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Daniel Radcliffe Proves He’s A Budding Comedy Star In ‘Miracle Workers’

Apr 9, 2019   |   Written by Lauren Garafano

When you think of Daniel Radcliffe you probably don’t imagine an English man capable of making you laugh until your sides hurt, right? Right. Because that’s not who he is. He’s this incredible leading-man-hero-human. He’s Harry Potter. So, you had to imagine my surprise when I heard Radcliffe was starring in a new comedy where Steve Buscemi is God.

And believe it or not. Radcliffe does not disappoint.

This guy is funny, people! Seriously, funny. No, he’s not your run of the mill comedic actor specializing in slapstick silliness or crude conversation. Because Radcliffe is his own kind of funny. We’ve seen him act seemingly hundreds of times before so we know he can carry a scene for sure. But throw some jokes into that mix and you’ve got yourself a delicious cocktail of totally absurd realness. Take his role in Miracle Workers: Radcliffe plays Craig, a low-level angel responsible for answering prayers. When we first meet Craig he’s bundled up in a blanket, mumbling to himself. And from the looks of it, he hasn’t seen or spoken to an actual person in years. Maybe centuries. He’s not our usual Radcliffe hero character by any means. He’s just an incredibly awkward man who likes to do things his own way and gets flustered when Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan) and Sanjay (Karan Soni) get involved. TBH, Craig is pretty pathetic when it comes down to it.

But as pathetic as Craig may be, you can’t help but love him. Throughout the series, he learns more and more about how to be spontaneous and open, which is where the hilarity comes in. Radcliffe never plays Craig as a victim or an odd man out. Craig is never the butt of the joke, he’s just this painfully awkward guy who loves rules and is finally learning how to let loose after hundreds of years.

Miracle Workers isn’t the first time we’ve seen Radcliffe’s subtle comedy either. In 2016, Radcliffe played a corpse named Manny in A24’s dark comedy Swiss Army Man. In the movie, a corpse washes up on shore for Hank (Paul Dano) to find him. Mysteriously, and most likely due to Hank’s diminishing mental state, the corpse reanimates and the two become best buds. Gray skin and cracking limbs galore. Radcliffe has truly never looked worse but continues to makes you laugh out loud constantly.
Look, there’s no doubt that Radcliffe is an incredible dramatic actor. And he uses that to his advantage in his comedic roles. Radcliffe plays roles like Craig or Manny with the utmost believability. Like, yes we all know that corpses can’t actually come back to life. That’s totally absurd! But if Radcliffe says they do, we listen. And for those two hours, that is how the world works. Corpses are real, and Steve Buscemi is really God.

Radcliffe’s comedy is unusual but alluring. The commitment to the roles he plays combined with the absurdity of his characters is a match made in comedy heaven. Once he’s committed to the bit, the jokes just fall into place. They’re never forced or fall flat, which is all we can really ask for in a good comedy. Already with Miracle Workers and Swiss Army Man under his belt, Radcliffe proves that he does, in fact, have the range.

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