Throughout the Harry Potter movie series, Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, has an odd eye twitch. He seems to blink his right eye slightly before his left. This happens consistently throughout every movie.

Is there a canon reason for that or was it a movie choice? If a movie choice, then why?

I don't accept that it's in there without purpose. Directors are very detail oriented people. This has been present in every movie in the series, slipping past multiple directors. In interviews on YouTube, Daniel Radcliffe appears to blink normally. This leads me to believe that it is intentional. What I want to know is, why?

For reference, I consider canon to be anything from the books, JKR directly, or Pottermore. I will accept an answer that cites an interview with someone associated with the movies who says conclusively, "Yes, that is a Daniel Radcliffe thing." Blurry YouTube videos are not good evidence, since they differ: in some it looks like he is, in others, not so. Speculation is totally unwelcome and unacademic.

Edit 5.10.2012: I'm still looking for a conclusive answer to this question. I would give David Stratton the cigar, just for attempting to research the answer, but that doesn't help the community as much. If anyone can dredge up an interview with someone regarding this, I'd be glad to give them +25 rep. :)

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    Does the ninja downvoter want to explain themselves? Commented May 11, 2012 at 20:06
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    JK Rowling and Radcliffe have discussed here that initially Radcliffe tried wearing contact lenses to make his eyes green. He had an allergic reaction to both the lenses and the Harry Potter-glasses. That might partly explain it, at least in the early films... Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 12:04

3 Answers 3


I never caught an eye twitch. Good eye, but seeing as an eye twitch is never mentioned in any of the books, it's got to be something Daniel Radcliffe does on his own.


Further evidence that it's something that Daniel does on his own as stated above, the same twitch can be seen in his appearance in David Copperfield. Sorry for the low quality, but here's a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAb5Hfu1H7w

It could be a symptom of his dyspraxia. In most articles that mention the fact that he has it, the article says that at worst it makes tying his own shoes difficult, but abnormal eye movements are symptoms listed. It could simply be that this is such a minor issue it's not worth mentioning that it's a part of his symptoms of the disease.

End Edit


In later movies, there's a whole head twitch that appears to happen when the bit of Voldemort in him is rising to the surface or influencing him. This would be where his head twitches, and he rolls his head, like you'd do if you were stretching your neck.

THAT appears to be an intentional addition that is in the movies only, as a visual indication of what's going on inside him.

As for the eye twitch, given that there are no canoniocal references stating that the character, Harry, had such a twitch, the only logical conclusion is that it's just something that Daniel does.

  • This doesn't really answer the question I asked. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 17:39
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    Actually, the fact that there is no canon reference does suggest it's not intentional. That, along with the visible twitch in his other acting roles provides pretty strong evidence that my answer is correct, and if correct, then the lack of canonical evidence is because it's correct. But I did edit to give a credible reference and a stronger answer. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 18:08
  • Yet in the handful of interview videos I watched on YouTube, he doesn't. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 18:38
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    +1 for the dyspraxia bit. Didn't know about that. Don't know that it's conclusively the cause, but still. It shows effort. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 19:01
  • I don't think it's conclusive, either. It just seems the most likely to me. Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 19:02

Maybe it's just a side effect from the scar make-up over his eye. Would explain why he doesn't do it in interviews

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    Of course it's speculation. You're whole question is based on speculation.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 17:58
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    "I don't accept that it's in there without purpose" And exactly how is that not speculation?
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:43
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    @Kevin: Any question is speculation. It's the answers that we hope aren't speculation. He's helping you by telling you why he downvoted. You can accept that as constructive criticism, or you can try to blame him. He has a good point (that it's in every movie and not in interviews, so it's not natural for Dr to do it) so he's looking for the reason. But you can argue with him all you want -- it won't get you any upvotes and will guarantee that you don't get the 15 points for answering the question.
    – Tango
    Commented Apr 23, 2012 at 21:53
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    @Kevin "That could have led him in a direction in his search for an answer." This is the problem, right here. The format of this site is Question and Answer. Answers here should be, well, answers. Not something that "could have led" to an answer.
    – Beofett
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 17:16
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    I see where you guys are coming from. In hindsight, this should have been a comment under his question, rather than an answer
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 17:56

I had not noticed anything peculiar with his eyes until I saw his "first test screen" video today.

In this video he is regularly blinking quickly both eyes normally, but also sometimes blinking his left or right eye alone, more slowly, once or twice. But particularly the left one. There are also some times like you said, with his left eye blinking more slowly than his right eye, when they blink together, but it's not systematic at all.

Some examples of blinking his left eye alone, at 0:29 and 0:36. He does it very often when they are all three together, starting at 8:00.

Seems quite automatic and random to me...

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    It is interesting and useful that you provided an example :) But does this attempt to actually answer the question? Only the last line seems to do so, but it doesn't seem like a real answer to me...
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 1:28

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