Indielondon's interview with Daniel Radcliffe

IndieLondon's interview in promotion of December Boys.

What was the attraction of December Boys?

Daniel Radcliffe: In my view, Maps is a very different character to Harry [Potter], which was very appealing. It was also down to some very good advice I’d been given by a director – not someone I’d actually worked with but someone I’d had a meeting with. It was a general meeting but one of the things he said to me, which I really took to heart, was: “Whatever you do next and for the foreseeable future, try if you can to make sure that the film is an ensemble piece, rather than the film hanging on your performance.” December Boys is such an ensemble piece that it means while the attention initially in the press might be focusing on me, once people get in there they’ll watch the film as a whole rather than analysing my performance.

Q. You have a loving family in real life, so is it difficult to get into the head of an orphan?
Daniel Radcliffe: Well, Maps is actually my third orphan [laughs]. I did David Copperfield, then obviously Harry Potter, so I’ve had a bit of experience playing orphans and I have some good friends who have lost parents when they were young. It was mainly about talking to them and how that feels. I don’t think that you necessarily need a certain type of background to take on roles like these. You see actors from very, very privileged backgrounds playing working class characters and vice-versa. I don’t think your background limits you as to what you can do. But you’re right, I’ve had a very happy upbringing.

Q. Are you worried about perhaps being stereotyped into playing orphaned, vulnerable characters?
Daniel Radcliffe: Not really. In terms of the other stuff I’ve been doing recently I think vulnerability is something that every character I’ve played has had. But I think the fact that Harry [Potter] and Maps are both orphans doesn’t make them the same character. They’re still very, very different. I think Harry very much wears his hearts on his sleeve and is very vocal about how he feels, whereas Maps is much, much quieter. For the first quarter of the film he really doesn’t say much. And that was the main challenge for me, being able to communicate the same amount you would have to with any other character but with less dialogue.

But I don’t think I’ve been stereotyped into playing orphans. Harry is the only one I have any plans to play again the near future. I’ve just done a TV film called My Boy Jack where I have a very, very protective mother and a very devoted father [Rudyard Kipling]. And in Equus I had what would appear to be a family like any other, really, but it just so happens that his character was very, very damaged. So I don’t think I’m going to have too much of a problem.

Q. How was it working with another young cast? With Harry Potter, you’ve grown up with your co-stars but with this one you were the old hand, as it were?
Daniel Radcliffe: It was interesting because on Harry Potter I still am one of the junior members of the cast. Even though I’ve done a lot of them I’ve only just turned 18 and I’m working with actors a lot older than me. But suddenly I was on this set with these three kids that were a lot younger than me and had done a lot less, so I was suddenly one of the senior members of the cast and I did feel really protective of all the other kids for some reason. But I actually quite enjoyed that aspect of it, of being treated like an adult rather than one of the young ones.

Q. Did they see you as Harry Potter?
Daniel Radcliffe: Probably a little bit at first but then when I did the Australian accent I think they stopped seeing me that way [laughs].

Q. Did you notice anything different from going from a big film set like Harry Potter to a smaller, independent film set like December Boys?
Daniel Radcliffe: It’s funny, there are very few differences. The main difference is that on a set as big as Harry Potter it takes you the length of one film to learn everyone’s name. Whereas on something like December Boys you can generally do it within a couple of days because the crew was so much smaller. But I think all film sets are equally chaotic no matter how big or small the budget. And something else they have in common is that everyone is pulling together to make the best film possible, so it’s quite a communal experience in that way.

Q. And how did you find being away from home for so long?
Daniel Radcliffe: Australia has been, in my experience, a very welcoming country so I didn’t feel too bad. My dad was out there with me the whole time and my mum came out for two weeks at the beginning of the shoot and two weeks at the end. Then we had Christmas out there and came back home. So, I didn’t feel too isolated at all because I was so welcomed by the crew.

Q. What did you miss most when you were out there?
Daniel Radcliffe: My dogs. Other than that, I was genuinely made to feel pretty at home. Obviously, I missed being in London but it didn’t really factor in to the experience too much.

