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by Nigel M Smith
October 16, 2013 4:53 PM
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Daniel Radcliffe on Proving His Naysayers Wrong With 'Kill Your Darlings'

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.

Since then, the actor has gone out of his way to prove he has staying power by singing and dancing his way through the hit Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," appearing nude onstage in the dark play "Equus," and leading the hit period horror pic "The Woman in Black." This year alone, Radcliffe premiered three wildly varied works on the festival circuit -- the romantic comedy "The F Word," Alexandre Aja's bizarre horror comedy hybrid "Horns," and "Darlings -- that showcased his versatility as a performer.

Racliffe sat down with Indiewire in Manhattan to discuss this new stage in his career.

I want to talk briefly about Toronto where you had a whopping three films play this year. Did it feel like a career milestone for you?

It did feel similar to the moment that I had around the time of "Equus" where everyone sort of went, "Oh he's done that." "Equus" I think sent a message to people, particularly in the theater industry, about what I wanted to do. The question had always been, "What can you do after Potter?" and "Can you do anything else?" To come to Toronto with three totally different films and three totally different roles -- I felt very lucky to be able to show them all at once to people so hopefully if they went into the festival asking that question, they got their answer.

They did, loud and clear. It sounds like you feel you had something to prove.

Yeah, but I always feel that. I think that is a perfectly good way of motivating yourself. When you go into something like "Potter" very young it's obviously very easy for people to say you kind of lucked out by getting there, which I did. Everyone did. But there is the temptation to say you just fell into what you're doing and you wouldn't have been doing it had you not looked right when you were young. Definitely when you know that is what some people are thinking about you, you absolutely want to prove that is not the case. And of course if anyone writes an article doubting you can move on after Potter, you want to make that person look stupid. You want them to have to look back on that article in a few years and go, "Uh, missed on that one." It's mainly to prove to myself that I am in the right place and I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing but there is definitely a motivating thing to prove to other people as well that I'm right for what I'm doing.

Well with that in mind, how have you gone about selecting the projects you have since Potter? For the most part you've been doing independent, edgier fare.

That's the truth of it. That's where most of the most interesting stuff is made, by independent companies. It's where you have the most license to do what you like. It hasn't been I want to do indie films, it's just been I want to do interesting films and they happen to be indies at the moment. The film I'm about to do is "Frankenstein" with James McAvoy, which is with Fox and it is the first studio movie I've done since "Potter" because it is the most inventive and imaginative thing I've read that's come out of a studio.

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  • fail | October 17, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    Daniel isn't going to gain too many accolades for playing Ginsberg, who was Jewish and about as far from Radcliffe's delicate WASPy features as it gets. But I guess if we close our eyes and pretend... Danny boy should stick to getting nude for plays about bestiality with horses.

  • bee | October 20, 2013 4:42 AM

    Here, for future reference:
    Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Julian Morris, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Andrew Garfield, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Marla Sokoloff, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Adam Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabriel Macht.

    Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Connelly, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan.

    Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Ezra Miller, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Ben Foster, Nikki Reed, Ansel Elgort.

    Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

  • TD | October 17, 2013 5:13 PM

    Yeah, hate to disillusion you but Dan's features are not WASPy. Why, you may ask? Because Dan is, in fact, Jewish. Woopsy on your part.

  • j | October 16, 2013 5:08 PMReply

    Daniel radcliffe needs to take acting classes and his talent more seriously .I don't care how many serious films or stage works he's done.He still sucks as and actor that's the truth that's what happens when you lean on a franchise.He seriously should take a year or two off from making any projects period .He's still young and just focus on his acting build up his skills then come back when he's actually got some talent .

  • RN | October 16, 2013 9:35 PM

    I agree. He has his moments, but he's still uneven and unnatural. It's like he's in a hurry to move on from Harry Potter by taking as many different roles as he can, when he should just work on his acting first. It's like he's putting the cart before the horse.

    Don't know if he still thinks the same way or is taking lessons now, but he has said in the past that he doesn't feel he needs acting classes because you get the best acting lessons on film sets. That's misguided to me, and unfair to a lot of actors who study hard for years at drama schools before they get a crack at these films. You should be qualified for the part when you audition, not when the camera's rolling and money's going out the door.

    He seems more motivated by the desire to prove people wrong than by a simple love for acting. That's going to be a hindrance to his acting, too. The chip on his shoulder which he admits he has is understandable but unhealthy and unnecessary.

  • fun | October 16, 2013 4:59 PMReply

    Lol, Daniel Radcliffe has naysayers?

  • seriously | February 23, 2014 10:20 AM

    @H: You Daniel Radcliffe fans should realize that not everyone who sees a movie with Radcliffe in it is a Radcliffe fan, nor watched it because he's in it. Some people actually just care about movies and we watch them and follow movie news and trends. Radcliffe is a wildly famous person who keeps getting acting jobs of some kind or another and the press along with it, yet is a woefully mediocre and sometimes flat out painfully bad actor. When you get press like this "Proving His Naysayers Wrong" it just looks like the press is propping him up. But the emperor has no clothes, and people who feel that way and care about seeing good actors and good films will say so.

    Kill Your Darlings was a decent debut for Krokidas chock full of good performances from a good supporting cast. Radcliffe was the glaring weak link in this movie lover's opinion.

  • H | October 17, 2013 3:06 AM

    Sorry @fun, my reply comment was meant to be directed to RN & J, but I hit the wrong reply button. Cheers.

  • H | October 17, 2013 3:04 AM

    Well, aren't you just so high and mighty. There are heaps of actors in the biz who have not trained. Do you suggest EVERY single one of them stop acting until they go to acting classes? Or is it just Daniel you have a problem with? Because frankly it definitely seems like the latter. If you don't think he's a good actor, I don't know why you bother reading his interviews, watching his movies and getting so invested in his career.