Fokus magazine interview - Daniel J Radcliffe Holland


Fokus magazine interview

A new interview is published by Fokus magazine (part of the Tages Anzeiger) in Switzerland.

Translation by Daniel J Radcliffe Holland.

Daniel Radcliffe, you live in New York. How do you experience staying at home since the outbreak of the pandemic?
I'm in a very happy position: I'm not alone, I'm with my girlfriend and we don't have any children that we have to teach at home and maintain non-stop. We are all healthy. So with us everything is so far, so good. I knock on wood to keep it that way.

Which sides does your girlfriend, the actress Erin Darke, get now that the outside world hardly sees you?

I do not know. Probably my fears and neuroses. She probably gets more from them than anyone else.

What are your fears?

The usual insecurities that affect life and work. Like any actor. I haven't met anyone, no matter how successful, that isn't somehow insecure. I don't think you can ever get rid of these doubts.

Did you develop new talent during the lockdown?
No, I'm definitely not one of those people who learned a new profession during this time. I have great respect for those who sew or bake now.

How do you spend the time otherwise?
I do a lot of things with Lego: Time flies by, it's meditative and in the end you have put together something great. I've already worked my way through the Jurassic Park and Stranger Things sets. We also look at all of the seasons of Schitt's Creek and a list of films that we have never seen.

For example?
Pan's Labyrinth, Barefoot in the Park, It happened one night; Films that we both think are must-see films. But I also read a lot and yesterday I finally started writing.

What are you writing?
I am trying to write scripts. I think every day: Today is the day when I put something productive on paper, but nothing happened for weeks. All actors want to write something and I am one of them. One day I want to write a script and also direct it.

What is your script about?
I don't want to give too much away, but it's more black comedy.

You've been doing some weird comedies lately, like the cult movie Swiss Army Man in which you play a corpse. Where does it come from?
Yes, I have a reputation for preferring films that are a little bit crazy, but I also do naturalistic films like the thriller Escape from Pretoria. It also had historical elements. With Swiss Army Man I didn't know how to play the corpse. Every role I play is a challenge. sometimes the role itself is challenging, sometimes the shooting situation. For example, that you only have 16 days of shooting and have to learn fifteen to twenty pages of dialogue every day. I like that pressure. And in between I mix something that is just fun.

For example the interactive Netflix film Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend . The audience has the opportunity to make decisions about which direction to turn the story. Do you need special concentration to play different variants and to tell them apart?

We actors just had to learn the different versions of the scenes. But it's like a Rubik's Cube: I don't know how everything was cobbled together for scripting and editing. Or what the director has to consider. All respect for the performance! I would recommend going through everything and choosing the options that a morally sincere person would choose. And then again from the perspective of a bitch who only wants to see evil. What is more fun?

Netflix is everywhere right now. As an actor, what do you think of the transition from film and television productions to streaming providers?
People talk about Netflix very differently today than they did five years ago. There are worlds in between. One in eight Americans is said to have seen Bird Box on Netflix. Not me because I don't watch films that instill fear (laughs). You have to imagine such a statistic! It's an incredible platform. More shows are produced and people watch a lot too. That is ultimately positive for us. With indie films, however, there is good news and bad news.

What do you think?
I once had a meeting with a producer in a large film studio. He said if one day I want to make a movie that costs less than a million dollars or over 100 million dollars, I should come to him. Everything else in between doesn't make sense. I have never forgotten that. Netflix made the space for movies that fall between those two numbers. It's an interesting time. The industry is on the move.

What do you prefer to stream yourself?
Cartoons and documentaries. The animated series Bojack Horseman is one of my favorite shows of the past few years, and I'm not just saying this because I had a role in it. And I watch pretty much every documentary Netflix makes.

In addition to Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend there is also the anthology series Miracle Workers in which you play a helper of God, played by Steve Buscemi. If you could have a conversation with God in human form, who would you want?

You know what? I would probably choose Michael Gambon - he played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. He has a certain aura. And it looks a bit like you're imagining God I guess. On the other hand, he's also a prankster. So if I go to heaven and Michael Gambon waits there as God, I would be pretty happy.

Another Potter Throwback: Rupert Grint, who played the redhead Ron Weasley, recently became a father. Are you still in contact with him?
Yes, I wrote to him as soon as I heard about it. I'm incredibly happy for him. He and Georgia have been together for a while and I'm sure he's a great dad. Actually crazy: in my head we are 16 years old and we have only just met.

You are now 31 years old. You have gone from being a blockbuster hero to being a character actor. How did you experience the transition?
The fact that I made the big boxes early in my career was liberating in a way. I have a lot of friends who would love to play in big blockbusters. And I understand that too. You're great, but I also know: you're not the beginning and the end of filmmaking and acting. I want to be a character actor in the lead role. Like James McAvoy.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I just want to keep working. As an actor and as I said, hopefully one day as an author and director. I know that's a simple and boring answer. But that's my goal.

You also act in theater and have appeared in several productions on Broadway. What do you find fascinating about stage acting?

Broadway is a great place to work. The acting community is fantastic and so is the audience! I hope theater is part of my career as long as I have one.

What do you think of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?
I did not see it. It wouldn't be a relaxed affair for me. I can sneak my way into other performances relatively well without anyone recognizing me. With this piece I doubt that no one will notice that I'm there. I know Emma Watson left. I know many who have seen the play. But I would just sit there and feel watched all the time. That wouldn't be a nice evening for me.

If you had a wand now, what would you do with it?

At the moment the answer is very obvious: I would rid the world of the coronavirus.


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