Daniel Radcliffe Talks “Beast of Burden”

Daniel Radcliffe is back on the big screen, this time as a pilot! In Beast of Burden, Daniel’s character, Sean Haggerty, is a pilot trafficking drugs across the US–Mexico border and must make a difficult choice between his allegiance to the cartel, a deal he’s made with the Drug Enforcement Administration, or saving his relationship with his wife. Daniel sat down with CBS News and W magazine to talk about the filming experience.

Most of Daniel’s scenes are in the cockpit of his character’s plane, and he talks about how the crew would do long, half hour takes of large chunks of the script. The director, Jesper Ganslandt, would give him an earpiece and direct him through the long segments. He likened it to doing a play and credits these long takes with allowing him to forget about things for a while and really get into the role.

I do think there was something about doing longer takes that kind of allowed you to forget you were filming and work yourself up into a little bit of a frenzy.

While doing research for the role, Daniel took two flying lessons to get a sense of what flying a plane actually looked and felt like. He flew for 15 minutes and says, “It was terrifying.”

For the film, Daniel mentions he worked very hard on his American accent and enjoyed doing so! He wanted the character to have a “vaguely [S]outhern” accent but didn’t want to make people cringe when they heard him speak. On set, he spoke the entire time in his American accent because he believes it’s much easier to slip up and start making mistakes when going constantly back and forth between his British and American accents.

When asked which Hogwarts House his character, Sean, would be Sorted into, Daniel managed a guess.

I want to say Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, but I don’t particularly know why. I don’t think I have a rationale for that particularly, but that’s just what my instinct is telling me.

He also talks a bit about what he does in his spare time, like reading and listening to podcasts, and discusses how his performance on The Tonight Show still leads to questions about his rap knowledge.

It’s embarrassing, ‘cause I have a very average knowledge of rap and hip hop. I’m into it, and I like it, but my actual knowledge is very, very—I mean, I grew up listening to punk and all that kind of stuff, so that’s the stuff that I know really well. But doing ‘Alphabet Aerobics’ definitely caused people to think I was way more knowledgeable than I am.

As for upcoming projects, Daniel says he’s just finished filming the show Miracle Workers, where he plays an angel responsible for all of humanity’s prayers. He loved filming it and hopes people will enjoy it when it premieres in America on TBS. He also teases the possibility that he might be doing some theater later this year and talks about wanting to do a “proper all-out action movie” next.

Check out the full interviews above, and be sure to check out Beast of Burden, which opens in the United States on February 23.