OregonLive Q&A - Daniel J Radcliffe Holland


OregonLive Q&A

OregonLive's Q&A with Daniel in promotion of What If.

Q: It's always nice to see an actor emerge from the shadow of a well-known role and move on to an interesting, diverse career without being trapped or typecast because of past successes. I'm talking, of course, about Ralph Fiennes, who was so good earlier this year in "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and continues to be someone to keep an eye on.
A: Yes, we're all very happy for him.

Q: It's nice to see all the fame from playing Voldemort hasn't gone to his head. I don't know how much of your own press you read, but I wonder if you ever get tired of seeing and hearing yourself described as such a swell, normal, grounded fellow, despite your worldwide fame and riches? It feels like people are too surprised at that fact.
A: Well, I think it's a bad reflection on what actors have become, because basically everyone expects actors to be ... mad, or have a terrible, massive ego, which is — it's just dull, man. I would never be like that because I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror. I don't get tired of hearing it. I'm obviously glad that I'm a good person that people don't hate, but it's sad that I am remarkable for being nice to people. I know lots of actors, and most of them are great. Unfortunately, it's the few troublesome ones that tend to make the papers more.

Q: Speaking of likability, your new movie "What If" presents an interesting challenge in that it has no unlikable characters. Is it extra challenging to create dramatic tension in an environment where there are no bad people, no one to root against?
A: No, it's actually one of the things that makes it truer to life, because there isn't a bad guy. The complications of life are the bad guy. In the normal version of this movie, they sweep the complications of life aside to make it easier to tell the story, whereas we use the complications of life as our story.

Q: You and Zoe Kazan both have a considerable amount of stage experience for film stars of your age. You've both been in Martin McDonagh plays, which seems like an odd coincidence. Does having that sort of shared theater background enhance your relationship, performance-wise?
A:  I think the thing that you get with people who work onstage regularly is they prepare really well. We come to set ready to play and have fun and be stupid and make each other laugh. When you're onstage, you have to trust the other actors you're onstage with, because if something goes wrong, they're the only people that can help you. The other thing that's sort of indicative of our similarity is that we both grew up with parents very much in the industry. [Zoe Kazan is the daughter of filmmaker Nicholas Kazan and the granddaughter of famed director Elia Kazan.] That's one of those things that I think sort of binds you for some reason.

Q: Your co-star, Adam Driver, has been cast in the upcoming "Star Wars" film, but I assume you were unaware of this during the filming of "What If."
A: No, he would have been very confidential. That was all being kept very top secret.

Q: So you didn't have a chance to offer any advice about starring in a hugely successful franchise series of films. Is there anything you would tell him if you had the chance?
A: No, there's no need. He's fantastic. He's a great actor, he's smart, he's very much not a [jerk]. And I know he's going to be in great hands, because half the people who made the Harry Potter films are making "Star Wars."

Q: I'm assuming that you were approached post-Potter by studio types trying to rope you into some other franchise or big-budget fantasy-type films. Has that started to happen less as people realize that you're making decisions based more on artistic merit than Hollywood pizzazz?
A: There was a moment before I started on "Kill Your Darlings" where there were just a couple offers for what I would describe as big, [lousy] action movies, and it was very easy to say no. Also my agents are very good. They don't try to pressure me into doing things I don't want to do, because they know they'd be wasting their breath. I don't dislike doing big studio movies entirely. I did a movie at Fox called "Victor Frankenstein," which will come out next year, and it was lovely — great big sets, mad effects and all that stuff.

Q: Between that film, in which you play Igor, and the upcoming "Horns," in which you play a guy who grows devil horns and develops diabolical powers, you seem to be diving back into the supernatural. Wallace in "What If" might be the most normal person you've played on film. Is he the one that most closely resembles you?

A: There's a lot of Wallace in me. There's a bit of Iggy from "Horns" in me as well. Actually, there's a lot. I think some combination of those two characters would illustrate me quite well.

Q: Last question: Do you still have Tom Lehrer's "The Elements Song" memorized?
A: I do, yes. Totally.

source: oregonlive.com

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