Harry Potter naked! and smoking!

Filed under: Celeb Kids, That's Entertainment

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is currently appearing in a London revival of Peter Shaffer's Tony award-winning play "Equus." The play tells the story of 17 year old Alan Strang, who has been referred for psychiatric care after blinding six horses with a metal pick. When the play was first produced in 1973, its content and its staging made it incredibly controversial.

And it is again, but this time the controversy is less about the play itself and more about Radcliffe, who appears completely nude and smokes a cigarette. According to the Daily Mail, Harry Potter websites have been receiving e-mails from concerned parents. "One said: 'We as parents feel Daniel should not appear nude. Our nine-year-old son looks up to him as a role model. We are very disappointed and will avoid the future movies he makes.'" The Boston Herald reports that "The anti-smoking group ASH said Radcliffe's onstage cigarette was 'regrettable.' The group said it feared Radcliffe's status as a role model might encourage young people to start smoking."

I find it hard to take these concerns seriously. Parents who are worried about their children seeing Radcliffe in the nude or smoking shouldn't take their kids to see "Equus." This is not a play for very young kids, for so many (obvious) reasons. A high school student is most likely old enough to understand the play; he or she is also probably mature enough to understand the difference between Radcliffe the actor and the character of Alan Strang.

Finally, good for Daniel Radcliffe; it must be hard to be Harry Potter all the time, and I respect him for challenging himself in a role like this. If he's hoping to have an acting career after Harry Potter, he will need to show that he has the ability to play other kinds of roles, including some which may not be quite so squeaky clean. It's unreasonable for anyone to expect him to play only one character in his entire career.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.