Polls have closed in the U.K. on Brexit, the movement for Britain to leave the European Union, with the results still too close to call, but if you were curious how England’s most famous boy wizard voted, we can tell you exclusively that it was a staunch “remain.” Earlier this week I spoke to Daniel Radcliffe, the 26 year-old who was once Harry Potter, who’s in New York rehearsing for the Edward Snowden–inspired play Privacy at the Public Theater, and promoting his new movie, Swiss Army Man, in which he plays a farting corpse, about his homeland’s current schism, and he had some pretty passionate thoughts:
Brexit is really scary. I obviously want us to stay. There are economic reasons — but the main reason is that, in this era, divided we fall. C’mon, guys, let’s stick together. The idea of nationhood is one that I can kind of take or leave. I am very proud of being English and I’m very proud of everything England is giving the world that I am associated with. But it’s not an actual — what does [Kurt] Vonnegut call them in Cat’s Cradle? He calls them “granfalloons,” where there’s a name for a fake bond. Because we’re all British, we’re all part of the same country. But people in France aren’t that fucking different. We’re all just human beings and that should be the thing that I think is celebrated about us rather than tiny, petulant differences. But it’s really scary. Similar to the Trump thing, I feel like we started off being like, “It’ll never happen. Don’t worry about it.” And now it’s like, “Oh no, we could not be a part of Europe” in what is it — a few days? I’ve already sent in my postal vote. So I’m done. I’ve voted.
You can dress it up however you want, but ultimately, with a lot of the people who want to exit, there’s a sense of jingoistic “We don’t want to take orders from bloody Frenchies.” It’s the worst kind of nationalism, the worst kind of patriotism, and it’s scary as shit, and a woman was killed! It worries me that — we don’t really have a version of Trump, but our very far right wing party, they obviously would never have incited somebody to that violence. I’m not saying they did that because they didn’t. But equally, you spend that much time fearmongering about race and religion and that’s going to have an effect sometimes. It’s just scary and sad, and I hope we’re still a part of Europe in a couple of weeks’ time.