Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the British actor blamed uncertainty about life after Harry Potter for his drinking problem.
Ratcliffe has been sober since 2013 after first swearing off alcohol in 2010.
Radcliffe told host Lauren Laverne that, “If I went out and if I got drunk, I’d suddenly be aware of there being interest in that because it’s not just a drunk guy. It’s ‘Oh, Harry Potter’s getting drunk in the bar.’”
The 30-year-old admitted that playing the character “carried some kind of interest for people and also a slightly mocking interest…It’s inherently funny for people.”
Radcliffe turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism, explaining that his “way of dealing with that [was] just to drink more or get more drunk, so I did a lot of that for a few years”.
“A lot of drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic, a little bit not knowing what to do next – not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.”
The actor, who last starred in the thriller Escape From Pretoria, credits the support of family and friends for giving him “enough perspective on my life.” Although, “ultimately, it was my own decision,” he said.
“Like I woke up one morning after a night going like, ‘This is probably not good.’”