether or not he is religious (at the 2:34 mark).
The exchange is as follows:
Interviewer: You spend so much time as Harry Potter messing with the “Dark Side.” Are you a religious person?
Radcliffe: I’m not, no, at all. I’ve grown up in… My mom was of Jewish blood and my dad was Protestant… So I grew up in a very… I’m very interested in religion as something to study, but I’m not a religious person in the slightest.
Interviewer: Don’t want to wake up, thinking, “oh my god, what have I done, what have I done, what have I done.”
Radcliffe: I don’t think I’m a sinner. I don’t think I’ll be condemned.
(Thanks to Deanna for the terrific compilation!)