Daniel Radcliffe did a Reddit AMA today to promote his new movie Horns, based on Joe Hill’s cult dark fantasy novel of the same name. Along with the expected Harry Potter talk, including sharing what his Horcrux would be (which he claims is one of the few HP questions he has never been asked), Radcliffe also graciously fielded questions on a whole bunch of other nerdy ephemera, from his love of Daredevil and Star Wars to his spirit animal and what it’s like being mistaken for Elijah Wood.
Who he’d like to work with in the future:
George Clooney… Jennifer Lawrence… I just think they’d be really cool, Paul Rudd, I met him and was like “You’re awesome!” I just want to work with people you can get on with, and you have a good rapport with, and those are definitely some of them. Also directors more than actors, whom I think “I want to work with them.” So you know, people like the Coen Brothers, or Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, again, it’s directors i suppose I get more excited about than actors.
The best prank pulled on the Harry Potter set:
There’s - in the 3rd film - there’s a shot in the great hall of all the kids sleeping in the great hall, and the camera starts very very wide, and comes in so that it’s an inch from my face, a very long developing set, yeah, and Alan Rickman decided he would plant one of those fart machines in my, uh, sleeping bag, and they waited until like -the camera had come in for this huge DRAMATIC developing shot, and then unleashed this tremendous noise in the great hall.
I immediately thought: “This is one of the other kids fucking around, and we were going to get in trouble.”
But as it turns out, it was one of the members of Britain’s acting royalty.
I think I laughed a lot, was probably a bit embarrassed, but it was really really funny.
His favorite Harry Potter character:
Probably Sirius. Like I always loved the character, and then Gary’s portrayal of him I thought was perfect. Or Lupin, really. Any of the characters my dad used to hang out with, other than Wormtail. There was always something bout those two guys I loved a lot.
Playing bass with Gary Oldman and dueling with Michael Gambon:
Well, one of the moments in my life that will forever be… you know, immortal in my memory, would be - because Gary Oldman is a bass player, a very good bass player, yeah, and, um, I started learning bass on the 3rd film when he joined the cast. And so one day, I think actually maybe on my 14th birthday, that day started with Gary teaching me the bass line to “Come Together” by the Beatles, yeah! And you know, that was just an amazing, amazing moment. What else… Michael Gambon was always also hilarious to be around. Something not every knows about Michael is that he collects and restores antique dueling pistols. Yeah! And they’re really his passion, much more than acting is, and, uh, I remember he one morning gave me a demonstration of how you would shoot a man in a duel with a 17th century pistol in one hand and his morning coffee in the other!
On what his Horcrux would be (one of the few Harry Potter questions he’s never answered):
I would say… I was gonna say my iPod, prolly put it in that, but I would put it inside an album on the iPod, so you’d have to open that album. So I somehow want it to be connected to a particular album that means something, like Ziggy Stardust. So that’s how I’d want to do that.
On how he’d change the world:
I suppose I would… I would remove the bullshit hierarchy from the film industry, because there are certain people who do my job, and also directors and producers, who seem to think the job they do gives them license to treat people who work for them badly, and there is no good reason for that, and it should not be tolerated.
I know that if I ever get to direct, it will not be present anywhere on my set.
When asked about his Halloween costume:
That’s a GOOD question. I don’t know yet, I haven’t narrowed it down, but because I’ve very recently - like within the last 6 months - watched the original Star Wars movies, I’m like a brand new Star Wars fan, so I might go with something Star Wars related! And I got to go out to the Star Wars set recently, because a lot of my friends are working on it crew-wise.. so something Star Wars related, but not sure yet.
I’m leaning towards Boba Fett, but I haven’t found a good enough costume yet.
His favorite non-Harry book or comic-book character:
Um…. Well, growing up, my favourite comic book character was Daredevil, so Daredevil was great, but there was also, like, if I could be one character from all of literature it would be… Woland from my favourite book, wait no, I change my answer, I would be Behemoth the cat from my favourite book which is called The Master and Margarita, and he is like, a 5 foot tall black cat who shoots a revolver.
On perfecting his American accent (and how it’s basically just a Chris Columbus impression):
In England now when we grow up, there we are, so suffused by American culture, from you know, shows like FRIENDS and FRASIER to the Toy Story movies which I saw when I was obviously very young - I think I’ve been practicing my American accent - I used to be really into WWF and I would play with wrestling action figures and give them American accents, so I think I’ve been practicing since I was about 9.
The only thing I would add to that is that I’ve been told by quite a few people that i sound like Chris Columbus, who directed the first 2 Harry Potter films, so I think subconsciously I may be doing an impression of him.
On whether Rupert Grint actually owns an ice-cream van:
He really does! Um, and, er, he also owned at one point, at one point he owned llamas and a hovercraft, you heard correctly, hahaha, and a 1950’s chevy pickup, he had a collection of weird and wonderful things at his house.
On getting mistaken for Elijah Wood:
I have signed a picture of Elijah Wood - and I think we’ve also both said in interviews that we would like each other to play each other in films of our lives - but I was on a red carpet in Japan, and this Japanese man gave me a picture of Elijah, and I knew i wasn’t going to get past the language barrier to explain, so I wrote “I am not Elijah Wood, signed Daniel Radcliffe.”
