Dan Rad On Being Called a Sex Symbol

by Kat George

In an interview for his new movie, Horns, Daniel Radcliffe had the best response for the Associated Press when the interviewer asked him how he felt being treated as a sex symbol, post Harry Potter. Forgetting the fact that Harry Potter already was a sex symbol for 12-year-old girls the world over (I was more of a Ron Weasley gal myself, but then I've always had a thing for the gingers), the interviewer made the statement, “You’re kind of becoming a sex symbol, which, for some of your fans, is kind of weird because we’ve seen you growing up on screen and now here you are.” Daniel, in the classy, charming way that English gentlemen pull of so naturally, gushed that he was "delighted" to be seen that way. Then he got real.

He started by saying, “Around the time of What If, the rom-com coming out, a lot of people were saying, ‘You’re really an unconventional romantic lead.’ And so eventually I got bored of hearing that and I kind of picked someone up on it so I was like, ‘What about me is unconventional, exactly? Like, tell me. And she said, ‘Well, I think it’s probably the fact that, you know, we associated you with playing Harry, the young boy wizard.’" This is where Daniel hit the ball right out of the park, with an unsurprisingly polite yet direct response: "My immediate response was, ‘Well, the male population has had no problem sexualizing Emma Watson immediately.'” BAM. *mic drop*

It's a very pragmatic way to look at feminism, and harks back to one of my favorite Caitlin Moran-isms: when looking for gender inequalities, ask: "Do the boys do it too?" In this case, Daniel highlights not only how quick we are to sexualize young women, but that in questioning the same treatment of men, we're tacitly perpetrating the notion that men's careers are somehow more "serious" or based in merit than women's, and that digesting the transition from "child" to "sexual adult" is only awkward when it's a dude in question.

Side note: Dan Rad breezily nailing this double standard makes it a lot easier to see him sexually. Just sayin'.

Watch the full interview below!

Images: Getty Images; igperish/Tumblr