On screen, Radcliffe continues to move away from Potter, but it's his performance in interviews that really set him apart
Whenever Daniel Radcliffe promotes a new film, a slew of new headlines are born; the 24-year-old actor, still learning his trade on stage, on camera and on the other side of an interview, seemingly can’t help gushing forth honest statements about his personal life and the mistakes he’s made, and he does so with the his now-trademark awkward-bumbling English timbre.
Daniel Radcliffe [L] and Zoe Kazan [R] in 'What If'
His most recent project, What If, sees Radcliffe step in to romantic comedy for the first time in his career. He plays Wallace, a medical school drop out who sees his peers form meaningful, lengthy relationships around him while he struggles with a string of difficult unions. It’s only when he gives up on his love life that he meets Chantry, a charismatic animator… who lives with her boyfriend. This leads Wallace to wonder What If… (yeah?) his perfect partner could actually just be a close friend.
Famous, of course, for playing Harry Potter in 8 blockbuster movies, Radcliffe has had to work hard to shake off the not-so-magical tag of child actor. Having done probably the best job he can hope to do on that, we’re now faced with a more mature prospect; a man who doesn’t mind talking about him self, his failures, the trouble with fame and his love-life. It’s all there, if you ask him, but he won’t broadcast it of his own accord.
Take, for instance, his recent admittance that his performance as Potter in 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince wasn’t very good. "I'm just not very good in it," he told the Daily Mail, "I hate it. My acting is very one-note and I can see I got complacent, and what I was trying to do just didn't come across." Sure, we’ve heard actors admit that they’re ashamed of the odd performance before, but Radcliffe’s relatively young age – he’s drawing on a performance he gave when he was 18 - and the fact he’s risking the ire of millions of Potter fans around the world mark his candour both brave and refreshing.
Watch the trailer for 'What if' here
He’s also given us a taste of his no-frills approach to interviewing with his press push for What If, with Radcliffe admitting that he’s nowhere near as bad with women as Wallace is in the movie. “I’m a lot better at being direct at things, I’m not good at suppressing that stuff,” says the perrenially honest actor to The Guardian. “If I have a crush on a girl she’s going to know about it.” Actor Erin Darke is one girl who currently ‘knows it’. Radcliffe finds her love of sports to be a turn on: “She’s an obsessive Detroit Redwings fan – when your girlfriend can talk shit about sports better than the men she’s doing that with, that’s pretty sexy.”
What If is released in the UK on Wednesday 20 August