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Daniel Radcliffe on Proving His Naysayers Wrong With 'Kill Your Darlings'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire October 16, 2013 at 4:53PM

As gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Daniel Radcliffe is a long way from Hogwarts in the indie drama "Kill Your Darlings," out today in New York and Los Angeles. The role marks his edgiest and highest profile one yet post-"Harry Potter," brought him fame and made him the richest British star under 30 in the UK.
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An indie like "Kill Your Darlings" can't get off the ground without a star name like yours attached. Can you talk about the pressure associated with that?

The reality is I helped that situation but I didn't close the deal giving this film financing. They still need convincing after that, it's more than just my name being attached. I'm not a producer, I never produced anything in my life and I don't claim to to be but if there is a situation where my name association with a film helps get that film attention or money, I'm happy with that. I don't particularly see that as a pressure. The pressure is doing a good job. That's the part I have to get right.

Since its Sundance debut, the press have made a big deal of your sole gay sex scene in the film. Did you see this coming? This level of intrigue?

I did yeah. In fact, to be honest with you, I thought it would be more than it is. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people actually focusing on the film. It's a easy headline. There's nothing more to it than that. When you do a press junket you get a very good impression of the type of stories people want to write given the questions they're asking you. And the story that people want to write about me in this film is I found it weird to do a gay sex scene. When everybody is saying, "Wasn't that weird" and I'm saying, "No, it was just my job."

Kill Your Darlings

It's also important to note that you've been a huge advocate for the gay community for years now.

Absolutely. They either want me to say it was weird so that then that looks weird up against my advocacy for the gay community or they want me to say it wasn't weird so that they can further imply that I'm gay because it's impossible to hold the two ideas in their heads at the same time.

Somebody was asking me today, "Do you think you have a responsibility to gay youth in this film to portray it in a certain way?" And to a extent we do, but we have more of a responsibility now that we are promoting the film to not be, "Oh it was fucking weird and doing gay scenes was weird." That would be more damaging for a young person to read that.

The fact is, it is just a job. Ultimately we filmed like seven scenes that day and that scene maybe accounted for an hour in that day and it was kind of awkward and giggly in the same way that any sex scene, male or female, is because you're stripping off in front of someone you just met and a crew of people. But beyond that there was nothing weird about it. It was just like trying to remain unselfconscious while John screamed sex directions at you off camera.


This article is related to: Interviews, Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Radcliffe, Kill Your Darlings, Sundance Film Festival, Drama, Queer Cinema, Harry Potter





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