Q. Do you feel nervous about the reaction to this film given it’s your first big screen role away from Harry Potter?
Daniel Radcliffe: A little bit. But I’m just going to try not to think about it to be honest. It’s when you start to worry about things like reviews that you become very self conscious and very neurotic – and like the world needs another neurotic actor! Hopefully, I won’t go too far down that road of reading reviews and things like that. I’d like to take it in my stride and if they totally slate it, I’ll just have a breakdown!

Q. Do you think in your next choice of role away from Harry Potter you’ll need to make a very definite statement to move away from that character?
Daniel Radcliffe: I don’t know if I need to move away from it but I certainly do need to establish with people and within the industry the fact that I absolutely want to make a career out of this and that I’d never be content with just coasting along on the Harry Potter fame. That’s what motivates me. I get a huge kick out of doing good work and out of working on different films with different crews, so hopefully that’s what these films will achieve.

That said, I’d never want to distance myself from Harry Potter because I’m incredibly proud of the films and, particularly with the fifth one, proud of what I did in it. It’s not a question of absolutely detaching myself from it, but rather establishing myself as an actor rather than a character.

Q. Have you read the final Harry Potter book?
Daniel Radcliffe: I have indeed, yes. I loved it. I thought what she [JK Rowling]‘s done is very, very clever because in effect she’s made a very spoiler proof book. If someone tells you what happens to Harry at the end, and whether he’s dead or alive, it doesn’t actually matter. It doesn’t take away from any of the drama that happens in the book. I had sort of worked out the ending before it was published just based on fragments of conversations I’d had with JK Rowling over a period of about a year and a half. So, I was sort of one step ahead, which I’m very pleased about. But I was really, really happy with the book.

Q. Will there be a part of you that’s slightly relieved once all the Harry Potter movies have been done?
Daniel Radcliffe: Oh yeah, I make no secret of that. It’ll be quite exciting and quite daunting to suddenly be in a non-Harry Potter world. It’ll be quite intimidating in some ways because [at the moment] you know that whatever films I do in between I’ll always have Harry Potter to go back to. But when that’s not there it’ll be interesting to see how I cope.

Q. What’s next in terms of films or theatre?
Daniel Radcliffe: Well, I start Harry Potter 6 in three weeks’ time and I worked out the other day that I’ll have two days off between now and then! But that should be fun because I’m really looking forward to working with David Yates again. I think he’s a brilliant director. And then hopefully next year we might take Equus to Broadway, which would be amazing. Other than that, there are no immediate plans. I’ve just finished a film called My Boy Jack which stopped shooting a couple of weeks ago and that will be coming out in England later this year, around November time.

Q. Do you have any plans to go to university or drama school?
Daniel Radcliffe: No. For me, you go to university to meet lots of different people from different backgrounds. I think that’s one of the most important things you get there, certainly from what my friends have told me. And you also get some sense of direction regarding what you want to do when you leave. I sort of know what I want to do in my life – I want to act and ultimately I’d like to write. And in terms of meeting people from different backgrounds, that’s what you get on a film set. So the two most valuable things that university would have given me I’ve sort of achieved by being on a film set.

In terms of drama school, what that will give you that you won’t necessarily learn on a film set is the technical ability – ie, projecting your voice and stage craft. I’ve been working on that with a woman for almost two and a half years, partly in preparation for Equus, and it’s an ongoing process. In a way, I’m having one on one drama school, which is very, very fortunate.

Q. What would you like to write?
Daniel Radcliffe: Poems, mainly.

Q. Do you feel more pressure with each Harry Potter film, or more pressure on something like December Boys?
Daniel Radcliffe: It’s pretty equal really. There’s a lot of pressure obviously on Harry Potter because you have to make them better, especially now that we’ve set up the franchise so that they do keep getting better and better. The pressure is definitely on to make sure we continue doing that. But equally for any of us who go off and do other films in between people will probably scrutinize our performances and so there’s a lot of pressure there. But as long as you just ignore it totally then you should be fine.


National Movie Awards: Dan wins best actor and Order of the Phoenix Best Family Film

Daniel attended the National Movie Awards. He has the award for Best Actor & Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won in the Best Family Film category.

