Forge Press interview - Daniel J Radcliffe Holland


Forge Press interview

Forge Press had a chance to talk with Daniel.

Post-Harry Potter you’ve been picking really good scripts. How do you go about choosing?
There isn’t really a process to choosing a script beyond reading it and really enjoying it. I’m very lucky in the sense that I’ve got good instinct. My mum was a casting director and my dad was a literary agent, so I like to think I’ve inherited some of their instinct when it comes to scripts. I like good dialogue and fully realised characters. If it’s original or has a fresh take on something then that’s great.

You’ve done many different genres – were you actively looking to star in a rom-com this time round?
Actors only seem to talk about genres when we’re promoting a film; it’s not something that factors into my thought process when picking a role. You’re not thinking ‘Only show me romantic comedies’, you’re just looking for a good script. I’d read a few romantic comedies around the time that the script for What If came along, but this one stood out to me.

Are there any scripts that have made it to the screen that you’ve regretted passing up?
I’ve never been left gutted, but it’s bound to happen one day.

How far into a script do you get before you decide it’s not right for you?
If the first half of something is truly terrible, then no matter how good the second half is it won’t be worth making someone sit through half a crappy movie. If I’m not loving it after halfway through, I probably won’t choose it. Generally, though, I will read the whole thing.

Have you ever had some really bad ones come across your desk?
Oh god, yes! I’m yet to read a good action film. People think the rom-com genre has had a bad time recently, but it’s not nearly as bad as action films. There’s never an original character, it’s just the same thing with a different cast. Good ones are few and far between.
Once, while Potter was still going on, someone tried to make a remake of The Wizard of Oz with Emma Watson as Dorothy, me as the Lion and Rupert as the Tin Man or Scarecrow. I remember getting that and being like ‘that person is the laziest crazy person in the world’.

Can you see yourself in an action film?
I can’t really picture myself in an action film. I think one of the things you should do as an actor is know what you’re not right for as well as what you are. I get quite a lot of action in the films I choose anyway. Frankenstein is going to have quite a lot, and obviously Harry Potter had loads. I get my fill of action without having to do an actual action film.

You did have quite a memorable action moment in this movie, was that you falling down the steps?
No, that was my stunt double Ian Kay. I would love to do a stair fall, but if you ask a stunt man who has done loads of crazy stunts they will tell you that actually stair falls are the worst- there are just so many things that can go wrong.

What about the nude scene, did you have a butt double?
I’m not exactly someone who shirks nudity [in] my career. That was definitely me. Most of my nude scenes have been [about] losing your virginity or grinding horses, so as they go this was a really nice one.

So what was it about this movie in particular that caught your attention?
Just the fact that it was very smart – the dialogue was funny, but it didn’t feel contrived. The speech is very natural. I found it very moving at the end. It’s a simple, sweet story that doesn’t try too hard. Other rom-coms can be entertaining while you watch them, but then they’re easily forgotten once they’re over. This one will stay with people after they’ve finished watching.

Was there ever any talk of you playing the character in an American or Canadian accent?
I initially learned the part in an American accent, but two days before we started filming the production company told me I had to play it an English accent. When I asked why, they said I wasn’t marketable in an accent other than my own, which is bad news for Horns! It was a last minute panic on their behalf, but I went with it. It ended up being fine, there isn’t anything about the character that says he has to be American or Canadian.

What was it like working with Zoe Kazan? Did you get on straight away?
We had four days rehearsal before shooting, and Zoe and I had met once before. That was years ago, but we knew enough about each other to know that we’d enjoy working together. A lot of the chemistry comes from being interested in and open with each other. Between takes we would tell each other [an] embarrassing story from our youth or about terrible exes or dates. The characters have a shared knowledge of each other, and we wanted to match that in real life so that it came across on screen.

At the beginning of the film Chantry says that it can seem like the most important thing about a girl is what she looks like with her clothes off. How do you think the film avoids giving out this message, given that the two friends do end up getting together in the end?
Because of this film, everyone asks the same thing that they asked about When Harry Met Sally – can men and women just be friends? But I think this film really asks ‘is it ever possible or sane to live in denial of your own feelings?’ In this situation there is no point when Wallace doesn’t want to see her with her clothes off. He’s in love with her, there’s no point where he tries to be friends with her, he just has to pretend to want to be friends. There isn’t anything malicious in it, he just knows that he can’t have anything more at that point.

Did you feel bad for Chantry’s boyfriend?
Yes, something really crappy happens to him in this movie and he doesn’t deserve it. Love is complicated and not clean or easy, but that doesn’t make your feelings less valid or less true.

If you were Wallace, would you have kissed Chantry sooner?
Yes, definitely. I would have had to say something sooner. It would have been a really short film.

Have you ever used a chat up line?
I don’t think I’ve ever used them. I’ve [had] lots of really cheesy Harry Potter lines used on me, though. I’m always quite impressed, it takes some balls to say some of the things I’ve had said to me.

Tell us about the Spider-Man suit at Comic-Con. Are you frustrated that you can’t go to things like that without a disguise?
It’s not frustrating really. I’m very accepting of the way my life is, and one of the limitations of my life happens to be that were I to walk out on the Comic-Con stage without a costume there would be a reaction. It’s not so much frustration, but it’s nice to do something like that once in a while without who you are changing the way people interact with you. People are always very nice to me when they know who I am, but it’s nice to experience life without it, even if you have to wear a Spider-Man suit.

What are your favourite Rom-Coms?
Arthur (the original) and It Happened One Night, which is a 1930s film that was recommended to me because of What If. It is one of the most charming romantic comedies I’ve ever seen. When Harry Met Sally is up there too, it’s a fantastic film. I remember being stunned by how funny and clever it was. I also loved Get Over It. That film was the reason I had a crush on Kirsten Dunst for most of my teenage years.

You’ll always be remembered for Harry Potter. What other roles would you like to be remembered for?
All of them, really, but especially Ig from Horns. It’s a crazy movie, and one that could find a different kind of cult audience than the one for Harry Potter. I would like to be remembered for both Harry and Ig because they are such different characters.

Who is your biggest inspiration at the moment?
I’d have to say Alexandre Aja who directed me in Horns. He’s an amazing director and everyone loves him and wants to be a part of his vision. I just hope to one day be a director half as good as he is.


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