Since it’s the first thing everyone wants to talk about: Yes, Daniel Radcliffe is appearing naked on Broadway.
The 19-year-old thesp, known to practically everyone as the young actor plucked from obscurity to play fledgling wizard Harry Potter onscreen, is starring in a limited Rialto engagement of “Equus,” the 1973 Peter Shaffer play about a troubled young man who commits a sudden act of violence.
He’s reprising a role he first played on the West End in a 2007 staging helmed by Thea Sharrock and co-starring Richard Griffiths, another alum of the “Potter” films.
Radcliffe’s star power — not to mention that nude scene — helped make the play a smash hit in London last year, and in Gotham the show became the top-grossing nonmusical on the Street soon after it began perfs Sept. 5.
The actor acknowledges his role in “Equus” reps a departure from his Potter work but contends that wasn’t the main attraction.
“There was definitely an awareness that this was the right thing to do, but I’d like to think it wasn’t as cynical as ‘strategy,'” he says. “When I first read the play, it hit me on a gut level.”
With movie adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s megahit books filming almost back-to-back since 2001, Radcliffe has had few opportunities to play anybody other than Harry. (The sixth movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” is due out next summer.)
That’ll be true for a bit longer. Not long after the Broadway version of “Equus” closes, he commences the long shoot for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the two-film adaptation of the final novel in the series.
Through it all, Radcliffe has essentially grown up onscreen, and now onstage. He believes his turn in “Equus,” for instance, has benefited from the experience he’s gained since he did it last year.
“I think I’ve gotten better since we did it in London,” he says. “I’m 18 months older.”
Recent breakthrough: Reprising his much-discussed West End turn in “Equus” on Broadway, in an engagement now playing through Feb. 4.
Role models: His father, Alan Radcliffe, and his friend Will Steggle, who works in costumes and wardrobe on the “Harry Potter” films. “The thing they both have in common is they both steer their own ship.”
What’s next: Filming the marathon adaptation of the seventh Potter book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”