Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t mind hearing that schoolgirls were staking him out at the Sundance Film Festival, hoping for a Harry Potter sighting.
In fact, Radcliffe is happy if his Potter fame conjures up interest for what he wants to do with the rest of his career, such as his bold turn as young gay poet Allen Ginsberg in the Sundance premiere Kill Your Darlings.
As with his Broadway debut in Equus, which also featured a nude scene, Radcliffe said his celebrity from the boy wizard franchise might draw in fans who would not have seen a film such as Kill Your Darlings.
“I don’t care why people come and see films. If they come and see a film about the beat poets because they saw me in Harry Potter, fantastic. That’s a wonderful thing,” Radcliffe said in an interview alongside Kill Your Darlings co-star Dane DeHaan. “I feel like I have an opportunity to capitalise on Potter by doing work that might not otherwise get attention. If I can help get a film like this attention, that’s, without doubt, a great thing.”
The film recounts a little-known chapter in the life of Ginsberg, who met Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University during the Second World War.
DeHaan plays Ginsberg’s early idol and infatuation Lucien Carr, whose relationship with an obsessive older man (Michael C. Hall) involves the future beat-generation icons in a seamy murder case.
Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas said Radcliffe hurled himself into the role and treated it as just another job, with no qualms or anxiety.
“Dan watched, observed, found his own connection like he did any other scene and dove right into it,” said Krokidas.
Some stars grow to resent that sort of fan attention resulting from past roles, feeling it overshadows the work they’re doing now. So far, Radcliffe seems to see nothing but good things coming out of Harry Potter.
“There was a generation of people who maybe wouldn’t have gone to see a production of Equus, had I not been in it, that came to see Equus,” Radcliffe said. “Even if they came for the wrong reasons, you know, we got them there, and they stayed, and they watched. And they stayed for the right reasons.”