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Newsweek

DANIEL RADCLIFFE SAYS ‘MIRACLE WORKERS’ CO-STAR STEVE BUSCEMI PLAYS ‘RELATABLE’ GOD, SHARES LESSONS LEARNED FROM ‘HARRY POTTER’

February 12, 2019   |   Written by DORY JACKSON

When it comes to Daniel Radcliffe’s new role in the TBS limited series Miracle Workers, the English actor is doing God’s work—literally.

Created by Simon Rich, Miracle Workers follows Craig (Radcliffe), a low-level angel tasked with answering the prayers of humans residing on Earth. Craig later teams up with fellow angel Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan) to help answer a potentially impossible-to-resolve prayer shared by two humans who hope to build a romantic relationship with God’s help. If they fail to accomplish said goal, God (Steve Buscemi) will destroy Earth and all its inhabitants. Miracle Workers is based off of Rich’s 2012 novel, titled What in God’s Name.

Radcliffe, who also serves as an executive producer on Miracle Workers, was intrigued by the show because of his interest in Rich’s book and found that it played to his sense of humor. After a meeting with Rich, he informed the author of his love for What in God’s Name and shared his interest in being involved if he ever chose to bring the book to life. Radcliffe later landed the role of Craig, which is a character he realized he shares some similarities with.

“I think we probably got a similar kind of nervous energy,” Radcliffe, 29, told Newsweek. “Craig is cautious to a fault—cautious in a slightly terrifying way. I’m not quite that. He’s quite pessimistic a lot of the time…. He obsessively loves his job and obsesses over it, and I think that I can relate to that.”

Radcliffe detailed further what he’s enjoyed most about working on the show, adding: “I’ve never really worked on anything like this before, certainly not on TV. And it’s a different style and a different tone to anything that I’ve really done before.”

Radcliffe’s involvement in this show is enough to attract television audiences. However, the inclusion of Buscemi as God makes for an interesting casting choice as well.

Buscemi’s version of God isn’t comparable to what moviegoers have experienced with Morgan Freeman’s otherworldly portrayal in Bruce Almighty. Buscemi’s God is unlike anything audiences have seen before. Radcliffe, in turn, argued that God’s relatability in Miracle Workers is what sets Buscemi’s portrayal apart from previous depictions.

“I hope it’ll be a God that, like, a lot of people can relate to. That’s probably unexpected,” Radcliffe said. “He’s just really lost. He’s kind of [a] lost middle-age dude in the middle of a crisis. That’s the God we have presiding over us in the series.”

Radcliffe accumulated several credits in television, film, and theater throughout the course of his career. He appeared in blockbusters like Now You See Me 2 and acclaimed indie flicks like Swiss Army Man, but he also performed on Broadway more recently for The Lifespan of a Fact. However, his initial claim to fame his involvement in the Harry Potter film franchise—a role Radcliffe began at 11 years old. Starring in the popular movie series allowed him to learn invaluable experiences, including how to “enjoy” his time working on set.

“Obviously, [if] you’re doing a very intense scene you’ll be going around laughing and joking with everyone maybe not every day. As a lead actor, you have an opportunity to help, sort of, set the tone for the atmosphere on set,” he explained. “If you’re on a film where the big actor is really horrible to be around, the experience shooting that film will probably be remarkably less enjoyable for everybody working on it.”

“I just learned, as an actor and especially if you’re one of the main actors on set, you can really affect how the day goes just by your attitude. So, try and make that effect a positive one,” he added.

Miracle Workers airs Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on TBS.

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