Daniel Radcliffe Opens Up About What It Was Really Like to Portray Al Yankovic: “A Lot of It Is Insane”

Ever since Harry Potter ended, Daniel Radcliffe has pursued roles that challenge him, and his latest project, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, is no different. Not only does the film balance comedy and insanity, but it also challenged Radcliffe to play with some new techniques when it comes to being hilarious on-screen.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Radcliffe opened up about what it was really like to portray Al, whether he’s actually a CrossFit fanatic, and his hopes for what his girlfriend’s family thinks of his portrayal.

Filming Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was a roller-coaster ride, with Radcliffe describing it as “insane.”

Every character in this film starts as something you kind of recognize, [and] then you watch it explode into something truly insane.

Luckily, Radcliffe had a stunning costar to share the spotlight with. Evan Rachel Wood, who portrays Madonna in the film, was all in when it came to embracing the film in all its glorious wit and insanity.

We shot a few days moving incredibly fast, and then Evan came in and the relief of seeing her and knowing ‘Oh, she’s f—ing game for it,’ committing a thousand percent, hitting the ground running. She’s not bothered by how quick it was moving, how it was just a few takes. You just really got the tone and pace of the film, and it was very exciting.

The crazy scenes are what made filming a lot of fun. In fact, Radcliffe says that it provided the perfect opportunity for him to really let his comedic side shine.

The absurdity of the situation is where the comedy is coming from, and actually, the more grounded you can play a lot of it — not all of it, because a lot of it is insane — but the more grounded you can make it, the better.

Radcliffe is seen without a shirt plenty of times during the film, and some speculated that he went to a lot of trouble to make sure he looked good on camera. However, while Radcliffe’s parents are big fitness fanatics (they’re still doing CrossFit in their sixties), it appears Radcliffe didn’t adjust his usual workout program too drastically.

There’s an article that makes it sound that I really got in shape for this film, like a mental choice. I’m like the cliché of the person who has stopped drinking and transferred that energy to something else.

Radcliffe admitted that he is not following in his parents’ footsteps when it comes to CrossFit, adding that they are way fitter than him and that he’s totally okay with that. “My mom can do handstand press ups and she’s, like, 60,” he said. We’re impressed.

Fans might also be surprised to hear that Radcliffe is pretty nervous about how the film will be received by some of the people closest to him.

After [director] Eric [Appel] and Al [Yankovic], the people I’m most concerned about their reaction is probably my [girlfriend’s family], Erin’s dad and brother, because they’re massive fans as well. Erin’s seen the movie, but I’ll be interested in what Ian thinks. I really hope he likes it.

We bet he will, and we can’t wait to finally watch Radcliffe shine when the film comes out on November 4. Mark your calendars – we have a good feeling about this one.


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Marica Laing

Growing up, I was a massive fan of Harry Potter and my love for the stories grew as I got older. It’s no surprise then that I love writing about all things Potter related. When I’m not writing about all the magic, you’ll find me reading (probably something Harry Potter related), listening to music, or writing some songs.