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Miracle Workers: An Evening with Daniel Radcliffe in a Trailer
marcie - Feb 14, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Dan on set of Miracle Workers is asked questions how he passes time on set, a card trick he learned on the Now You See Me 2 movie, Game Nights, and Naps.

TCA Winter Press Tour
marcie - Feb 12, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Yesterday Dan was at the TCA Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, California. Photos from the event and portraits have been posted.

TELEVISION SHOWS > Miracle Workers (2018) > TCA Turner Winter Press Tour 2019

PHOTO SHOOTS > Studio Shoots > 2019 > Winter TCA Portraits

Bustle Interview
marcie - Feb 12, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Daniel Radcliffe Is Happy To Be Alive Right Now

Either it’s the cappuccino he downed moments before, or Daniel Radcliffe is really excited to be here. We’re hunkered inside on a particularly frigid January morning, but the 29-year-old actor emanates warmth. There’s an anxious energy that radiates off of him like aerial caffeine, and he speaks with zealous intensity: eyes wide, limbs taut. It’s exactly this quality, I soon realize, that’s endeared him to so many people. Embodying the iconic wizard at the center of the Harry Potterseries at times made him seem larger than life, but in person he’s approachable, effusive, and bracingly unreserved. In less than an hour, we’ve blazed through a half dozen topics most people would take much longer to build to: toxic masculinity, existentialism, questions of fear and failure.

In the years since his star-making turn in Harry Potter, it’s this affability and candor that have come to define who Radcliffe is. There’s an extensive Reddit thread allotted to discussing how rigorously nice he is, and there’s an entire Upworthy post dedicated to the “9 Times Daniel Radcliffe Was The Greatest Human In Hollywood.” It’s not that it’s unprompted: Daniel Radcliffe is enduringly likable, and whether eviscerating the friend zone or skewering double standards, he has a particular knack for doling out the sort of societal hip-checks that can send Twitter into overdrive. But, as Radcliffe points out, none of this is especially impressive.

I think I get a lot of credit because people expect me to be a d*ck.

“People’s image of what a child actor is is often so f*cking terrible that just by being a baseline of decency people are like, ‘Wow, you’re an amazing person!'” he tells me, breaking into asheepish grin. “And it’s like no, I’m just fine. I’m just not actively an asshole. I think I get a lot of credit because people expect me to be a d*ck.”

He adds that he doesn’t necessarily tire of being praised for doing what he considers the bare minimum. “If the worst thing people are saying about me is that I’m nice, then I’m OK with that,” he shrugs. But there was a time when it weighed on him. Coming off of the final Potter film, Radcliffe was grossly preoccupied with public perception: he’d Google himself chronically, frustrated that critics were fixated on his charisma and not his talent. Initially, he picked roles that were purposefully bold: at 17, he famously starred in Equus, a psychosexual stage drama that required prolonged full-frontal nudity. It was a striking, conscious departure meant to distinguish his capabilities as an actor, but it was just as much about shielding his own anticipated inhibitions.

“If the point of it was to show another side of myself and to show that I could do stuff as an actor that people hadn’t seen before, then doing something safe was not going to show that. Not that you have to go full-frontal. [Your only options aren’t] safe, supporting role or just get your dick out,” Radcliffe laughs. “[But] I think it was about taking certain pieces of ammunition away from critics or the press. You could say that I was bad in Equus, but you couldn’t say that I wasn’t trying something interesting.”

Eventually, Radcliffe stepped back from the internet for his own sanity, let go of his thirst for self-affirmation, and started choosing projects not based on how validating they might be, but how personally fulfilling. “There’s always gonna be a modest chip on my shoulder, but in a way that I think is motivating rather than bitter,” Radcliffe explains. “Towards the end of Potter, I would get asked a question a lot that basically amounted to, ‘So, your life’s over. What are you gonna do now?’ There was always a part of me that wanted to prove to those people that no, you can have a good, fun, varied career after having been famous for one thing for a while. But honestly, my main goal now is a lot less about proving stuff to people and more about just being happy.”

