Daniel Radcliffe And Life Beyond Harry Potter
By Emmanuel Itier for IF Magazine, 5th July 2007
Daniel Radcliffe has broken new boundaries for himself as an actor this year; he transitioned from the world of the HARRY POTTER movies into the stage world of “Equus” where he had to deal with adult psychological themes and even bear all on stage in front of a live audience every night. Recently Radcliffe has signed with his co-stars to finish out the entire seven film series based on the novels by J.K. Rowling. iF Magazine talked to Radcliffe about working with different directors and what he has planned when HARRY POTTER runs out.
iF: What thought have you given to your career post HARRY POTTER? What would you like to be doing next?
RADCLIFFE: All right. I suppose just keep acting and hopefully do really interesting and different things, and hopefully just continue to find things that are really difficult for me to do, and challenging, so that I don’t become complacent… just carry on, really. And, you know, I’d like to write I suppose, as well. That’s a very long way away, but it’s another thought. Yeah, so for now I just want to continue where I’m going.
iF: Would you write fiction?
RADCLIFFE: No, no, just poems and things.
iF: Does each film having a different director have a different feel on the set or do they all sort of run together?
RADCLIFFE: I’m thinking of getting David Yates into his director’s chair and breaking his legs so he can never leave. A grotesque image. Even more important than the fact that David [Yates] had time to talk to us is that he talked to everyone. He’s a lovely man and, you know, we’re very lucky that he’s this fantastic director and delightful man and very, very laid back. He’s just fantastic and, you know, we’re incredibly lucky to have someone like him to direct us. Also, you know, it was more laid back but at the same time the energy was there and it was a very quiet energy and it was incredibly focused. And he knew from the moment he got on the set the type of story he wanted to tell and the way he was going to do it. So the energy that was there was incredibly focused and there was a real drive and ambition with Dave to make this one better yet.
iF: Daniel, you said in the production notes that you were pushed harder than on any of the other films. Can you talk a little bit about it?
RADCLIFFE: Yeah, it was just this thing that David would come up to me at the end after a take and he’d just say, “That one, that one was good but it wasn’t real. You know. You can get it better than that.” And there were times when I was thinking, ‘I can’t!’ But actually, in the end I could do it and he was right. But the great thing about David is that he also always knew when he got as far as he was going to get and, you know, and so he’s– and you know, I do like to be challenged and that’s why Dave came at the perfect time for me because he totally wanted to do that.
iF: Can you talk a bit about the audience and how it may have changed over the years?
RADCLIFFE: Yeah, it’s quite unique in a way because it does attract a huge range of people and that, of course, is what’s great about it because, you know, Potter, in a way, is one of the few films that– I mean obviously the marketing and all that is targeting certain groups of people, but really it doesn’t just appeal to one demographic of people, it appeals to a huge range of them. And then we get responses from a lot of people of all ages and all around the world. Also, as you said (talks to Rupert), the people that were– the amazing thing about it is that the people who were 10 when the first film came out, and indeed were 7 when the first book came out, they’ve grown up and they’re now sort of our age. But the nature of Potter and it’s fantastic storytelling means that younger kids are still coming to it. It’s sort of got this audience that regenerates itself.
iF: What are some negative characteristics Harry has?
RADCLIFFE: I think Harry does have bad aspects and I think everybody has, in a way. I think he can be, you know, when he lashes out in this film he lashes out at his two best friends, and I think that’s something that a lot of people do simply because they know that ultimately they’ll be okay. So I think that, I think he can be possibly– I think he can be selfish because he does have this desire to, you know– he feels like he has to live up to this image of himself. But all these people have– this sort of great defender of right and magical things– and so I think he does feel he has to be the hero and so he has to go it alone. So he does try to cut himself off from people. I think those would be a few of them. And also, possibly in the third film, when Snape infers that he’s like his father and that he’s arrogant, I think there is possibly some truth in that. And we’re possibly going to see more of it – I don’t know – I don’t know, but possibly. And there you go guys… be very diplomatic. J.K. Rowling did say at one point– I remember her saying, because a lot of people had a problem with the fifth book because they said they didn’t like Harry’s anger in it, they felt he was too angry, and J.K. Rowling did say that if you didn’t understand Harry’s anger in the fifth book, then you haven’t understood the four books previous to it, because if you did, then you would see that he has a right to be this angry.
iF: Daniel, I just saw DECEMBER BOYS and it was a great performance, but there are some similar themes to Harry Potter: loneliness and being an orphan. Tell us a little bit about that and the film you’re going to be doing in August?
RADCLIFFE: Okay, yes, DECEMBER BOYS was filmed in Australia in 2005. It’s about four boys who grow up in a Catholic orphanage in the outback of Australia, and who are, due to a generous donation to the orphanage, are all sent on holiday in their birthday month, which is December. Hence why they are the DECEMBER BOYS. And it’s about they all have a sort of various rites of passage stories while they are away, and I think it’s a really sweet, genuinely sort of warm, heartfelt film and hopefully everyone will like it too. As you said, there are similar themes to it. The tally is now up to three orphans, Harry, David and Maps, and yes, there are very similar themes there, but it’s a very, very good film. And Maps is very different from Harry because Maps is a lot more restrained than Harry. Harry lets a lot out, and Maps doesn’t at all. And later in the year I’ll be making MY BOY JACK, which is about Rudyard Kipling and his son who was sent off– who wanted to go– and who was sent to war despite having failed numerous army medical tests because his eyesight was so bad. And so it’s a very, very sad story and yes, you can sort of guess that that one doesn’t end happily. It’s actually a beautiful, beautiful script written by David Haig who’s also playing Rudyard Kipling. So it’s very exciting, yes.
iF: Which is your favorite scene in the film and why?
RADCLIFFE: I like the scene after the kiss with Cho Chang because we’re all just in hysterics, and I think a lot of that was genuine. And I think that day we were just in a really giggly mood. And if you watch it– you can watch me, well all of us, actually, trying to keep it together. Well, I mean it’s like that scene in THE USUAL SUSPECTS, there is a scene in THE USUAL SUSPECTS at the very beginning when they’re doing the line-up when all of the men are just doing the scene and they’re all laughing hysterically, and they can’t keep it together at all. And the director was, you know, getting really angry about it because he couldn’t keep them under control. And by the end, it actually all really works and they’re all laughing because they know each other and in that way it’s a very sweet scene because they’re all in hysterics. But I also loved doing anything with Sirius.