Daniel Radcliffe is a far cry from the young boy wizard the world grew to know and love. Now, aged 24 and currently starring in ‘Cripple of the inishmaan’ on London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre Dan is at the top of his game, making daring career choices that no one could predict. His next theatrical release Kill Your Darling’s, following the early life of Allen Ginsberg and the start of the Beat generation, is out this autumn.
Question: We’re you very literary as a youth?
Daniel: When I was about 14, I got in to reading in a big way. Yeah, poetry in particular actually. I’m not a fan of a lot of the poetry that Allen rails against in Kill Your Darlings but you know, that’s acting!
Question: I suspect that a certain film series from your past has given you the security and freedom to choose things that challenge you as an actor, is there an extent to which you are slightly constrained by the thought of bringing an audience with you that maybe grew up watching the other films you made?
Daniel: Do you think I’ve been constrained so far? I can only do the work that excites me and that I get passionate about. The people that like those films will go and see them, a lot of fans from Potter came and saw Equus, I think frankly that anything after that is… well it’s not going to get that much more extreme than seeing me have sex with a horse on stage.
Question: Given With everything you’ve been through in recent years (Equus, Dancing at the Oscars, you’re in the west end, you’re snogging guys on screen), have you kept a diary?
Daniel: I haven’t not, but I’ve always been told (to), my English teacher, whom I’m still friends with always bangs on at me and tells me I really should. I’m just hoping I’m going to remember it all. I don’t have the patience or tolerance for my own writing.
Question: You’re in a unique situation with Rupert and Emma, who at a young age have had your future mapped out for 10 years, when that ended was it like a safety net had been taken away and do you have to adapt in a different way?
Daniel: I was talking to Matthew Lewis about this recently, we were both saying that actually since finishing Potter, it’s not like a safety net was taken away, well it is like a safety net was taken away but as a good thing. I think that when you are somewhere for 10 years, no matter how diligent you try and be you become so comfortable in your surroundings that you start taking on information and learning different probably less efficient way that what you’re doing when you’re just thrown in at the deep end and there’s something new about it. I think that actually, for me, leaving Potter has been really exciting because, with Potter I did one film a year and it was Potter and to now be able to go off and do two or three films in a year and a play or whatever it is has given us all an appetite for trying to do as many different parts and do as many different films under our belts as possible.
Question: You’re now a man that was a child actor that is now performing seamlessly and quite daringly. Do you ever think back to the wee boy sat on the hotel floor playing Monopoly and what was in your head then and whether you ever dared think your achievements would be what they are today?
Daniel: I never could have ever imagined that I would have been doing exactly what I’m doing now. It was never particularly in doubt in my mind that I would at least endeavour to break out of Potter to do things afterwards. I think that the day after I was cast as Harry there was some article, written by Jack Wild who played Artful Dodger. He wrote an article, obviously he had a very tough time and he wrote an article kind of condemning us all to the same kind of the day after we’d be cast. I think that when you hear that kind of stuff when you’re 11 you do kind of in a way that you’re not really aware of that you kind of rail against it and go well no I’m not, I’m going to prove those people wrong and so yes I definitely couldn’t tell you what I was thinking at the time. I do remember playing Monopoly and I sometimes drive past the hotels that I spent time at during those early press conferences and its very, very strange. IT makes me very proud about where I’ve got to and to where I continue to go.
Question: If you had to choose one for the rest of your life, Movies or Theatre, which would it be?
Daniel: Movies, it’s where I’ve grown up and although I just spoke about not settling in to your comfort zone, it is a wonderful place to be. I love them; I think that when film sets are run well, they’re wonderful little microcosms of how the world could work. I think that as a kid in particularly it teaches you stuff about team work and beauty and lots of other stuff you don’t necessarily have if you just grow up in London. All that stuff I gained through filming films, I love and still love and I want to be a part of for the rest of my life. I think that theatre is the thing that I will continue to (or hope to continue) to return to, I think it keeps you sharp and it’s good to be… You’re scared and nervous on film sets but there’s never quite the same level of terror as before a first night and that’s a very good thing to experience.
Question: J.K Rowling has been a big part of your life, had you been aware previously of the revelation’s surrounding the book she wrote under a pseudonym?
Daniel: I literally have no idea what you are talking about. * A brief explanation about the book and it being all over the news the day prior to the interview* I haven’t watched the news since two days ago, I have no idea. Oh, I think that’s pretty cool. Didn’t Paul McCartney do that when he was with the Beatles in the 60’s? I that that it’s a very clever thing for her to have done and well done her.
Question: Now that you’ve done a series, like Potter and you’ve done individual films. Would you go back and do another series of them or stick to individuals?
Daniel: I think I would, if it was good enough. I would absolutely never stop myself. I think there are so many, stuff like Potter and Batman and now all the stuff that Marvel’s doing are kind of proving that franchise doesn’t need to be a dirty word. There some examples of some really, really great film making and hugely successful franchises. So yeah I would absolutely do another series. Possibly not for a little while and if I could have a part that was a supporting role that would be fab, I don’t have to be there for the whole 11 months. I’d never close myself off to anything.
Question: Did you find a great difference playing a character that really existed and a fictional character and did you take a different approach?
Daniel: Yes, you do, you do feel a little more responsibility because it is a real person. It’s not my first experience of it but it was definitely the most famous and well known real person that I’ve played. The biggest difference is that you get a lot of people that actually met the person and so have stories about them and most of the stories about Ginsberg were that he flirted with me from almost every man that I met that had met him or he got naked, I’ve heard so many Allen Ginsberg getting naked stories over the last sort of two years. But other than that, It was because we were playing them at a time before they were known, I think that took the pressure off a bit in terms of I felt like we had a little bit more license for example I didn’t feel the pressure to need to come up with some sort of gravelly sort of 40-a-day voice that we all know of Ginsberg having later because that was before he started smoking and getting in tonnes of trouble and living that life. I don’t suppose there was anything hugely different with the approach bar those few things.
Question: Do you ever take time off, you always seem to be working?
Daniel: No, I love what I do and there’s nothing… I do take some time off. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a month off. But I wouldn’t want it, I am so happy in my job. In the film industry, if you want to make a film and you’ve got a holiday planned and then they go ‘oh, well we’ve moved the film forward by a month’ you’ve just got to go okay. You can’t really make long term plans. It’s mainly little four day get a ways here and there.
Question: Is there anything of a school boy naughty nature you can share with us that you’ve been guilty of?
Daniel: I think everyone’s got a love of chaos and those kinds of slightly mad moments. I can’t think of something particularly witty or scandalous.
Kill Your Darling’s is currently scheduled for release on 8th November.