Posing for photos in Bustle’s studio, Radcliffe does have a palpable levity. He’s diligent, yet loose: bopping along to the British rap-rock of Jamie T’s “Sheila,”dropping his shoulders, wagging his eyebrows. He chatters excitedly about his recent discovery of English pop band Superorganism, and how much he “f*cking loves” New York, where he now lives roughly half the year (the other half, of course, in London). He’s spent the last decade acting in a smorgasbord of idiosyncratic art films — an eclectic catalog reflective of his own wide-ranging tastes. He’s a documented fan of Sharknado movies, enjoys indulging in midday Scrabble games and fantasy football leagues, and recently revealed he’s an unashamed Bachelor obsessive. He gravitates toward projects because he’s passionate about them, and because, as he once told NME, he “likes things that do whatever the f*ck they want at all times.”

That includes Miracle Workers, TBS’ heady new afterlife comedy in which he stars as a skittish angel named Craig. The show’s portrayal of heaven is corporatized and chaotic: God (Steve Buscemi) is the apathetic, embittered CEO of Heaven, Inc., and Craig a lowly employee. He works in the long-neglected Department of Answered Prayers, helping mortals to find lost keys and misplaced gloves. The tone is cynical, but silly — a bit of a reprieve for Radcliffe, who, having played a stranded-in-the-Amazon adventurist in 2017’s Jungle and a crunched-for-time cocaine smuggler in 2018’s Beast of Burdenis fresh off a run of somber, high-intensity film roles.

In Miracle Workers, his character is idealistic and pure in heart, a rise-to-the-occasion paladin not unlike the young boy wonder that came to consume his childhood. After God decides he’d rather implode Earth than clean up the mess he’s made of it, Craig and newcomer Eliza (Blockers‘ Geraldine Viswanathan) make a deal with him to try and save humanity: get two mutually smitten but hopelessly awkward 20-somethings to kiss, and the timed detonator will halt the clock. What follows is a haphazard, dispiriting, and often futile venture, but according to Radcliffe, there’s beauty in the attempt.

“It’s certainly a picture of heaven that most people will be like, ‘I hope it’s not like that,'” he concedes. “There are parts of it that are slightly defeatist, but I also think there’s something really joyous in the fact that even amidst all that chaos, there are people in there trying to make a difference and trying to do something really important and help people.”

“The amount of sh*t that had to go right for us to exist if there is no God is miraculous. That is truly something that makes me feel amazed by my own existence constantly.”

As in similarly-minded series like The Good Place and Russian Doll, Miracle Workersraises questions about free will, fate, and purpose without offering concrete answers, but Radcliffe is more assertive in his views. “To me there’s never been anything depressing about [not believing in God] as much as there’s been something liberating. There’s no assigned meaning to life, so you can make it mean what you want it to be for you,” he explains. For him, an absence of faith doesn’t preclude an optimistic outlook. “The amount of sh*t that had to go right for us to exist if there is no God is miraculous. That is truly something that makes me feel amazed by my own existence constantly.”

For Radcliffe, though, the show’s appeal wasn’t so much about probing his place in the world as it was about conveying a deep part of himself he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to express — it’s one of two projects, he says, that reflect his “personal life philosophy.” The first is his so-called “farting corpse” movie Swiss Army Man, a frank-humored 2016 indie that, much as actors do in their art, finds comfort in the power of imagination. The other is this series, an equally strange but more accessible story about believing in good — even in the smallest of increments — amid a world that’s all but abandoned any hope.

“Craig’s miracles are pathetic when you first meet him … [but] the fact that he can [make someone’s] day just slightly better for a moment is more than enough for him, and I think that’s my way of seeing the world,” Radcliffe says. “The world has always been screwed up and will continue to always be screwed up. I have so much admiration for people who wake up in the morning and go like, ‘My mission today is that I’m going to help stop climate change’ or ‘I’m gonna try and solve income inequality.’ For me I just go, ‘I don’t know man. I think the boat might have sailed on that.’ The way I feel most comfortable making a difference is making the lives of the people you are directly in contact with a little bit better every day, just by virtue of being nice or fun or whatever it is.”

It’s a modest sentiment befitting of Radcliffe, who’s spent his career bucking the notion that fame somehow justifies impudence. Hollywood is an insular, often outmoded industry rife with deep-festering problems, but Radcliffe recognizes he might not be the right person to solve them. Instead, he, like Craig, is content to do his part — even if all that means is being kind.

