Exclusive Interview: Daniel Radcliffe on Kill Your Darlings

Daniel Radcliffe discusses dancing with broomsticks, the upcoming Harry Potter spin-offs and the Prisoner of Azkaban denouncers.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

In one of the bigger exclusives I’ve landed, the star of the biggest franchise of the century sat down with me to discuss his latest movie, Kill Your Darlings. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, one of the original beat poets, in the story of his relationship with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHann) at Columbia University. Radcliffe came to L.A. after appearing on “The Colbert Report” in New York, in which Colbert asked him if he could take Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood. Radcliffe remained in good humor discussing his latest film, upcoming ones and humoring the Harry Potter inquiries.
 

CraveOnline: Have you heard from Elijah Wood yet since your “Colbert Report” appearance?

Daniel Radcliffe: Since I called him out? No, I don’t know that he has a means of contacting me. Actually, he does because he could always get in contact with Alex Aja who produced him in Maniac and directed Horns that I did. So if we want to set this up, there is a connection. Maybe Alex could act as my promoter.
 

You had a great scene with David Rasche as the dean. Have you seen “Sledge Hammer?”

No, I haven’t. Somebody was telling me about this. I think maybe John Krokidas, our director, was telling me about it when he was on set because I recognized him from a lot of stuff. Of course, In the Loop. He’s brilliant in that. He’s got a dry sense of humor. He’s great, very dry, obviously a brilliant improviser. In fact, maybe you’ll have to check with John or Dane, but a lot of the scene where he is reaming Dane out in the dean’s office, a lot of that dialogue was improvised I think and it’s worthy stuff. It was just rolling out of him, it was great.
 

Can we confirm that Allen Ginsberg would dance around his house with a broom?

You know what, I think if the radio was on, he would’ve. That was one of those scenes that was quite odd because we filmed it listening to “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” by Louis Jordan and as we were doing it, I kind of knew that that probably wouldn’t be the song that was used in the movie because I don’t think it was quite period appropriate. So I was trying to dance to the music but also trying to dance so that it could fit with any music.
 

How did you like using an old school typewriter?

Okay, I liked it. Mine isn’t the best example. The keys were sticking a lot. It was great but I think if I’d actually been asked to write something on it, I would’ve been getting pretty frustrated, but they are beautiful things. That’s one of the things. I got one pair of Ginsberg’s glasses from this movie and I took a typewriter, so I do have one at home because they’re just beautiful old machines. I love anything well made like that.
 

Are casting agents eager to see you in different sorts of roles at this point?

I think so. They certainly seem to be. They certainly seem to be giving me opportunities at least to show that I can do other things. Thus far, I’m pleased to say that it hasn’t been a problem. I think it’s just about showing willingness really. If you show that you’re willing to take risks and do other stuff, then I think people will continue to hopefully give me those opportunities.
 

Did you have to fight for this role or any of the other roles you’ve played since Harry Potter?

This and Horns were definitely ones. I auditioned for this and it was a sort of on and off again project for quite a while due to the financing of the film. I definitely had to prove myself for this one and actually for Horns as well just because I think initially, Alex had envisioned the character being maybe five years older than I am. So I definitely had to get into those meetings and convince him that I was the right man for the job.
 

I got to see Horns in Toronto.

Oh, cool.
 

Was it nice to do a film based on a book that wasn’t as scrutinized as Harry Potter?

Yes, certainly, although I have to say, every book has a following. Nothing’s as big as Harry Potter but that book was still a New York Times bestseller for a long time and so you still definitely have the weight of expectations behind you and you’re aware, oh God, how are people are going to react to that? You always have to change stuff in an adaptation and you always have to make things more concise for a film. So it wasn’t something I particularly worried about.
 

I did not get to see The F Word in Toronto. What different things can we expect from you in that movie?

I think in that film, no one’s ever really seen me in a romantic comedy before and I think it’s a really, really good example of the genre. It’s very, very smart and really funny, and actually I think men will like it, which I think is something that doesn’t always happen in romantic comedies. I’m looking forward to people seeing it. It’s a lot of me messing around, being stupid and playing a character that is much more similar to myself than anything I’ve done before.
 

They announced that J.K. Rowling is writing another movie, and there might also be a Quidditch movie.

Really? What’s the Quidditch movie? I haven’t heard about that one.
 

That came after the prequel announcement. Another spinoff movie could deal with Quidditch. I could imagine a Quidditch movie as a sports movie in that world.

Yeah, maybe.
 

Do you think they will eventually come back to Harry at some point?

I have no idea. I don’t try and second guess what Jo Rowling’s going to do. I have no idea to be honest. I know I’m not involved with these ones but I have no knowledge that I can impart I’m afraid.
 

My favorite Potter movie is Prisoner of Azkaban which the die hard fans hate me for because of some of the changes they made.

Really? I think a lot of people’s favorite movie is the third one.
 

It has to do with the Marauder’s Map which Professor Lupin read and they didn’t explain in the movie how he could read it. There’s a different explanation in the book. Where do you stand on that issue?

I have no idea. I literally don’t know. I can’t remember the moment in the book. I wasn’t involved in the adaptations. I was 14 when that film was made so there was nobody coming to me consulting me about what I thought. I’ll have to look that up and find out what the controversy was because I wasn’t aware of it. 


Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Best Episode Ever and Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.