After last year’s release of the film Kill Your Darlings, and his current role as Billy in The Cripple of Inishmaan, it’s safe to say that Dan’s acting career has managed to avoid the pitfalls associated with early fame and child stardom. Leaving the more “mainstream” parts for his contemporaries, he has actively sought roles that challenge his acting abilities as well as the public’s perception of him. Dan’s understated charm and perseverance has aided in transporting him from the wizarding world of Hogwarts to the Broadway stages of NYC, with barely a pause between.
In 2008, while still involved with the Potter franchise, Dan stepped out from underneath Harry’s shadow to play the lead role in Equus- our first opportunity to see him as a serious thespian (and without his wizard robes). Three years later, he sought the limelight on stage again, this time in New York City. Again, he was trying something very new, and this time it was testing his song-and-dance skills in the lead role of the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Last year, in an interview with the Denver Post, Dan said, “”In my experience the fans of Potter are an incredibly smart bunch. If you offer them challenging material — because the Potter books are challenging— if you treat an audience and fanbase with respect for their intelligence they will reward you with interest in what you’re doing.”
By taking his Potter fans with him as he explores the farther reaches of cinema and the stage, Dan has made a unique name for himself among other young actors. Dan has given his audience the opportunity to watch him take on more mature roles, diverse and unpredictable as they may be. His recent roles have undoubtedly led a new generation of young people to discover the pleasures of live theater (no surprise, since a guarantee of having Dan Radcliffe in the room may lead some to do almost anything).
In his newest role, Billy, in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Dan fleshes out the existence of a crippled youth living on the desolate Aran Islands of western Ireland. A “tragi-comedy,” the play follows Billy as he tries to change the course of his life by becoming involved in a Hollywood film set on the island. Here Dan has once again taken his fan base to previously uncharted territories, by showing American audiences his ability to display the cruelty, darkness, and very tender emotions that reside within his character. The playwright, Martin McDonagh, is an Irishman famous for capturing the dark side of life on the Emerald Isle, and while the juxtaposition between his work and that of the former boy wizard may seem striking, audiences have thus far responded very positively to Dan’s portrayal.
Departing from the stage for now, up next for Dan is a role in Frankenstein, another big-screen version of the infamous Victorian-era monster thriller, for which Dan will sport a shoulder-length hair-do. While he has admitted to having interest in eventually committing to a big film musical, talks of a Potter reunion, unfortunately, seem to still be rooted in fantasy.
Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment, pop culture, and lifestyle blogger for DirectTelevisionSpecials.org. In his free time he is busy attempting to train his owl to deliver packages for him. His efforts have, so far, yielded no results. Spencer lives and works in Chicago, IL.
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