Dan turns 24
It’s been awhile since Daniel Radcliffe, who turns 24 today, has played the Boy Who Lived in the well known Harry Potter series, and ever since he has been determined to break out of his wizardly type-casting. Although Radcliffe can never expect to fully disassociate himself from the movies based on J.K. Rowling’s best-selling novels, it appears he does intend to prove his skills beyond the films he starred in beginning when he was just eleven years old. So far, he seems to be succeeding.
Following the release of the final Harry Potter film, Daniel immediately jumped into his next film, The Woman in Black (2012). The Woman in Black, which had modest success in theaters, was a dark turn from a naive wizard; Radcliffe played a young lawyer who happens upon a child-murdering ghost.
First a lawyer, then a doctor: after Woman in Black, Radcliffe returned to his home country in order to take part in the short U.K.-based television series, A Young Doctor’s Notebook in which he plays a doctor placed in Muryovo, Russia at the dawn of the 1917 Russian Revolution. The series did well, becoming Sky Arts channel’s most watched show with 800,000 viewers and, just yesterday, was confirmed for a second season. Radcliffe is mesmerizing in the role, often conversing with his older self and questioning the crude and gory medical practices he must perform. U.S. fans of Daniel won’t miss out – the four-episode first season is set to premiere this summer on Ovation.
Radcliffe has another film set to release later this year as well. In Kill Your Darlings, Daniel will play poet Allen Ginsberg, who finds himself entangled in a murder during his college years, along with his friends and fellow Beat generation writers William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. The film has already created quite the buzz, particularly since Daniel is expected to partake in controversial gay scenes, following in the footsteps of greats such as Heath Ledger. Expect Kill Your Darlings to be worth the ten dollar movie ticket; the film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and has garnered rave reviews from critics.
Radcliffe has also been spotted on set of the movie Horns, expected to release later this year. The movie is yet another with a gloomy plot: Daniel plays Ig Perrish, a young man accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend who wakes up one morning to discover he has horns, which empower him with supernatural abilities.
Radcliffe has been busy on stage as well, appearing in plays such as Equus (2007), where he appeared nude, the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011) and most recently playing a crippled orphan determined to escape poverty The Cripple of Inishmaan, which opened in June. Daniel had initially received criticism for his appearance in Equus, where he played a mentally unstable boy who sexualizes horses. Critics feared the role would destroy Radcliffe’s family-friendly image, but Radcliffe still forged ahead, choosing continually riskier roles as each year passed, and fears about his public image and career suffering from his choices have proved unfounded.
It appears that in the relatively short time since the Harry Potter series ended, Daniel has almost completely reconstructed his reputation as an actor. Choosing serious, and often difficult-to-play roles has resulted in the emergence of an actor that will be around for quite some time. Although the young wizard Harry Potter will never truly be out of our hearts or minds, Radcliffe should have little fear of being typecast or confined by the previous popular role.
Still, don’t expect to bring children along to see a Radcliffe movie anytime soon; word on the street is that his next role choice might be Igor in a film based on the horror story Frankenstein. If Daniel’s recent trend is any evidence, the film is unlikely to be PG13.
About the Author: Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment and culture blogger for D2TV. He spends his free time contemplating which house he feels the sorting hat would have placed him in at Hogwarts. He lives and works in Chicago and is currently seeking applications for a house elf.