“We feel like we’re in a time of huge turmoil, and we are, and lots of things are changing and it’s very uncomfortable,” Radcliffe says. “But I think the idea that we’re in an especially bad time to be alive right now is just not true. I would still rather be alive at this moment than at literally any other point in history.”

Apparently, it wasn’t the cappuccino after all.

Dan on Busy Tonight
marcie - Feb 12, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Dan was on Busy Tonight with Busy Phillips. If you haven’t seen the episode all videos are posted on youtube you can watch them down below.

Photos posted from the show

INTERVIEWS > 2019 > 02.11.19| Busy Tonight

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Miracle Workers Screen Captures
marcie - Feb 9, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

New captures for the first episode of Miracle Workers. You can view the episode below and the captures in the gallery.

TELEVISION SHOWS > Miracle Workers (2018) > Captures > Episode 001

The Talk
marcie - Feb 9, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Yesterday Dan was on The Talk. After seeing the interview I feel more could have been discussed the interview seemed rushed It talked a bit about Miracle Workers, the cast of Dan’s behind on Swiss Army Man and a small bit on an old Potter Joke. But see it here for yourself.

Dan on Jimmy Kimmel
marcie - Feb 7, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

New photos of Dan on Jimmy Kimmel and video. Dan talked about many topics on Jimmy: Trick or Treating, The Bachelor, and Did he really eat mustard on Miracle Workers. See much more down below.

See photos and more in our gallery.

INTERVIEWS > 2019 > 02.06.19 | Jimmy Kimmel

Continue reading  »
Collider’s Interview with Dan
marcie - Feb 4, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Daniel Radcliffe is set to return to TV in TBS’ new comedy series, Miracle Workers. Based on Simon Rich’s book, “What in God’s Name”, this seven-episode limited series turns the perception of heaven on its head while also making the case that humans are worth saving. In the Heaven-sent send-up from the mind behind Man Seeking Woman, Radcliffe plays Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers. Steve Buscemi plays Craig’s boss, God, who has pretty much checked out to focus on petty hobbies. To prevent Earth’s destruction, Craig and fellow angel Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan) must answer a seemingly impossible prayer: help two humans, Laura and Sam (played by Sasha Compere and Jon Bass), fall in love.

Also starring Karan Soni (Deadpool), Miracle Workers will feature guest stars Tituss BurgessMargaret ChoAngela KinseyTim MeadowsJohn ReynoldsLolly Adefope and Chris Parnell appearing throughout the season. Look for it on TBS starting February 12th!

During a visit to the Atlanta-area set with a small group of journalists, I had a chance to chat with Radcliffe about Miracle Workers, what drew him to the project, and his parts to play both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Filming took place in a disused wing of a massive fiber optics factory which acted as a perfect setting for Rich’s particular version of Heaven Inc. We caught up with Radcliffe before he filmed his character Craig’s scenes in the company’s Department of Answered Prayers, where he spends most of his afterlife.

If you’d like a taste of the new series, be sure to watch the official trailer, followed by my set visit interview with Radcliffe:

Miracle Workers is created by Man Seeking Woman creator Simon Rich. It is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and Andrew Singer of Michaels’ Broadway Video, along with Rich, Radcliffe and Buscemi. Broadway Video produces the series in association with Turner’s Studio T.

We had so much fun finding all the random stuff from decades and decades of computer and communications technology on set…

Daniel Radcliffe: I do think that, there’s something lovely about this show. From the moment I sort of started working on it, you could just tell that Simon’s world and the world that he’s built up has kind of inspired everybody, in all the different departments. It’s so rare to get a job where you have to production design Heaven, or find a new take on Heaven, or something like that. And I just think that, that’s the kind of project that … just gives everyone permission to kind of go kind of crazy and just their imagination.

And also just the level of detail. I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to see the books and stuff, in the department of prayers, and all the prayers that are on the wall are all very specific, real prayers with pictures of crew members. It’s a lovely, when you step on to the sets and see that level of detail, I always think that’s a really cool, exciting thing.

So what specifically was it about this project that brought you on board?

Radcliffe: I mean, I think its really like, it was a chance to work with Simon and work with him over hopefully a number of years. And I just think he just has the most unbelievably creative mind and I’m such a fan of all his sort of short stories and his work. I think one of the intimidating things for me about doing TV is that you are often signing on to something having just read a pilot. And that’s crazy to me. And not knowing where that goes is something that would worry me. But there’s something about Simon that I have absolutely no doubt that he would be able to come up with amazing ideas for how [and] where to go with this show. Obviously [the] next series will not be in Heaven, it will be in somewhere totally different.

