Daniel Radcliffe Revisits the Magic in “Now You See Me 2”

It’s no secret that Daniel Radcliffe is in the prime of his career – Victor Frankenstein is set to open tomorrow, and he’s got no shortage of projects in the works, from The Modern Ocean to Imperium and beyond. Recently, the actor caught up with BuzzFeed to talk about his latest projects, including Now You See Me 2, for which the trailer was released just last week!

Buzzfeed quickly brought the interview around to what Radcliffe’s fans know him best for – magic. Although Daniel didn’t reveal too much about his character in Now You See Me 2, the sequel to the 2013 film about magicians (the Las Vegas kind) pulling off a Robin Hood-esque heist, he did reveal that he’d picked up one or two tricks – and that he didn’t even make the magic connection between this role and Harry Potter at first.

I don’t want say too much of what I’m doing, but I feel anyone who knows me generally will have known that I’m not going straight back into, like, a full-on magical role. I did get to learn a couple of cool card tricks, just from hanging around on set. But I don’t really have a reason to apply them in the movie.

[I didn’t really make the magic connection] until later, and I was like, oh, it’s magic. Everyone’s going to ask about that. Oh, well.

It’s funny. I don’t have as much of a sense of that as everyone else does. When I did ‘Kill Your Darlings,’ the first scene in that film was me sweeping the floor, and I never f*cking thought anything of that until somebody in an interview was like, ‘So first scene, you’ve got glasses on, and you have a broomstick.’ I went, ‘Ugh.’

And then in ‘Horns,’ my character wore Gryffindor colors. I was like, ‘I should have thought of that [and] said, ‘Don’t do that!’ But I don’t think about things like that. In a way, I’m glad I don’t think in those terms because then I probably would have gone, ‘Oh no, I can’t do Now You See Me.’ And I had a fantastic time on that movie.

There was also this exciting tidbit for fans – we’ve heard rumors for years that Daniel would be interested in directing, but he’s actually already written his own script! He reveals that he hopes he’ll be able to bring the project to life sometime within the next five years and that he definitely won’t be starring in it – he wants a turn behind the camera!

It’s a black comedy. Well, I guess it’s a character piece. It’s just horrible. [laughs] It’s horribly funny. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I’m really starting to try to get it going, which is great fun, and it’s fun for me to be experiencing the industry in a new way as a writer.

The interview also touches a lot on Radcliffe’s life as a former child star and incredibly famous person. As fans, we can all see how hard he works to promote his films and keep tackling new projects (and if you’ve ever been lucky enough to see him in person, you know how cheerful and generous he manages to be while doing it, too!), so it’s interesting to hear him speak about what the lifestyle and pressures are like for him.

When asked about the box office success of some of his more recent indie films, Daniel answered,

All I can do is do my best work in the movie that I can and promote the hell out of it as much as I can. What people go and spend money to see is up to them. My friends have a great motto, which is, ‘I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing than 100 people’s ninth favorite thing.’ I feel like that’s absolutely true.

And I’m sure we all remember the era in which we, as loyal fans, had to reassure everyone we knew that Daniel’s career wasn’t over after Potter. Thankfully, that time is long gone – no one can deny that he’s already built an incredibly impressive career for himself – but it turns out those that doubted him may have helped fuel his drive a bit.

I mean, I think I’ll always have [a chip on my shoulder] a little bit. I think maybe it’s a combination of various chips. Like, it’s a bit of the, like, Child Star and He’s Not Going to Make It Beyond That chip. There were a lot of people nearing the end of [Potter] [who] said I wouldn’t have a career, that child stars are always doomed to fail. The way I see it, every single film I make, and every year I keep doing it, it’s like proving them wrong for another year. The feeling of having shown someone to be idiotic in their opinion, when it’s about you and negative, that never gets old. So I’ll keep that chip.

Finally, in one of the most thoughtful parts of the interview, Daniel reflects on living life in the spotlight and how he’s come to terms with it. He specifically mentions a 2013 profile by the New York Times, which allowed him a bit of an outside look at his own life.

The one thing that I would say about that ‘New York Times’ story is that Susan is fantastic, but she joined me at a crazy intense week, during the Venice Film Festival. I really liked the article, but I felt like it made me seem really sad. It made me feel very sad about my life. And I’m not that all the time. Other people look at my life and go, ‘I don’t know how you deal with that.’ And for me, in a way, I think it’s easier when you start doing this young. When people come up to me in a restaurant, or outside, it bothers people around me much more than it bothers me because it’s been happening to me all my life. So there’s nothing I don’t know how to deal with.

So yeah, I don’t feel the weight of my fame all the time. Occasionally I do. Occasionally, you’ll have a moment of going, ‘I feel like this is all getting to me a bit.’ But everyone has that. You have that in your job sometimes when you’ve got loads of shit to do. There’s a mistake I think we can all make, particularly actors, particularly actors doing interviews and talking about our lives, that the circumstances of our lives, which are very different from everyone else’s, mean that everything we feel and experience is just different. And it’s not. We all essentially have the same experience of the world, I think.

It’s a very good interview, and I highly suggest you read the whole thing!

One thing’s for sure – Daniel Radcliffe is going to be gracing cinema screens for many years to come – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.