The Celeb factory - on money and gay roles

picture source: Chris Jackson & Dave M. Benett

Daniel Radcliffe on BBC's Talking Movies

Episode 80 from Season 1 of BBC's Talking Movies in which Daniel talks about December Boys and Harry Potter
Daniel Radcliffe on BBC's Talking Movies door pankie001

Daniel promotes My Boy Jack

Daniel promotes My Boy Jack, video via

Daniel Radcliffe on T4

Daniel's interview with T4. They talk a lot about December Boys and Harry Potter, comparing the two movies

Daniel Radcliffe on the Paul O'Grady Show

Dan surprises a fan during the Paul O'Grady Show. Sadly I don't have a video of this at the moment. The one I linked was deleted from YouTube.

German December Boys poster and Woman's Day magazine

A German poster from December Boys and a new picture from the Woman's Day magazine.

December Boys press junket interviews (US)

Press junket interviews from and Reelz Channel in promotion of December Boys at NULL in Los Angeles, California earlier this month.

Movie Juice interview

Extra's Movie Juice press junket interview with Daniel about December Boys in Australia.

Adam Ward photoshoot

Dan's promotional photoshoot for December Boys in Sydney, Australia.

Daniel Radcliffe on Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk

Daniel on WNBC's Lyons & Bailes Reel Talk in promotion of December Boys.

Updated: The Sydney Morning Herald photoshoot

Photos from the Sydney Morning Herald photoshoot taken at the Park Hyatt hotel in promotion of December Boys.

16th February 2015. Another photo has been released, and I added another one.

picture source: Fiona-Lee Quimby

Daniel Radcliffe guest announcer at Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

Daniel was a guest announcer at Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway series 7, episode 2 which aired 15th September at ITV.

Yahoo Movies! interview

Yahoo Movies! December Boys press junket interview.

(Uploaded by in 2008, but the original date is set in 2007).

Entertainment Weekly interview

Entertainment Weekly interviewed Daniel just as he started filming My Boy Jack in Ireland last month. December Boys promotion.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This character, Maps, is nothing like Harry Potter!

DANIEL RADCLIFFE: I needed just to prove to myself that I could absolutely go off and do something else. The question I get asked a lot is about being stereotyped as Harry, or rather typecast. I never thought of that as being an option for myself, but I totally understood why people would ask it. So thought it would make a lot more sense to start doing different things before [the] Harry Potter [films] ended, sort of in conjunction with them, rather than waiting till they’re all done and then trying to break away.

That’s what made you take that flashy stage role in Equus last winter in London as well, right? You got a lot of attention for doing good work — but also for being stark naked onstage.
If you can do something like Equus, that has a much different, more grown-up audience, I think that shows people you really want to try out different things. It makes them take you more seriously.

And yet, way before Equus, you did December Boys — even though we’re only seeing it now.
I don’t think I would’ve been able to give the performance I gave in Equus or in Harry Potter 5 had I not been in December Boys. It really helped my confidence. Because suddenly I was working with a different crew. There was nobody in the crew or cast who was connected to Harry Potter.

Was that daunting at first?
Pretty nerve-wracking. I’d been doing the Harry Potter films for about four or five years uninterrupted at that stage. And, obviously, people make assumptions. The child-star label is brought up. And so I was worried that people [on December Boys] would be thinking, Oh God, what’s he going to be like? when I was walking onto the set the first day. I was quite nervous about going up against that stereotype. But, luckily, I’m not that person, so they were very, very accepting of me. Because I wasn’t being horrible and throwing things.

Is the character you play in December Boys English or Australian?
Australian. I had accent lessons with a woman called Kate Godfrey, who’s fantastic. It’s a very easy accent to caricature, but not to do accurately. We filmed in Adelaide, Australia, and a lot of people have said to me, ”Oh, it’s a very Adelaide accent.” Personally, I can’t tell the difference between an accent from Adelaide and an accent from Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane. But in Australia they can. So, hopefully it’ll go down fairly well.

And you shot it back in 2005?
In between Potters 4 and 5. But I’m losing track of the time in my own life at the moment. I now sometimes have to work to remember exactly when I did Equus. Because so many journalists came up to me and asked, ”Do you think Equus helped you in making Harry Potter 5?” I found myself eventually saying, ”Yes.” And then I’d catch myself — Wait, I did Equus after Harry Potter 5. But yes, December Boys was directly after Harry Potter 4 finished.