Hearing how excited Simon was at the prospect of being able to write a show that … there are things that I never considered about writing for TV, but you know, you can’t write an ending, you have to write continuously-open ended stuff. How frustrating that must be, as a writer, so I think, when I hear the excitement in his voice, at the amount of freedom TBS was giving him to just create a world, tell the whole story… So essentially it’s like a long movie, and then you chuck it out and go on to something completely different for the next season.

And, for me as well, that freed me of any of the worry of, “Oh, I’m going to be playing the same character again for a long time, because I’m gonna get to play a different character every year.”

So what was this character? What was intriguing for you?

Radcliffe: Well you know, this first series is obviously based off of Simon’s book, so the character of Craig is pretty much how he is in the book. I think he’s probably become slightly more neurotic and nervous, as the writer started writing for my voice.

In some ways, there are definitely parallels between myself and this character that I see, but I also think the character of Craig kind of functions as an avatar for Simon, himself, in the story. Obviously it’s his creation and his character, but I think there’s definitely a lot of both of us in it.

And also this world. I know Simon has written for Pixar, and The Simpsons, and lots of animated stuff, but I definitely picture this world somehow as–even though I’ve been filming for four weeks–as still being an animated Pixar movie, it just has that, in the same way that Inside Out did. As well as it being a great story, with great characters, there’s an intricacy and a playfulness to the world, where you just want to spend time in it, and see how more of it works. And, to me, that’s a very exciting thing, as an audience member, where you just want to get back to being in that space with all these characters.

This version of Heaven has a corporate name. Can you talk a little bit about the hierarchy and how your character fits into that hierarchy?

Radcliffe: Yes. Very, very lowly. So I think, contrary to what we, as human beings on Earth, would hope for, the answering of our prayers is very low priority in this version of Heaven. Craig, my character, takes an incredible amount of joy and pride in his job, but he’s like a one-man army, he’s literally a one-man band receiving millions of prayers a day; answering like three or four, that’s like a good day.

And so he is somebody who is sort of quite isolated. Because nobody else is really in his department, and he’s developed a certain way of doing things, he’s also very cautious. He’s somebody who, for fear of failing, will not try. He would rather take the path of, “Well, I won’t even try that, because that’s gonna go terribly, badly wrong. So I’ll just stick to my safe prayers that I know that I can get done.”

Then when Eliza comes into the story, in the beginning, she kind of comes in with an attitude of, “Wait, what the hell are you doing? You have an opportunity to make a massive difference to people’s lives, and you’re just sort of doing these tiny trivial prayers.” But then she finds out, in her zeal to try and make a massive difference in the world, that actually it’s very hard to do that without there being some sort of horrible butterfly effect that launches something terrible else halfway around the world.

That’s one of the things in this story that I find, not funniest, because its not funny, but it also is. These guys are working in Heaven. And so, when something goes wrong, it is truly catastrophic on Earth. But they have also been there for 10,000 years, and they’ve seen every variant of an earthquake or every variant of a volcano, or something going wrong. So there’s a certain de-sensitivity, or the i[detachment] of doctors, with the sort of gallows humor of, “Well, okay then, there goes another one. Moving on.”

Simon’s humor, hopefully, combines some very, very light fun stuff with some very, very dark. We are trying to save the world, so at a certain point, the ends justify the means, to a certain extent, for our characters in this series. We do some bad things to people who are getting in our way in order to try and save the world.

You’ve only got seven episodes, so I’m curious about the scope. Do we get to see Craig sort of like, super enthusiastic and then kind of waning over time, or is the story kind of just focused on one particular point in time?

Radcliffe: Yeah, no, it’s focused on one particular, sort of, I guess just over two week time period. But you certainly see everyone kind of run the gamut in that thing.

Simon had a great analogy for the series actually. What he said was it’s kind of like a sports movie in that a lot of the drama from it comes from, not how’s it going to end, but actually how are they going to assemble the team. So it starts off with just me, and I’m useless on my own, and Eliza, and she’s kind of too enthusiastic for her own good on her own. And then we meet and sort of balance each other out. And then it’s about us learning that we’re not enough, so we maybe have to go with some characters who we don’t won’t to, or we find intimidating, and try and bring them into the team. It’s sort of about the ups and downs of the relationships along the way.

