One of the publicity photos shows a topless and buffed Daniel Radcliffe being hugged by a naked woman. Another shows him leaning against bales of hay as he stares up at the topless woman. A third has him posing in front of a white horse.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is seen in this undated handout publicity picture for Equus, a play in which Radcliffe plays Alan Strang who has a passion for horses. Equus will open at The Gielgud Theater in London on February 27, 2007. [Photo: Reuters]
The pictures have been released ahead of the opening of Equus, a controversial Peter Shaffer play showing at London's Gielgud Theater from next month.
Radcliffe, 17, plays a troubled stablehand who one night blinds six horses with a hoofpick.
He features in numerous nude scenes with co-star Joanne Christie, the woman in the publicity shots.
The UK's Daily Mail reports that Harry Potter fan sites have received emails from concerned parents.
"We as parents feel Daniel should not appear nude. Our nine-year-old son looks up to him as a role model. We are very disappointed and will avoid the future movies he makes," one parent wrote.
Another said: "I am curious as to how and why his parents said this was okay."
Some of his younger fans, however, are impressed with Radcliffe's tough new look.
"I am completely stunned by these pix," wrote GinnyPotter on fan site danradcliffe.co.uk.
"He is no longer the shy boy in the prefects' bathroom anymore. His body is ... I can't even say or I will no doubt be banned but he has grown a lot and I am very proud of Daniel."
Another wrote: "When I saw it I couldn't breathe for a moment. I was shocked. But (the) pictures are very cool and very good. I like it ... They're awesome!"
The publicity shots were taken between filming of the fifth and sixth Harry Potter movies.
The play's producer, David Pugh, told the Daily Mail that Radcliffe had been rehearsing the nude scenes with Christie for more than a week and had overcome his initial shyness.
The young actor's spokeswoman, Vanessa Davies, said: "Daniel does not want to step away from Harry Potter but he does want to show he is a rounded actor capable of very different and diverse roles."
"He has tremendous support from Harry Potter fans," she said.
(Agencies via CRI February 1, 2007)