Daniel Radcliffe on saying goodbye to “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
Daniel Radcliffe has given a new interview to TheaterMania.com in which he talks about saying farewell to the Broadway play The Cripple of Inishmaan. The actor, who received a WhatsOnStage Award for his performance as Billy Claven, discussed his favorite line from the play. He said,
It’s a line that goes for nothing every night but is revealing about Billy’s character. Babbybobby is talking about throwing bricks at cows. He says, ‘They don’t mind; I threw a brick at a cow once, and he didn’t even moo,’ and Billy says, ‘Sure, that’s no evidence. Hey may’ve been a quiet cow.’ It’s not like a big laugh line, but there’s a sense that its Billy’s way of saying [that] just because someone’s not saying they’re unhappy, it doesn’t mean they’re not unhappy.
He also spoke about an inside joke from the show.
June Watson, who plays Mammy, the drunk Irish mother, has a line, ‘They are, I suppose.’ But June goes and [puts on an older Irish dialect]: ‘They areeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, I suppose.’ Offstage, you can hear every single cast member join in and then collapse into laughter. We’ve got so many lines that are like tongue twisters. Every night someone will trip over something, [and we’ll laugh].
The actor talked about the worst technical difficulty the show experienced and how they overcame it.
There was a point when our revolve stopped turning during a scene. Fortunately, it had come round enough [that] we could do the next scene. They tried to bring the curtain down, but it wouldn’t, so we had to leave the stage, so our crew could go to work and cut out a frayed cable in the revolve. I think we stopped for a maximum of ten minutes. The crew is fantastic.
Radcliffe revealed the most interesting gift he received from a fan at the stage door:
I’ve been given lots of cow-themed things because of Billy’s fascination with cows. I still get given – lots of people give this to me – books of photographs of myself. They compile them like a scrapbook, which is really sweet, but I don’t know how vain they think I must be to look at posed photos of myself. There’s been nothing too creepy or freaky, which is good.
In regards to the “coolest” person who came to see the show, the actor said,
Jessica Lange came in; that was pretty cool. Estelle Parsons was awesome. They were the people we were most excited about.
He also discussed why he decided to return to Broadway in an ensemble piece rather than a solo-starring vehicle like Equus:
I guess I didn’t look at it and say, ‘This is a great part’; I looked at the play and said, ‘This is a great part in a great play.’ I just thought I’d be doing a great play. I didn’t realize at the time that I’d be getting three scenes off in the middle, which was lovely. In How to Succeed, when I wasn’t onstage, I was changing, so it was very busy. It’s very nice to do a play where you do get some time to yourself. And working with such a great ensemble has been really exciting.
Martin McDonagh, the playwright, does not specify what Billy’s disability is. Radcliffe explained what he decided in that respect to develop the character,
I looked at the script and the details that were given. People talk about the fact that Billy’s disability was present at birth and was quite extreme. They talk about him shuffling and not being able to row a boat, so there’s not much strength there. I looked into a version of cerebral palsy called hemiplegia , which I studied. It was quite an odd thing to learn how to do; it would just feel very odd to learn to walk like that. But it was fascinating. I’m glad I got to explore that.
Those who have seen the show will know that Billy makes a lot of jokes throughout the course of the play, Radcliffe spoke of the joke he found the funniest:
The funniest joke of the play is actually made about Billy’s mother. He says, ‘I’ve heard my mother was a beautiful woman,’ and the doctor goes, ‘No, she was awful ugly. She’d scare a pig.’ It’s such an awful and funny line.
Sarah Greene, Radcliffe’s co-star, recently revealed that she can no longer eat eggs because she has to throw them onstage so often. Radcliffe, however, does not suffer the same problem,
Oh, I’m fine, ’cause I’m not really near those things. I’m really glad about it. I don’t know what I’d be able to do without eating eggs.
Finally, Radcliffe was asked which play or musical he would like to star in with his Potter co-stars, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. He said,
I’m thinking of things that have one girl and two guys, and the first one was ‘Merrily We Roll Along’. Let’s go with that.
Would you like to see the trio reunite on stage? Do you hope Radcliffe makes a return to Broadway in the near future? Let us know your thoughts!