And also my favorite description that Simon has is half the movie is like this crazy high-stakes almost action movie … it’s not an action movie, but it’s that sort of feel of incredibly fast tempo and high stakes craziness, all the time. And then the other half is just like this romcom movie about these two kids trying to go on a date. And hopefully the flipping back and forth between these two, and seeing these people on Earth completely unaware of the weight that their story is carrying, and the fact that there are literally angels watching them, depending on their every move … hopefully, a lot of comedy will come from that as well.

How did Craig get this gig?

Radcliffe: That’s a great question.

Is that addressed or not really important?

Radcliffe: I don’t think it’s addressed. Everyone is randomly assigned roles when they get in to Heaven, and it’s random weather you get into Heaven, in our story, as well. There’s one moment when Eliza is trying to rally the troops, and she’s like, “Come on guys, you know, we’re all in Heaven, that means we’re the best humanity has to offer.” And somebody else is like, “No, no, no, that’s not how it works. It’s random.” I think that’s definitely one of the things that Simon has enjoyed, is just like messing with what expectations of Heaven would be, and generally, I think, being pretty disillusioning to people.

But, in terms of how Craig got his job, I assume he was randomly assigned and has just sort of taken to it and loved it, and made it his own.

These angels don’t have wings?

Radcliffe: No, no. No wings, no halos.

You mentioned that this was the earliest that you’d ever been involved in a project. So how did you inform the character of Craig?

Radcliffe: I don’t know. I suppose in a way that I’m not trying to give you no answer, but I think that’s probably more of a question for Simon. Simon and I definitely had conversation about how I saw Craig, particularly in moments at the end of the series. It’s normally like I’d say, “I think maybe Craig needs to have something there to sort of tie that together.” And then Simon goes off and writes an amazing scene. So it’s generally that’s the input I had, was just going, “Maybe something that…” And then Simon did something amazing, and it was exactly what it needed.

I got to be involved in the casting process as well, which was super weird, to be on the other side of that. It was cool, and it made me have so much respect for actors in a way that I maybe didn’t before, frankly. But I don’t know, like I do obviously have respect for actors but, watching loads and loads and loads of tapes of people that had sent tapes in, for various roles. And so you were seeing the same scene again and again and again. And then suddenly you’ll see somebody and like, “Oh, wow, you just said the exact same thing as everyone one else, and suddenly that was completely different and amazing.”

So it was cool being involved in that part of the process. And yeah, I think, as I said, I think Simon and I are quite similar people. I’m like a dumb version of Simon. But I do think, talking about the character, that we were often finding a lot of common ground, particularly around stuff … the most I ever ever feel like myself and comfortable is on set working, and I think that’s something that Craig has as well. When he meets Eliza, in the beginning, he’s thrilled to be meeting her at work, because that’s kind of the place where he knows, and he can show off and be his version of cool.

And then outside, anywhere removed from that, in a slightly social situation or in a situation anywhere else around the sort of cavern, or the campus of Heaven Inc, he’s pretty useless. I think Simon and I have experienced versions of that same sort of feeling. So you know, conversations like that.

What do you think that people will respond to specifically with Miracle Workers?

Radcliffe: Oh, I don’t know. You just hope that it finds an audience and that people like it. The thing that I find lovely about it is that, first of all, the world that it is in I genuinely think is so imaginative and creative and wonderful and fun. And I think that is really powerful, in terms of people wanting to watch the show.

I’m not saying this is like Harry Potter, but I think it’s the reason that Harry Potter was very successful as well, was that world, and you wanted to spend time in there. So, no matter what iteration of it it is, you sort of just want to go back and see more of it. I think this has that same feeling.

I think it’s really, as I said earlier, there’s some darker humor in it, but generally speaking, I think it’s incredibly kind and heart-warming and happy comedy. And I think it’s very hard to do comedy that is just not in any way mean or cynical. There’s a huge amount of warmth for just humanity, and the awkwardness of being human. And I think there’s a huge amount of love in the series. And I know that sounds like just a cheesy, corny thing to say, but sometimes you watch some comedies, and you’re like, “Ah, man. I feel like this is really funny.” But often you’re like, “I feel like writers kind of hate the characters.” Whereas, I feel like, with this, there’s an incredible amount of … even our depiction of God is kind of crazy. And Steve [Buscemi] is sort of a child in it. But even in that character and even in that depiction of him, there’s still a huge amount of love for that character, and hopefully that sort of comes across. Ultimately, what I’m saying is I think it’ll be a very happy show to watch. And so I think people want that I think.

