Close en­counter

Daniel Rad­cliffe on his new role in the Joe Hill adap.

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Contents - Words by Tom Teodor­czuk por­trait by Larry Busacca

“I’ve al­ways been em­bar­rassed that I haven’t learned to ride a bike”

Some star per­form­ers at school have trou­ble grad­u­at­ing to the real world. Not Daniel Rad­cliffe ( Hog­warts, 2001- 2011). He’s em­braced the tran­si­tion from JK Rowl­ing’s epic fan­tasy world by mak­ing some dar­ing and dark ca­reer choices. Fol­low­ing The Woman In Black two years ago, his lat­est foray into hor­ror is Horns, di­rected by Alexan­dre Aja ( Piranha) and based on Joe Hill’s cult novel of the same name about a man who grows a pair of devil horns when he is ac­cused of mur­der­ing his girl­friend. Fea­tur­ing a pre­dom­i­nantly Bri­tish cast ( as well as Rad­cliffe, it stars Juno Tem­ple, Max Minghella and Joe An­der­son) Horns fuses hor­ror with ro­mance and com­edy. In con­trast to the tor­ment he un­der­goes in Horns, Rad­cliffe is cheery and en­er­getic when SFX meets him in a mid­town Man­hat­tan ho­tel suite. “I seem to be drawn to­wards the macabre and the dark,” he de­clares.

Horns is a hor­ror movie with fan­tasy el­e­ments but there’s also plenty of ro­mance and com­edy in there. Were you con­sciously mix­ing up the gen­res?

One of the things I was most drawn to about the film was it was im­pos­si­ble to pin down. As well as be­ing a slasher hor­ror movie and a re­venge thriller, it’s also funny and has a beau­ti­ful tragic love story. That genre- hop­ping qual­ity is one of the fun things about it. As well as the chance to play this character – I don’t think any­one has seen me play some­one like this be­fore, which is some­thing I want.

It’s very dif­fer­ent to your last hor­ror movie, The Woman In Black.

The Woman In Black is about as tra­di­tional as you can get for a hor­ror movie; Horns is as un­ortho­dox as you can get. Horns is a much fun­nier film than The Woman In Black and it’s more twisted in its ap­proach to the hor­ror genre. It’s this very emotionally truth­ful film but we al­low our­selves to go into slasher hor­ror movie [ ter­ri­tory].

Are you much of a fan of the slasher hor­ror movie genre?

I am a fan of big beast movie hor­ror. I do like a slasher hor­ror some­times but I wouldn’t say it would be my favourite genre. I got freaked out by them as a kid. I could never watch Scream. You know when you were about ten or 11 with your friends and some­one would put Scream on and say, “It’s re­ally funny.” I was that kid that got freaked out and couldn’t sleep for weeks! I don’t think I was ever drawn to it my­self but I ap­pre­ci­ate the genre.

You work a lot with pros­thet­ics in this movie, be­gin­ning with the horns. What was that like?

I’ve never done a full body pros­thetic. I’ve seen peo­ple in them be­fore and gone, “God I don’t think I could ever do that”. I got in­cred­i­bly lucky on this one be­cause I got two bril­liant peo­ple who were the fastest pros­thetic make- up artists. They were called Mike and Mike – Big Mike and Lit­tle Mike. It was like they were brothers. The horns by the end only took 20 min­utes to put on. The full body for the end of the movie took two hours. On a film with this much money, we didn’t have the time to spend all morn­ing in a trailer.

How was it work­ing with Alexan­dre Aja?

I think this is an in­ter­est­ing film for Alex, it’s so dif­fer­ent to any­thing he has done be­fore. One of the things I love about Piranha was all the dif­fer­ent ways he found for peo­ple to die in­volv­ing pi­ra­nhas. Alex brought that same cre­ativ­ity to Horns. He’s a master of tone.

This cast re­ally flies the flag for UK act­ing tal­ent with you, Juno, Joe and Max. How much of a Bri­tish blast did you have on set?

The five main char­ac­ters in Horns are Amer­i­can and four of us who play them are English. I don’t know if that’s be­cause we have a French di­rec­tor! I can’t say enough nice things about all of them and it was great fun. But the one down­side of hir­ing me, Juno and Max was they filmed a flash­back scene with our younger selves where the three of us were rid­ing bikes through the woods. They wanted to recre­ate that with the adult ver­sions of us three rid­ing a bike. But me, Juno and Max, not one of us can ride a bike. I’ve al­ways been so em­bar­rassed that I had never learned to ride a bike but here it wasn’t just me hav­ing to say, “No you can’t do that shot be­cause of me”.

What can you tell us about your next film Franken­stein?

We fin­ished film­ing in April. It’s a to­tally mad retelling of Franken­stein. If any­body thinks they know what the story is they re­ally don’t. I can’t wait to see it my­self be­cause I have so lit­tle idea of how it’s go­ing to be. It’s the first big film that I’ve done since Pot­ter so who knows how it will be? I’ll be ex­cited but I’ll def­i­nitely be ner­vous to see it as well.

Horns is re­leased on Fri­day 31 Oc­to­ber.

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