What made you pick December Boys? And had you met director Rod Hardy before?To be honest, we were getting a lot of scripts, but none of them really compared to December Boys. It was the standout by a long, long way. It had the most heart and the most warmth. And it wasn’t an overly sentimental warmth, which is a massive turn-off for me. I’d not had any sort of relationship with Rod prior to December Boys at all.

He works a lot in TV in L.A., so, since you’re rarely there, you wouldn’t be likely to cross paths, right?
We met at a hotel in London to talk about the Maps character and the story, and we really got on pretty well instantly. He’s lovely to be directed by. The biggest problem he had with me was that I’m quite open. If I like something, I won’t in any way hide my enthusiasm. Whereas Maps is much more reserved. If something excites him, he’ll be happy about it, but it’s almost like he doesn’t even know how to show it, or how to communicate what he’s feeling. And so Rod had the challenge of basically reigning all that enthusiasm back in.

You get a scene in a cave with Teresa Palmer that’s pretty sexy stuff — you are clearly simulating actual intercourse, although you’ve still got most of your clothes on.
What I love about that scene is that it’s very, very sweet. It’s a mixture of genuine innocence and something that’s not anywhere near innocent. Even though you get the feeling she’s being very overtly sexy, it still seems very harmless and tender and caring.

It’s like the real goal isn’t having sex. She says to him, ”I always want you to think of me as your first.”
It was pretty hilarious during the press tour for Harry Potter 5 that everyone kept asking me, ”How was it doing your first onscreen kiss?”

You mean with the Cho Chang character?
I kept saying, ”Well, it’s the first one people will see. But it’s not the first one I’ve done!” Teresa was great. She’d done a couple of screen kisses before. I think she’d done a sex scene as well. She was fantastic at making me feel not-quite-so-nervous about it all.

How did she do that?
She was just so relaxed about it, I couldn’t help but be relaxed, too. I did get very, very giggly. There were points where I was laughing because it seemed so surreal. There is actually one moment in the scene where she kisses me, when Roger left the camera on me just a beat too long, and I started cracking up because that was the first time I had been kissed on-screen, in front of a crew. Totally out of character at that moment, because I thought he’d cut the camera. But actually it worked really well in the context of the scene.

I think I’ve read you wrapped Boys in late 2005?
We finished shooting at quarter-past-four in the morning, Christmas Eve, 2005. That was the longest day I’ve ever worked. It was a long, long day, because we had a lot to get done. That’s what happens on a six-week shoot.

And you’d begun it right after promoting Potter 4?
Yeah, and then we started pre-production on Harry Potter 5 in January 2006, and started filming in February. It was a busy while. But I quite like being busy.

So you finished December Boys nearly two years ago. Why the hold-up releasing it?
I don’t know the conversations exactly, but obviously, these things need to be spaced out, because I don’t want it to cloy. People have been seeing a lot of me this year. December Boys is an independent film, and it takes a while to get the distribution together. It’s not going to be playing on masses of screens at all. It’s not like Potter. The publicity we do for Potter is great fun and all of that, but ultimately, Harry Potter, people will go and see it.

They’re predisposed to see it, really.
Whereas with December Boys, every interview counts.


Daniel Radcliffe on JTV Australia

JTV Australia interviewed Daniel and talked about December Boys, Harry Potter and "special talents"

Reuters Q&A

Just a minute with: Actor Daniel Radcliffe. Reuters interview in promotion of December Boys.

Q: What do you do to relax?
A: “I watch cricket, although that can be a very tense experience when you are an England fan. I hang out with friends. I read or sometimes I write, poems mainly.”

Q: What have been the biggest influences on your career?
A: “My best friend Will who’s 41 and has two children. He’s been a massive influence and inspiration to me because he’s just a great guy. He’s my dresser on Harry Potter, he looks after all the costumes for me.

In terms of actors it would be Gary Oldman and Imelda Staunton because of both their commitment to it and their brilliant professionalism. I have no time for people phaffing about on set. Ultimately you are doing a job and you are being paid well to a job so you have to bloody well get in there and do it.”