How did this marry with your own upbringing of what Heaven was, and your concept? Because we’re either affected by what our parents feel or what religion institutions teach us, or cinematically, there are versions of Heaven.

Radcliffe: Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing. I feel like most of my versions of Heaven were from like, cartoons and Terry Pratchett books. My mum and dad were, I think they definitely both believe in God, I think.

But it’s not something that we, as a family, it was never something that was passed on to me, in terms of, “This is what Heaven is and this is where you’re going to go and not go.” I’ve never been particularly religious, but I’ve always been fascinated by religion and also found it amazing. There’s reason religion has such an important place in all of our lives, and is reflective of where we, as a species, have been at every point in our existence. And so there’s something to it, and there’s something, I particularly think, from a storytelling point of view.

I did a movie called Horns, which is a similarly weird. Like, I’m not religious, but it’s a weirdly very religious movie. And it’s quite straight-on on its take on demons and angels and redemption and that kind of stuff. And so I think, I don’t know, maybe it’s just pure exploitation, but I feel like Heaven and religious symbolism, and stuff like that, is incredibly fertile ground for storytelling. Because it is why things like Good Omens, the Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman book that I was thinking of earlier, one of the reasons that’s so good is that it just plays with things we sort of already know about Heaven and reinvents them in ways that are pleasing and fun. And I actually think this world is less religious than the Heaven in Simon’s book. The Heaven in Simon’s book is kind of a straight-up Christian Heaven. I think Jesus is mentioned directly.

This is much more sort of secular. Like it is like a corporation, it’s definitely a non-denominational kind of just omnipresent organization, I don’t know. The closest we ever get to some direct religious parody, or something like that, there’s one episode where God gets a prophet, and that’s great. That’s one of my favorite things, but I don’t want to say too much about it.

Do we know how Craig gets to Heaven? Do we know what happened to him on Earth?

Radcliffe: You do find out about his past life, yeah. Well Craig’s life on Earth took place at a time where he was actually probably towards the top end of human life expectancy when he died. It’s one of my favorite jokes in the series actually is you see all of our past lives, all the three main angels, what we did on Earth. But I’m not gonna say anything more about that, because it’s such a great joke. Those particular jokes remind me of the jokes in movies like Airplane, where you just are like, “Whoa, how much time was put into that four-second joke?” Because they’re all very, very short, but we all had sets made specifically for that. It’s one of my favorite moments, but I won’t say any more about that.

MTV: Happy Sad and Confused
marcie - Feb 2, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

Dan met up with Josh during Sundance down below is the podcast. Enjoy!

Daniel Radcliffe and Josh Horowitz

Happy, Sad and Confused


Happy/Sad/Confused. With Daniel Radcliffe. One of my favorite humans returns to the #happysadconfusedpodcast to talk his new hysterical TV show MIRACLE WORKERS, his perspective on CURSED CHILD & FANTASTIC BEASTS, and why he’s ready to jump into another franchise.

Play the interview down below

Wall Street Journal Interview
marcie - Feb 1, 2019 Dan News , Miracle Workers , TV

As Harry Potter, actor Daniel Radcliffe was the boy wizard who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. Now, he’s an angel working in the basement of heaven.

In his new show, the TBS comedy “Miracle Workers,” Mr. Radcliffe plays Craig, a low-ranking angel at Heaven Inc., who diligently answers humanity’s prayers. He and other angels must try to save Earth after their capricious boss, God (Steve Buscemi), decides he wants to blow it all up and start a new venture.

There’s a lot of collateral damage as their mission unfolds—a single action in heaven can trigger a natural disaster or wave of accidental deaths on Earth. The show pokes fun at the randomness of earthly encounters and human culture. “It manages to be both nihilistic and very positive at the same time,” Mr. Radcliffe says. “That’s something akin to my outlook, which is that yes, the world is crazy but we’re so lucky to be alive.”

