Video: Daniel Radcliffe discusses the differences between American and British audiences

Daniel Radcliffe continues to make the interview rounds for his play, The Cripple of Inishmaan, which is currently running in New York. He recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to talk about how British and American theater audiences differ in their humor and reactions. He also discussed his upcoming role in Frankenstein.  See a shortened version of the interview below.

Dan says that although British audiences laughed in all the right places, they have a “natural reserve” that Americans don’t share.

It’s the gasps, the oohs and ahhs, and the vocalizations that when Americans are really into something, [they] show it vocally and engage with it.  It’s lovely as an actor on stage to get that feeling from the audiences.

In terms of differences in humor, Dan admits he was concerned that Americans’ tendency to be slightly more politically correct than the English might affect their reactions to certain jokes.

I was kind of worried about how some of the jokes would go, but overall, the people are laughing and lapping it up just like they did in London.

The only joke that doesn’t get a laugh here that did get a laugh in London is… there’s one moment toward the end of the play where my two aunties are just banging on at me and not shutting up, and I say to the doctor, ‘They just keep going on and on.’ And the doctor says, ‘I know they do, but they’re women.’

Every night in London, that got a big laugh, and here there’s, like, nothing. Just a lot of husbands looking at their wives like, ‘Can I laugh? No, I can’t laugh.’

When asked about his daily routine when doing a play, Dan says he both wakes up and goes to bed quite late because it takes him a while to wind down after the show.

Your day becomes oddly focused around the three-hour period towards the end of it, rather than a film set day, when you’re working solidly the whole day.  And weirdly, you end up just as tired as if you were on set.

He also talks about his film Frankenstein, due out in 2015, in which he plays the hunchback Igor. He found it to be a physically demanding part that was much more difficult than The Cripple of Inishmaan.

It’s definitely a very different look for me. He starts off not only hunchbacked but also working in a circus as a clown. There’s something I hope is quite sad about the way he looks in the beginning because he’s a bedraggled, dirty creature who Frankenstein then rescues from that life.

You can read the full interview here.

The Cripple of Inishmaan will be running at the Cort Theater until July 20. Click here for MuggleNet’s review of the play.

Have you seen The Cripple of Inishmaan, either in London or New York?  What did you think, and what were the audience’s reactions?  Let us know below.

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  • Lecia Dickerson

    I found the interview very interesting that Daniel Radcliff thought New York audiences are more audible than British audiences, who are more reserved. He said it makes an impression on an actor when they connect with the audience.

  • Kayla Rodriguez

    As an actress I think it’s really interesting to hear about the differences between American and British audiences. I can relate to the fact that it feels good when an audience gives you the reaction you were hoping for, and definitely feels not so nice when they don’t.

  • Becky Abelove

    I’ve loved everything that Daniel has done in the movies. I wish I could get to NY to see him on Broadway!

  • Melissa Alice Caivano

    he is amazing

  • Chelsea Tooley

    I just love him to death!

  • Carleigh

    I love when people discuss the different cultures in comparison – it must be quite the experience when on Broadway to have a big difference!!

  • I would love to see him in a play one day. I bet he is amazing.

  • Leah Dunlap Carabajal

    I love Dan!

  • SheaLaLa


  • Deanna

    Interesting observations!

  • Jane

    This is so cool, I love listening to what he has to say, he is very interesting!

  • Jessica Lyn

    I find it funny that American’s are more reserved when it comes to stereotypical jokes about women and how much they talk.

  • Kylie Elaine

    I wish I could see Daniel Radcliffe on stage!

  • Jade Raquel Figueroa

    I can’t wait to see him in Frankenstein <3

  • Nicole

    Love Dan, so happy for him in everything he’s done since Potter. His observations are so on point.

  • Casie Case

    I would love to see this!

  • Elizabeth Barrett

    I love how he was allowed to interpret Billy’s disability for himself and was able to do research and form the character around his conclusion, instead of being told “This is his disability,” and having to play off of that. He’s really such an amazing actor, and I’m glad he’s doing theatre as well as films. Wish I lived in NY to see all of them.

  • Moodie


  • tslagi13

    I wish I could have seen it! I’m not surprised to hear about the differences in audiences either.

  • Jennifer

    I can totally see the “Women” comment not going over so well. American women are notoriously proud, but so should the women England! I mean the Queen! Hellllo. Very powerful woman!

  • Erin R

    Love it!

  • Geoff


  • Kelsie Griesbaum

    Awesome! I never would have guessed…

  • Ellie

    I find this kind of stuff so interesting

  • Rubi


  • Rachael

    That’s interesting!

  • Haley Regal

    That’s funny, we sure do laugh about everything no matter what. I’ve loved Daniel in everything I’ve seen him do, so I’m definitely excited about Frankenstein!

  • Derian David

    hes awesome

  • Melanie Vaughan Rodgers

    Nice article. Not something we usually think about- usually the audience members are just consumers, and we don’t think about the point of view of the actors when the performance is live.

  • Vicky McKinley

    Can’t wait to see it!

  • Zack Dutra

    I never thought about Americans as more politically correct than the British

  • Emily

    Interesting. I figured we were less reserved. I think it is funny he says the wives didn’t let the men laugh. 😉

  • Gnes

    It’s interesting to see how the audience is seen by the actor..really a nice interview!

  • Fernandina Saenz

    That’s curious. I would’ve thought that an American audience would be louder and more extroverted than a British one ^^

  • Nalynessa

    Men looking at their wives asking for permission to laugh. Priceless. So American. Wish I could have seen this!