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USA Today

Daniel Radcliffe on sweating through 'Lost City,' driving girlfriend to 'misery' with his accordion

March 24, 2022   |   Written by Bryan Alexander

Question: A villain named Abigail Fairfax doesn’t exactly scream Voldemort for evildoer street cred. Did you call your agent when you found out your character’s name?

Daniel Radcliffe: I found it funny, especially when Abigail Fairfax describes it as a gender-neutral name. But the thing was, the film staff would check us all into hotels in the Dominican Republic under our character names. So the hotel staff would be calling me Abigail. I would have to tell them, ‘It’s Dan. Please call me Dan.’

Q: How fun was it filming the scene when Fairfax’s Hoverjet takes off, blowing a beautiful charcuterie plate all over Sandra Bullock?

Radcliffe: There were two gigantic fans brought in by the special effects guy for the wide shots. They had a glint in their eye, saying, ‘We don’t normally get to use these (fans) inside.’ For the closer shots, they had smaller fans with people 6 feet away throwing cheese bits and almonds at her. Never did I expect, growing up in Fulham (England), that I’d one day see Sandra Bullock have cheese and nuts thrown at her. But life is a strange, rich tapestry.

Q: I hate to see high-end charcuterie wasted. Did you at least nibble?

Radcliffe: If it makes you feel better, the meat and cheese had all been sprayed to make sure it doesn’t go bad. It was ruined before it hit the floor. I have a clear sense memory from dining scenes on ‘Harry Potter’ days where we’d be in the Great Hall for four days with the same meal in front of us of like, “Don’t eat the food.”

Q: You moved from perfectly bearded Fairfax to music’s worst mustache in “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (due this fall on Roku). How was that transformation to the song-parody legend?

Radcliffe: The mustache definitely was not something I thought I’d get used to, but then I actually ended up loving it. It was a pretty standard transformation because I grew the mustache, it was really just putting on the wig. The very, very hard part was learning to play the accordion while singing and running around the stage at the same time.

Q: Yikes, learning accordion. How did that go over with loved ones, namely your longtime girlfriend Erin Darke?

Radcliffe: Making the film, I was practicing accordion every day in this small room in Los Angeles, and I think that was a lot for my girlfriend. There was no place for me to go, so Erin was hearing quite a lot. The first month of me learning the accordion, her life must have been misery. She was living in a world of hearing the opening bars of “My Bologna,” but never getting past that. Those weeks were rough. Now that we are back in New York, I can go in my own room and practice.

Q: Did she ever fall for the ‘Weird Al’ look?

Radcliffe: It was slightly conflicting for her. She was a fan, but she never had a crush on “Weird” Al Yankovic. But she has a crush on me and our relationship, obviously. So it was a really weird mix of feelings for her. But she liked the mustache more than she thought she would. By the end of the month, she was like, ‘Don’t keep it, but I don’t hate it, either.’

Q: Surely she has a full-on crush on you as the stylish Fairfax, right?

Radcliffe: “Lost City” is the best I have ever looked in a film, and there’s a reason for that. I went to the makeup, hair and wardrobe people and was like, “I’m in a movie with Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt. You have to do something about this.” Fortunately, they gave me this amazing haircut and put me in these wonderful suits.

Q: Even after the HBO Max “Harry Potter” reunion, you’ve said you have no plans to go back to do another film. What can we do to make you reconsider?

Radcliffe: There’s a lot of other things that have to get factored in beyond having a story to tell that’s new and great. I honestly feel that I have done really OK. I was very famous, very young and that’s a weird thing to have happen to you. It’s more luck than judgment that I made it out of that fairly alright. And if I was to have my own kids in the next few years, then honestly, it’s not just about what I’m feeling. It’s also, what would that do to their life?

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