Q: Do you worry about paparazzi attention now you’re 18?
A: “If you don’t go to places that are known paparazzi hangouts then hopefully you’ll be fine. There’s always a chance they will follow you but if they don’t you should be alright. I have been out for drinks and stuff, but I’ve found that since I have turned 18 the most exciting thing you can do is not drink but buy drinks for other people. You just feel at that point really grown up and cool and really part of the gang.”

Q: Do you own a car?
A: “I have never taken driving lessons. I am the least motivated teenager in the world to drive. I have no desire to do it. My Dad’s a terrible driver, my Mum is an excellent driver, but I think I will be more like my dad. I will learn to drive because obviously it’s the independence thing, but also I don’t want to spend my life on low loaders for films I want to be able to learn to drive for them.”

Q: What is your favorite book/film?
A: “I have three joint favorite films actually and they’re all old ones — “Dr Strangelove,” “12 Angry Men,” and a film I watched twice recently, “A Matter of Life and Death,” it’s amazing, it’s bizarre.
Favorite book would be “The old man and the Sea,” “Germinal” and also “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” which is probably on every teenagers’ list but it is a great book.”

Q: What has been your biggest extravagance?
A: “I bought a painting by an artist called Jim Hodges, which I love. It’s words, it says ‘oh for crying out loud’ but it’s done in a this beautiful way.

To be honest the more interesting answer to that question is Rupert Grint’s (who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films) answer. He’s bought the best thing. He’s bought himself a functional ice cream van. He’s going to bring in on the set so we can all go for Mr Whippy’s at lunch.”


December Boys screening in London

Daniel Radcliffe attended a private (VIP) sceening of December Boys in London.

The Celeb Factory - On performing in Equus

picture source: Gareth Davies

Moviefone AIM interview

Moviefone interviewed Daniel on AIM in promotion of December Boys. They talk about his cat icon but also “Charlie don’t surf” and more.

