December Boys Premieres and Press Junkets
News Archive - September 2007

Interview with Daniel Radcliffe about December Boys, Moby Dick and Quiet Time

by ClaireSep 17, 2007

While Daniel was in Los Angeles, I did a quick phone interview with him. All of the questions asked were sent in by the readers of! To read the transcript click on the read more link below.

The first bit of the interview was a little confusing, or amusing, however you choose to look at it (I was a bit off that day). Would have made a great mobile phone commercial though!


Jenna: “Hi how are you?”

Daniel: “I’m great how are you?”

Jenna: “Great, I’m sure you’ve done a lot of interviews today haven’t you?”

Daniel: “Oh, hello – Jenna?”

Jenna: “Yeah.”

Daniel: “Hello, sorry the line was a bit funny then. Are you OK? How are you?”

Jenna: “Good, everything’s great.”

Daniel: “We have been doing quite a few interviews. I don’t know what number it is today. I stopped counting after the first dozen.”

Jenna: “I’m sure you did! It’s gotta be very hard. You’ve still got a lot to go too. ”

Daniel: “Absolutely, we have to leave for Melbourne tonight.”

Jenna: “Oh wow.”

Daniel: “I’ll do a couple of days in Melbourne and a couple in Sydney and then I go home and start Harry Potter six on Monday.”

Jenna: “Wow, I would be going nuts if I were you. Which is actually one of the questions one of the fans wanted to ask you. I had some of the fans send in some questions.”

Dan: “Oh great.”

Jenna: “So I’m going to be asking all questions from the fans so they can have a chance to participate so everything is not just coming from us.”

Daniel: “Ok.”

Jenna: “OK, With all the whirlwind promotional campaigns you’re doing, like flying to New York and LA, Australia and back again, how do you manage to stay sane and not go completely bonkers like most of us would?”

Daniel: “I think it has a lot to do with not taking it too seriously. Having a laugh and just trying to have a good time whenever you can. Also you have to… there is a fatal mistake people make, they think if you’re going to a place, if you’re going to a foreign country, particularly one where there’s a big time difference, you have to adjust to the new time zone.”

Jenna: “Right.”

Daniel: “If you’re only in a place for 2 days there’s no point in doing that. You have to just sleep whenever you get a chance and the rest of the time you just do the interviews. You don’t even make an effort to try and adjust to whatever time zone you are in.”

Jenna: “Good idea… What do you absolutely have to bring with you to feel comfortable or at home when you are on the road so often?”

Daniel: “Just my iPod, my mobile phone, my laptop so I’ve got internet access and a few books.”

Jenna: “Cool… and with the books, you said you wanted to teach yourself instead of continuing with education, and you do that by reading books. Are you a one-book-at-a-time kinda guy, or do you have a dozen books half-way done laying around.”

Daniel: “I’m very much a one-book-at-a-time kind of person…unless of course that book is Moby Dick. Now I read Moby Dick to keep myself interested in literature because I found Moby Dick… while it’s very, very clever, I found it totally tedious. I just didn’t connect with the way it was written for some reason, which is sacrilege I know. And so, I read 2 other books at the same time. I read one Ernest Hemingway book which was, To Have and Have Not, and I read Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, just to keep myself alive and interested in the words.”

Jenna: “What are you reading now?”

Daniel: “I’ve actually just finished a book by Joseph Conrad called The Return, which is only 73 pages, and is absolutely brilliant. It’s really short, very intense, but the last 12 lines are just some of the most beautiful literature that I have ever read.”

Jenna: “Oh cool… Here’s one about December Boys. What do you feel… this is kinda like a four part question. ”

Daniel: [laughs] “Ok.”

Jenna: “What do you feel is Maps’ greatest insecurity and do you feel he overcomes this by the end of the film and how? That’s the first three parts.”

Daniel: “Ok, I think Maps’ greatest, I don’t know if this comes under the category of insecurity, but the thing that makes him insecure is he has a totally overriding desire to be needed…to be needed by somebody. Does he over come that, I’m not sure. You could say that he does because he clearly feels he is needed by God because he becomes a priest, but I think in the time you see of him in the film he does not overcome that and he struggles with it. I think that would probably be my answer.”

Jenna: “And the last part, how does this compare to your insecurities and how do you or what do you do to overcome your own insecurities?” (Ok, a five-part question)

Daniel: “I think to be honest, it’s the total opposite of my insecurities. I don’t feel the need to be needed or anything like that. What would be my greatest insecurity? I’m not sure to be honest. Probably the way that I interact with people, just stuff like that really. I deal with it very much on my own, on my own terms. Like Maps, I don’t like to shout around too much about how I feel. Which Maps does and I don’t think I wear my heart on my sleeve at all. Which Maps certainly doesn’t.”

Jenna: “What do you think is the strongest theme that December Boys is trying to convey or do you think there’s multiple themes and what are they to you?”

Daniel: “I think the theme of the film is certainly that family need not mean blood relations… that it is about the family who you love and who you trust, who you protect and who protect you, and things like that. That way the family of the December Boys, those four lads, is just as valid as any Mother, son, Father unit.”

Jenna: “You say that you like Australia so much, what exactly is it, the different aspects of Australia, that you find appealing and how does that correspond with how you felt about filming there.”

Daniel: “I don’t know what it is. I think it’s got a lot to do with the Australian people. If I am in America or even in England sometimes, you can be talking to someone and you get the sense that they are limiting themselves as to what they can say because they know who you are. Whereas, in Australia, no one bothers. Which is great. It’s really refreshing and cool and that’s why I love being there. It’s a very relaxed culture a lot of the time. Even though their cricket team is far too good. It was a lovely bonus that the film was going to be shot there. That was just great but I would never have made a film just because it was being filmed in Australia.”

Jenna: “Right… what other locations would you actually like to film in if you could pick a location for an upcoming project. Where would you be interested in filming?”

Daniel: “Russia.”

Jenna: “Russia, why?”

Daniel: “I don’t completely know. I’m kinda fascinated by the country and I function much better in cold weather than I do in hot.”

Jenna: “I know how you feel. I live in a tropical region so I’am totally in for it.”

Jenna: “Ok, last question… Japanese film maker, Akira Kurosawa, God I hope I said that right, said that, ‘nothing can say more about an artist than his art’. What would your performance in December Boys say about you that hasn’t already been said?”

Daniel: “…I suppose that the image people have of me is one that’s quite talkative, because in interviews and that you can sometimes get nervous, and the thing when you meet people… I tend to be quite chatty just because that’s just something I do. But in terms of Maps’ character, I’m like him in that I’m perfectly happy in my own company. And I’m probably happiest when I’m being quiet.”

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