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Kids would be magic, says Daniel Radcliffe – and he’d like to play Potter Senior

But 23-year-old star says he’s had enough of his most famous role

He’s a self-confessed workaholic, balancing film roles and stage appearances while writing a screenplay. But Daniel Radcliffe has revealed there is something missing in his life – the “sense of purpose” that comes with fatherhood.

The 23-year-old star of the Harry Potter films has revealed that he is anxious to experience the “wonderful change” enjoyed by his friends who have become parents – and is keen to get going in his twenties.

While Radcliffe did not indicate whom he would like to raise children with, his estimated £60m fortune and boyish good looks should ensure there is no shortage of suitors.

The actor split up with his long-term girlfriend last year, and although he was linked with the American actress Erin Darke earlier this year, he has yet to confirm any romantic liaison.

Radcliffe, who played the schoolboy wizard Harry Potter for a decade, said that his desire to have children was sparked by seeing the effect of parenthood on the people around him.

“I definitely want to have kids,” he said in an interview with Time Out magazine. “I’ve grown up around lots of people who were having  kids when I knew them, because a lot of them were a lot older than me. And I saw the wonderful change  in them.

“I see that it gives you a sense of purpose that up till now I only really get from work. I want that. I don’t know when or [with whom] but I want it. And I’d like to get started on it before my thirties. I like the idea of being a youngish parent. So I’ve got energy to play football even though they’ll be better than me by the time they’re four.”

He added that he expects to be a demanding parent: “I’m definitely going to be one of those parents who pushes their kids into things.”

While insisting his days of playing Harry Potter are over, Radcliffe hinted that he would consider a role as the wizard’s dad in the “unlikely” event that JK Rowling writes a sequel: “No more schoolboy stuff. A cameo as Harry’s dad? That would be perfect!”

The actor, who  is estimated to have earned £17m in 2012, has performed as a father, in The Woman in Black, when his screen son, Joseph, was played by his real-life godson, Misha Handley, then five.

Radcliffe was speaking as he  prepared for his latest onstage  role as Billy, a lame village idiot  who dreams of becoming a film  star, in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, which is to open next month in London’s Noël Coward Theatre.

In the play, Billy is slapped around by one of his aunts, played by Gillian Hanna, whom Radcliffe had to persuade to hit harder: “All of that getting beaten up stuff is brilliant. I encourage people to just hit me harder. The actress, Gillian Hanna – she’s not going to do permanent damage by smacking me in the head. She doesn’t like hitting people, understandably, but I’ve got her into it now, I think.”

He is a fan of McDonagh’s writing style and has tried to emulate elements of it in his own and first screenplay, which he said is a  “very dark comedy”, one unsuitable for children.

Radcliffe added that he would love a role in a Star Wars film and that he is planning to get a tattoo: “It’s going to sound really pretentious but there’s a [Samuel] Beckett quote I really like which I’m going to get tattooed on me. ‘Try again, fail again, fail better.’ That’s what I’m about. I heard someone say growing up is about aiming to  succeed but being fulfilled by failing very well. I agree with that 100 per cent.”