Daniel Radcliffe on Looking Dead and Shaving His Head
Daniel Radcliffe recently attended Empire Live’s gala double-bill screening of Swiss Army Man and Imperium, his two most recent films, in which he plays a farting corpse and an undercover FBI agent in a white supremacist group, respectively.
Before the event, he sat down for a hilarious half-hour interview with The Empire Film Podcast. Listen here:
Among the many topics covered, Dan talks about singing on the Swiss Army Man soundtrack, saying that it’s his favorite soundtrack he’s ever been involved in.
It’s just so beautiful, and it’s so funny, and the song montage itself – the lyrics to it are just hilarious. I do think it’s the greatest merging of soundtrack and film that I’ve ever been witness to.
They composed a lot of the soundtrack before the film, and they also composed it during and after, so they’d say to me sometimes on set, ‘Oh, just make up a song at the end of the scene.’… So I’d make up something incredibly basic… and then eight months later I was in the cinema watching the film, and they’ve turned that into some massive part of the score.
When asked how he managed not to blink as a corpse, Dan said he was glad that he had the backup of knowing the filmmakers could digitally take out blinks, but he tried to blink as little as possible to put less pressure on the visual effects budget. Apparently, they only needed to take out two or three blinks!
Then he went on to describe his unique ability to make his eyes look dead.
My left eye – I can do this thing where I drop my top lid without moving my bottom lid, which I thought everyone can do. And then I was showing it to the [directors]… and they were like, ‘Yes, you’re going to use that!’ That was a huge relief because up until then I’d been thinking, ‘When this guy’s moving and talking, how do I still communicate the fact that he is dead?’
Daniel shot Imperium about two weeks after shooting Swiss Army Man. He said he loved having a shaved head for the film, and he thinks it would be a good look if it hadn’t been overtaken by skinheads.
When asked if he’d ever shaved his head before, he told a funny story about “accidentally, almost” shaving his head before a Harry Potter premiere:
I was like 12, and I’d been given a little razor to do my top lip, like you get when you’re 12. And so I started doing my sideburns. I was like, ‘Those are a bit long. I’ll do them.’ And I did it up one side, and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s out of bounds now, so I have to do the other side.’ So I did the other side, and that went a bit too far, so I had to equalize out, and this just kept happening ‘til I shaved about three inches up under my hair.
Fortunately they were able to – I had my long Beatles haircut at the time – so they could just push it all forward and cover it up. I came down to have hair and makeup done for the premiere, and they were like, ‘Oh, we have some work to do! You’ve given us a challenge this year!’
See what Dan has previously said about Swiss Army Man and Imperium at this link, and check out their trailers below if you haven’t seen them yet.