“Miracle Workers” is his first major comedy on screen; he’s also an executive producer of the series, which debuts Feb. 12. It’s intended to be an anthology, like the dramas “True Detective” or “American Horror Story,” with each season (if the show succeeds) taking on new story lines, settings and characters, while keeping many of the same actors.

The prospect of changing characters is a big part of the appeal for Mr. Radcliffe, who had long wanted to do an American television series but was reluctant to play the same part over and over again. “Having played one character for a long time when I played Harry, this felt like an amazing opportunity to get into TV, but also get to do something new every year,” he says.

As Harry Potter, he played in eight films for a decade, from the age of 11 to 21. Getting cast as the orphan wizard brought Mr. Radcliffe, now 29, instant, international fame. Yet being on the set for 11 months of the year “isolated me from the outer effects of what fame is,” he says. “I also think that if you can become famous when you’re young, and do it with good people around you, you know, you can throw a kid into anything and they’re very adaptable.” He thinks a film set is the place where actors get treated normally, since everyone else working on the set is used to being around actors: “There’s nothing special about it.”

He also worked out, early on, what success means to him. “I’ve always been very lucky, very young, to be financially secure and to work on really big movies,” he says. “I know that is amazing, but it’s not the be all, end all of what a successful life as an actor looks like to me. It’s about longevity and versatility and having fun.”

Since the “Harry Potter” franchise concluded in 2011, he has worked in a range of films and starred in theater in New York and London, including Broadway’s “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “The Lifespan of a Fact,” where he tried to hone his comedic delivery every night. In “Lifespan,” which closed Jan. 13, he played an obsessive fact checker at a magazine, opposite Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale.

“There were some nights when it felt like we were doing a sitcom with a live audience,” he says. “I love doing theater in London, but New York audiences are so vocal, man!”

With theater, the jokes don’t always land with live audiences, and in a play full of them, the risk is high. “When you lay yourself out for a joke and you get nothing, you feel very cheap,” he says, grimacing at the thought of it. “I have a very jarring response whenever that happens,” he says as he throws his arms up in the air and shields himself. “It’s a thing you learn early on, not to chase jokes. That’s part of the ebb and flow of doing a show every night. But as an actor, you get attached to certain laughs,” he says.

Although “Miracle Workers” is his biggest foray into on-screen comedy, he has made guest appearances on “The Simpsons,” hosted “Saturday Night Live” and had a dog-walking cameo in “Trainwreck.” (“The amount of people that mention that to me is amazing still,” he says of the cameo, marveling at the half-life of a half-day’s work.)

As a viewer, he has long devoured sitcoms, he says. He grew up on Alan Partridge and “The Day Today,” “The Office” (the British one), and “Fawlty Towers.” As a teenager, he’d rush home every day to catch “The Simpsons” on BBC Two. “‘The Simpsons’ is my baseline for comedy. Me getting to do a voice was a real ‘I made it’ moment,” he says.

“Miracle Workers” mines dark territory, with both the angels and humans dealing with their own demons. Mr. Radcliffe sees comedy as a coping mechanism for sadness and thinks that characters like David Brent in the British “Office” (played by Ricky Gervais) and Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) are “brilliantly tragic creations” and “all about desperation to be liked.”

In his spare time, Mr. Radcliffe doesn’t find it relaxing to watch movies; it’s stressful to see Oscar-nominated pictures or performances, he says, though he did see “Vice” and loved it. “I get a bit, ‘I wish I were in that,’ or ‘I’m not working hard.’ It’s a funny feeling,” he says.

His eyes light up, though, when discussing favorite documentaries, and he confesses to consuming a lot of “semi-trashy TV.” “I’m unashamedly into ‘The Bachelor.’ ‘Top Chef,’ I’m obsessed with,” he says.

He’s also a big sports fan. On Super Bowl Sunday, he’ll be supporting the Rams. “The Patriots now are like Manchester United in the ’90s in England, where they’ve just been too good for too long, and we all have to start rooting for their demise,” he says.

As for his own faith, Mr. Radcliffe says that he doesn’t expect there to be an afterlife, or a God. “I feel like people think that being agnostic is depressing and bleak, and I’ve never found it to be that way,” he says. “It always seems to me that there being nothing after just makes this incredibly special…It does seem miraculous.”


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