Hombre magazine interview (US)

Hombre magazine's interview with Daniel in promotion of The Woman in Black.


Tell us about The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe: It’s my new film. I play Arthur Kipps who is a young widower sent by his employer to an old house in rural England.There he has to straighten out paperwork from a woman who has recently died. It sounds like a very simple, boring job but he goes there and is tormented by a hateful, vengeful ghost. That is what the film is about but it’s also a film about death, grieving and bereavement, and basically how death touches different people in their lives. Everyone in the film has been affected by death in some way.  It’s a supernatural thriller. It’s very, very scary. There are going to be people jumping out of their seats.

But it’s different. People are used to ‘Saw’ and very graphic horror films. There’snothing gratuitous in this film.  It’s all about the mind and psychological. It’s really scary.

How was it playing an older character and a young
father?

I play a young dad which is nice. I loved playing a father because I get to act with my godson – the kid who plays my son in the movie is also my godson. I didn’t feel there would be enough time to build that chemistry with a kid I didn’t know so we auditioned several kids and Misha (actor Misha Handley) auditioned as well. You can’t replace that natural chemistry when he’s known you all your life, so he plays my son. That was great fun and it’s great to be able to play somebody older given that everyone’s seen me in a schoolboy outfit the past ten years. That was a nice thing to help me break away from it. I think in general people are going to be excited by the story and even if they go in thinking ‘oh let’s go see Harry Potter’s new thing,’ after ten minutes they’ll forget about that and be into the story.

How important is the relationship between father and
son in the film?
It’s very important because he has something to lose: his relationship with his son. He is going to this house in the first place so he can keep his job and raise his son properly. And part of why he stays there is partly because of a duty to his son.

I find personal relationships between fathers and sons to be the most moving in films. I was keen that there was a natural rapport between Misha and I in the film and that you believed I was his dad and I think you do. So yes,it’s a very important relationship even though the son only appears in the beginning and end of the film. But it’s important to know he has a child.

The Woman in Black is a book and had been previously
adapted into a film; did you see it, or read the book?

I did read the book after I read the script and it is very different from the film. Stuff has changed and been moved around. Our film captures the tone and atmosphere of the book. I never saw the previous film. I wanted to make this my own.

I understand you met with a psychologist prior to the
film, why was that important?
I met with a bereavement expert. I wanted to get a sense from her of what it’s like for a young man to deal with the death of his wife because it’s very different from losing a friend or a parent and it’s even different than losing a wife later in life. This was a young man who had years of happiness ahead with this woman and has had that wiped away. He has a sense of injustice and rage – and also because his wife dies in childbirth – there’s the sense of resentment that he has for the son whom he also loves. In some level, even if he doesn’t think this, he knows that his son is the reason his wife isn’t here. So the complexity of those emotions is something I needed to speak to someone about and it was interesting.

How difficult was it to portray Arthur Kipps?
The main thing I had to work on with this character is that he’s detached, almost incapable of being an emotionally open member of society. He has shut down completely and I have a lot of natural energy which I had to suppress to put across that this guy is exhausted and depressed and unhappy.

Are there any similarities with any previous roles?
The supernatural element is so different in Potter than it is in ‘Woman in Black’ that you get a different sense of what the supernatural is. Potter is a world of magic and this is a world of past lives. In terms of the character there are similarities as there often are between protagonists in films. There are common elements; particularly there is a kind of an underdog status because Arthur is a lowly clerk in the office. There are similarities in the darkness of the character and how unhappy the character is. I think as a whole ‘Woman in Black’ is a much, much darker film than Potter ever was.

What was the most challenging part of the filming?
There was one scene where I have to retrieve something out of a muddy mosh land and I was filming in a cold tank of mud forover two days. I’d say that was fun for the first day and a half and the last six hours were ‘get me out of here!’ But when you’re filming a sequence likethat you just have to keep in mind how good it’s going to look eventually.

How was it filming in London?
It was great. We actually filmed the studio stuff in London but we got around a bit. We filmed in Peterborough, in Yorkshire, in the hillside; in remote little villages… it was good. I’ve actually never worked in America, that’s the next thing on my list, to work here.

What draws you to a role?
If it’s interesting and weird I’m normally half way in (laughs). That’s the kind of stuff I respond to. Stuff that makes me say, oh this is different than anything else I’ve read before. That’s the kind of stuff I’m looking at. Stuff that’s exciting and interesting and would help me grow as an actor.

Last year you returned to Broadway, why is theater so
important to you?

It’s where I get better. It’s where I learn the most as an actor and make the most progress. My stints in theater have made me immeasurably better. It’s important because I think as an actor you should never shut yourself off to any media be it TV, film, theater, radio… if it’s a good story, do it.

And ‘How to Succeed in Business’ was so different from ‘Equus’…
They are worlds apart and this (‘How to succeed…) is a fun show and all the family can come and see it and I’ve never done anything like that before. That’s exciting. I’m having a good time.

What’s next for you?
This year I’m hoping I’ll get a couple of films done. There’s three or four all of which may happen or none of which may happen. Its independent films but hopefully if they get their money there will be at least two very good films.

What advice do you give someone starting out in show
business?
I don’t have advice about getting started because in my case I just got very, very lucky. But if you do get lucky then you can earn your luck by working very hard afterwards. And if you start out in a film set in any capacity, whether you’re an actor or part of the crew, there will always be someone on a film set who is being waited for, so never be the person who is holding things up. Always be ready, always know your lines and always be there on time.

And finally, was it difficult saying goodbye to Harry
Potter?
I said goodbye a while ago. When we finished filming that was my goodbye to it I suppose, and then 2 hours later I was on a plane reading ‘The Woman in Black’ script for the first time so it was a quick transition. I’m kind of over it now. It was a fun ten years.

source: hombre1.com
picture source: Warwick Saint

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