Daniel Radcliffe Interview
Daniel Radcliffe Interview
Daniel Radcliffe is possibly one of the best known young British actors around the world, who needs little in the way of introduction. Having become one of the most famous school boys ever to hit the big screen in the Harry Potter series of films, he has gone onto play a variety of other characters, both on stage and screen, and on TV, with leading roles in Equus, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, and A Woman in Black. Now he has taken on the mantle of portraying the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in the thrilling drama, Kill You Darlings.

Here he talks to View’s Matthew Turner about being a fan of poetry, how he wishes he could have played Keats, why he doesn’t keep a diary and how he has brought his younger fans with him despite playing obviously sexual characters on stage and screen.
When did you first get involved in this project, it’s been going quite a while hasn’t it?

Daniel Radcliffe

Yeah, it has been a while. I was doing Equus in New York the first time round. When I did it over there, John Krokidas, the director of the film, saw it, and I think that was what started him off being interested in me for the part. It was going to happen, then I became unavailable because the film got pushed back, and I had to go off and shoot Potter 6. Then they recast the film, with Jesse Eisenberg, Chris Evans and Ben Whishaw. Financing fell through again, and a year later when John was restarting things, he came to me and said, ‘I know it’s been a while, but would you still be up for doing this film?’ Even though it had been recast, and somebody else was going to be playing it, I never quite let go of the film, because I’d had such a great time working with John in the brief sessions that we had together.
What did you like about the story?

Daniel Radcliffe

It really was just that, it was the story. The fact that there are these three major figures in American literature, who were involved in what is a really incredible, bizarre, interesting story. No one’s ever told it. It seemed like a great opportunity for me to show a different side to what I could do as an actor. I’ve always been interested in poetry, but not particularly the Beats. It wasn’t out of any sort of fandom of Allen Ginsberg. I became a fan of the character in the script, because he was, in a lot of ways, the most vulnerable and the most innocent guy. I think he’s the person who has the biggest journey, in terms of the change in his character from beginning to the end.
Did you have an awareness of the Beats, going in?

Daniel Radcliffe

Oh yeah, obviously. I got given a copy of Naked Lunch when I was fourteen, which is far too young to read that book. I read On The Road, I’m not a huge fan, I’m not as obsessed with that book as everyone else seems to be. Ginsberg was the one I knew least well of the three of them. I think I’d read the first line of Howl in an Oxford book of quotations, and hadn’t ever read the rest. I went back and got into it more. I think the thing for me with the Beats is that the more you learn about Ginsberg's life, the more accessible, emotional and powerful the poetry becomes. If you read Kaddish, or one of those poems, with no knowledge of Ginsberg’s relationship with his mum, or whatever it is, it’s not going to mean as much. It’s going to be a lot harder to relate to it. My appreciation for what they did has definitely increased.
Were you very literary as a youth?

Daniel Radcliffe

When I was about fourteen, I got into reading in a very big way. Poetry particularly, actually. I’m a fan of a lot of the poetry that Allen rails against in this film. Meter, form, rhyme, I love all those things. But that’s acting!
How did you find out about him? What kind of research did you do?

Daniel Radcliffe

John asked us not to do any research into the period of their lives after the film takes place. There’s always a danger of the knowledge of what he became forming what he is when he’s seventeen, which is not what we wanted. I read his diaries. They’re a fantastic insight into who he was at that age. I think he says at one point, ‘I know I’m a genius, I just haven’t figured out what form my genius will take yet.’ He had a huge amount of self-confidence for a fourteen year old. He writes at one point, ‘I finished off the first fourteen bars of a concerto today, the start is fantastic.’ He knows in some way that he’s different, and he wants to be a great man. Really that’s what the story of the film is. It’s about him finding his voice, but also the pain that he had to go through in order to find that voice.
Related Links

Most Read Today

image
01 Auckland's Best Malls

Check out our picks of the top five malls in Auckl...

image
02 The Descendants Interview

Director Alexander Payne and actor George Clooney ...

image
03 Miss Bala Interview

The star and director behind Mexican gangland crim...

image
04 Bethells Beach (Te Henga)

There’s no camping ground at Bethells Beach. There...

image
05 Saving Mr Banks Interview

Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell talk ab...

Content updated: 28/06/2017 12:13

Latest Features

View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.
Short on time? Here's the 7 titles that need to be on your radar.
View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.
View's guide to what's hitting the big screen this month.

Engage

Connect

Hitwise Award Winner