It’s one of the most widely reported coming of age stories in the media today, Daniel Radcliffe’s. It was almost impossible to see him prevail in high-drama roles when he was prancing around Hogwarts in floods of tears. But now he’s doing scary films, starring on Broadway and breaking boundaries with gay scenes as Allen Ginsberg.

David Cross and Daniel RadcliffeDavid Cross and Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings

See, if you’d come up to us in a shop five years ago and said: “There will be two beat generation films: one based on the seminal novel by Jack Kerouac, starring Sam Riley and Garret Hedlund, directed by Walter Salles, the man behind City of God and The Motorcycle Diaries, the other: an autobiographical account of Allen Ginsberg’s time at Columbia University from first-time-feature-director John Krokidas,” we would have politely pointed you towards the end of the queue, admitting that the first one sounded better.

We were wrong, even though that never happened.

Radcliffe all grown up in the Kill Your Darlings trailer

Radcliffe has been nothing short of revelatory in Kill Your Darlings, in which he, by all accounts, gives a startlingly mature performance. All this is probably skewed somewhat by placing the Harry Potter prodigy in context: he’s a posh kid, born in Fulham. But out of the three Potter stars – who made all the money they’ll ever need by starring in eight pretty bad films – Radcliffe is certainly proving the most dynamic.

Emma Watson displayed some sort of pathetic teenage rebellion – not by taking on serious roles, but by acting like a teenage rebelling in all of her subsequent films. Rubert Grint is probably playing rugby somewhere, watching Made in Chelsea afterwards - an icepack on his clammy thigh - clutching a cup of tea and guzzling a Battenberg.

Despite the nearly irresistible urge to throw all images of Radcliffe - any memories of the man – in a big mental recycling bin and press empty, then clicking ‘yes’, it’s similarly difficult not to quietly applaud him – alone, on a Wednesday evening – for breaking free of a seemingly life-enduring role. Go on Radcliffe, buy yourself GTA V - you deserve it.

Harry PotterDaniel Radcliffe
Then and now: Radcliffe in Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets, and now, in Kill Your Darlings