… and what it was like working on the Lord of the Rings films:
Just like… it was exhausting, but New Zealand’s lovely all year ‘round.
“Can you and Elijah Wood make a movie where you’re twins and one of you is evil but we don’t know which until the bloodbath ending?”:
Just write that movie! And absolutely!
Let’s do this!
Or could there be a film where one of us, is like, an impersonator of the other? We’ve got to eke out some mileage out of this mistaken identity!
On what it was like working with the late Richard Harris:
Wonderful. I mean, he was just such a sweet man. You know… kind of relentlessly charming with women, I think I’m pretty sure I saw him flirting with female journalists at press conferences, I remember being a young child in awe of it… but yeah, he was a legend, and so to have been able to work with somebody of that generation, which was an incredibly important generation of actors for Britain, is amazing.
“How terrifying was it to have a black magic version of Hans Gruber yelling at you for years?”
Um, yeah! I mean, pretty terrifying! The first few years I was genuinely quite intimidated by Alan, just because of the voice and the way he sort of carries himself. But as I grew up, I realized he was one of the kindest and most supportive members of that cast to me. I mean, Alan has cut short holidays that he’s been having to come and see me in plays, and take me out for dinner afterwards to talk to me about stuff, I think when he realized how serious I was about wanting to be an actor, and he knew what a particular world the Potter set was to grow up in, he just sort of made it his - he just really wanted to help us all and has been very helpful to me, certainly.
On what Hogwarts house he would be in in real life:
I mean, I… to me, it’s not a… to me I absolutely think I would be in Gryffindor! But there’s never any doubt of that for me. Yeah. I like, maybe I’m just biased because I played one for so long, but I could never picture myself in any other colours.
Would he rather play James Bond or the villain?
The villain. 100%. I think it’s generally more interesting, and honestly, more what I’m suited for, to be honest. I don’t see myself necessarily - I mean, I know there was a lot of action in Potter and I liked those sequences, but I don’t think of myself as a natural action star.
His spirit animal:
I would definitely say a wolf. 100%. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was very young, yeah. A grey wolf, to be specific.
On which flying, land, and sea animals he would turn into if he could:
Ok, that’s a good question. I would go with WOLF for the land animal, definitely, because I’ve always loved wolves. I think… for the air animal, it would have to be maybe like an albatross, one of those long distance journey birds, that would cool. And then for a sea animal… I guess I’d want to be a shark, because not much could fuck with you! Because the sea strikes me as a horrible place, anything could kill you all the time, so the sea is where you would want to be a shark. Like a great white or a Hammerhead, maybe Hammerheads because they are more social.
So maybe a hammerhead shark, to be specific. Because i like the power of being a shark, but i don’t like the isolation of a great white’s life.
His dream dinner-party guests:
Well, uh, I would say, um: this is hard. Probably John Lennon, cuz that’d be awesome, and, uh, Tom Lehrer, who’s a comic songwriter whom I’m obsessed with, yeah, and what’s an all-time dinner fantasy party without Einstein? So Einstein, yeah! and probably Keith Richards, yeah, to liven everything up.
On how he had no idea how big Harry Potter would get when he first started out:
Even as a kid, I hadn’t the full scope of the Harry Potter phenomenon, hadn’t really, ever, made an impression on me I guess? Obviously I’d read the first couple of books, but I wasn’t as into it as a lot of my class was, so no, I could never have imagined it was as big as it was. I think maybe it’s only now that I’m really starting to get a fuller sense of how wide-reaching it was, and how many people’s lives it affected, which is very cool.
… I have thought about it much more lately than I probably ever did at the time… but yeah, it feels wonderful, honestly, to have people still come up to you and say you were such a huge part of my childhood. It’s genuinely lovely. I am very lucky to be famous for something so many people loved. And there’s… yeah, I always like to say that I think some people think that because I’m making an effort to have a career for myself after Potter, that they somehow think I want to escape Potter? And I don’t, I”m very proud of what those films were, and what we did with them. And so I always like to say I am happy to hear from people who still love the movies.
I remember when I met, once, a guy who’d been in a punk band in the 70’s, and then he wouldn’t talk about this punk days at all to me when I was asking, he sort of didn’t want anything to do with it? And I remember being really disappointed by that, and thinking of how uncool it was for him to disown the thing that made him, and I just would never do that.
His favorite Harry Potter scene to shoot:
Yeah… favourite scene to film… god… that is a really hard question, to pick just one… the first thing that comes to mind, and it’s a silly one, but doing all the Gringott’s stuff in the last movie with Rupert and Helena and Warwick and Emma, that was like a really fun time. We were all enjoying ourselves in that, it’s an action sequence so it was quite, it was more of a technical challenge than an emotional one, so it was a lot of fun to get right.
The best and worst thing about being Daniel Radcliffe:
Um… I suppose the worst thing is that because I was a child actor, you get a lot of questions about like, you know, you get a lot of, for a while is that child actors were perceived as bratty and obnoxious, so you come up against that quite a bit. And the best thing, is, obviously, being mistaken for Elijah Wood.