MoviefoneTricia: hi daniel, how are you?
decboydaniel: i am very well, how are you?!
MoviefoneTricia: pretty good
decboydaniel: and why do you have a sheep for your picture (AIM icon)?
MoviefoneTricia: oh, it’s a long story… i actually took that picture in new zealand
MoviefoneTricia: when i was fascinated by all the sheep
decboydaniel: very nice
MoviefoneTricia: and why do you have a cat for yours?
decboydaniel: i wasn’t aware i had a cat for mine and i’m not a cat person really
MoviefoneTricia: oh, hee
MoviefoneTricia: are you a dog person, or neither?
decboydaniel: yes, i love dogs!
MoviefoneTricia: oh me too. we’ll get along fine
decboydaniel: that’s good news we won’t be killing each other by the end of the interview then.
MoviefoneTricia: well, we’ll see… we’ll see
MoviefoneTricia: so here’s what i was wondering: do you always go by daniel, or is it ever dan? or some other nickname?
decboydaniel: dan most of the time
decboydaniel: anything but danny, because people sing “danny boy” to me
MoviefoneTricia: ha, i’ll bet
MoviefoneTricia: i hate the nickname patty
MoviefoneTricia: with a passion
decboydaniel: i think “patty with a passion” sounds good
MoviefoneTricia: hee… that’ll be my band name
decboydaniel: what would your album be called?
MoviefoneTricia: wait, i’m supposed to be asking you the questions — what would YOUR band name be?
decboydaniel: my band name would be a line from apocalypse now, which is “charlie don’t surf”
MoviefoneTricia: oh that’s awesome
MoviefoneTricia: you should copyright it
MoviefoneTricia: before someone takes it
decboydaniel: i already have®
MoviefoneTricia: nice
MoviefoneTricia: let’s talk about the movie
decboydaniel: wonderful
MoviefoneTricia: first off, in this movie, you smoke, drink, have sex and moon somebody, and then of course there was equus — are you consciously trying to distance yourself from harry potter, or is it just a coincidence?
MoviefoneTricia: meaning, a coincidence that these roles were a little more scandalous
decboydaniel: it is not that i want to totally dismiss harry, because i am so proud of playing him and of the films. but, i just want to establish myself as an actor, rather than as a character.
decboydaniel: and these roles are giving me a chance to branch out
MoviefoneTricia: what’s it like doing a sex scene? i’ve heard it’s not that exciting really
decboydaniel: when i have seen films before, it does always look so exciting and sexy, but in reality it is just as clinical as doing any other scene.
decboydaniel: as you can imagine, i was bitterly disappointed.
MoviefoneTricia: heh
MoviefoneTricia: oh come on, she (Teresa Palmer) was hot!
decboydaniel: yes, that is why i was disappointed, as i’d imagined it would be — but she is totally beautiful
MoviefoneTricia: she is — certainly worthy of you
decboydaniel: slightly out of my league i think
MoviefoneTricia: oh, at this point i think not
decboydaniel: patricia, you tease!
MoviefoneTricia: no! you wouldn’t believe how many people are excited i’m doing this interview with you
MoviefoneTricia: was there ever a point in the last few years where you realized, holy cow, i’m famous?
decboydaniel: it is something that you never really get used to. it can be very surreal at times.
decboydaniel: i was once wearing a snood, which only shows your eyes, because it was so cold out, and i was recognized by the people sitting behind on a roller coaster.
MoviefoneTricia: wow, that’s… a little freaky
MoviefoneTricia: snood is definitely a british term i think
MoviefoneTricia: what is that? like a hoodie?
decboydaniel: it is kind of like a hoodie, but it covers more of your face.
MoviefoneTricia: so used by gangsters and such, then
MoviefoneTricia: and celebrities
decboydaniel: yes, and i am both
MoviefoneTricia: ha – i just laughed out loud
MoviefoneTricia: what was the biggest difference between doing the harry potter films and this little indie?
decboydaniel: not much really – when you are on a film that people are passionate about, it will always simply involve a group of people pulling together to make the best film they possibly can.
decboydaniel: so the atmosphere was pretty much the same
decboydaniel: though the crew was obviously a lot smaller.
MoviefoneTricia: and fewer trolls and things
decboydaniel: yes, fewer trolls but more orphans
MoviefoneTricia: yes, you always seem to play orphans
MoviefoneTricia: what’s up with that?
decboydaniel: it is really just a coincidence, but i got to the point in the script where i found there were orphans involved and i let out a slight groan.
MoviefoneTricia: ha
MoviefoneTricia: next you’ll be in little orphan annie
decboydaniel: yes, i can picture myself in that wig
MoviefoneTricia: totally! i like it
decboydaniel: and the dress
MoviefoneTricia: please send me a picture when you do this
MoviefoneTricia: and what’s your favorite memory of this exhausting summer?
decboydaniel: good question
decboydaniel: learning to touch type as fast as this
MoviefoneTricia: yes, it’ll be useful later in life
MoviefoneTricia: do you IM much?
decboydaniel: no, i don’t but i am told there are a few imposter daniel radcliffe myspace sites.
MoviefoneTricia: i’ll have to check those out
MoviefoneTricia: you should put one up
MoviefoneTricia: and see if people can tell it’s you
decboydaniel: it’ll be like when charlie chaplin came in third place, in a charlie chaplin look-a-like contest.
MoviefoneTricia: really? is that true?
MoviefoneTricia: i’d never heard that
decboydaniel: on my life.
MoviefoneTricia: wow, you’re a fount of information
MoviefoneTricia: are your publicists screaming for you to finish?
decboydaniel: yes, in a word.
MoviefoneTricia: k, parting thoughts?
MoviefoneTricia: what do you want on your tombstone, so to speak
decboydaniel: my name and dates.
decboydaniel: just like everybody else.
decboydaniel: and spike milligan had written on his tombstone “i told you i was ill”
MoviefoneTricia: i laughed again just now
MoviefoneTricia: that’s brilliant
decboydaniel: he was very very brilliant
MoviefoneTricia: well thanks for chatting today, dan (if i may)
decboydaniel: thank you for having me
MoviefoneTricia: take care!
decboydaniel: bye!


David Levene photoshoot

Photoshoot by David Levene.

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