By MICHAEL KUCHWARA, AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK -- Daniel Radcliffe is explaining why he has just filmed a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, the leading organization focusing on suicide prevention efforts among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth.
Because his parents were both actors, "I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about - that some men were gay and some weren't," the "Harry Potter" megastar said Friday. "And then I went to school and (for) the first time ... I came across homophobia. ... I had never encountered it before. It shocked me.
"I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals," he added. "Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it."
The result is a PSA that was filmed Friday at the organization's Wall Street offices. The announcement is scheduled to air sometime this spring.
Radcliffe first became aware of The Trevor Project, founded in 1998 by three filmmakers, while he was appearing on Broadway in the 2008 revival of "Equus." Their movie, "Trevor," which won an Academy Award for best short film, concerned a gay teen who attempts suicide. The Trevor Project allows young people to call in for counseling or just to talk.
"I have described myself as being 'gently eccentric' and slightly different as a person just because I've had a very different set of influences growing up than anybody else in my peer group did," the 20-year-old Radcliffe said. "I've always felt very lucky to have the life that I've had. I never had to cope with anything serious about my religion or sexual orientation or anything like that.
"I think it's important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like 'Harry Potter' and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. ... The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well."