Daniel Radcliffe talks about his dark powers in the thriller Horns
To a whole generation, Daniel Radcliffe will always be the bespectacled boy wizard who was the hero of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter film franchise.
However, Radcliffe, now 25, seems determined to establish himself as a diverse adult actor, having appeared in a variety of genres post-Potter, including horror (The Woman in Black), drama (Kill Your Darlings) and romantic-comedy (What If?).
Now he takes on another very different role in Horns, which is based on a novel by Joe Hill, the son of horror author Stephen King. Radcliffe plays Ig, a man with a supernatural ability – and horns growing from his head – that he uses to uncover the identity of his girlfriend’s killer.
What drew you to the main character Ig?
For me, it was what he goes through. He’s dealing with loss, he’s an outcast in the town where he lives, everyone has this idea of who he is, which isn’t true. The thing about this film is it deals with those issues in such an unusual way. I was really taken with the story and then what Alexandre [Aja, the director] did with it.
Horns is a very dark story. Was there any trepidation taking on a project with such disturbing elements?
No, because I think at the centre of it all is something you can relate to. You’re following a guy who is, at heart, good. He’s human and he makes decisions during the film that aren’t always the right ones, but he’s not a bad person – and he’s dealing with things that he doesn’t understand. He’s acting in response to all of the things that are happening to him, which is why there are dark elements but also comedy, satire – it’s what makes the story so interesting.
You are, and always will be, linked to the Harry Potter films. Is it frustrating for that role to come up in every conversation?
I would be surprised if it wasn’t mentioned. That was obviously a big part of my life and a lot of people enjoyed watching them, the same way I enjoyed making them. It would be great if it meant that those people will now see this film, or other films I’ve made. But it’s been an exciting time because I’ve been able to take on several different things, films that make me enthusiastic and eager to do more.
Looking to the future, what roles interest you? Are you more drawn to parts that show you in a different light?
In the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to look for the roles that inspire me and challenge me to do something different, whether it’s a movie or a play or whatever. There’s lots of different options, so I can’t say I’m looking for one particular thing, if there’s a script or an idea that really grabs me then I’m drawn towards it, I’m not going to think: “Oh, well, I’ve done a comedy before so I can’t do another one.” I just look forward to the next thing.
• Horns is out in UAE cinemas on Thursday, November 6
Updated: November 5, 2014 04:00 AM