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Underappreciated Actors... Daniel Radcliffe

Years 1, 4 and 7 of Harry Potter

He will forever be known for his titular role in the Harry Potter (2001-2011) franchise and, arguably, doesn't need to do anything else now. But to me, Daniel Radcliffe is one of the best actors around. He is incredibly versatile in the roles he can play and I think he deserves a lot more credit for that than he seems to get.

Harry Potter is an iconic series. It is groundbreaking and we are unlikely to see anything else like it for some time. And when you cast children in roles that very quickly ingrain themselves into popular culture, those children need to learn fast. The main cast all stood out in their own ways very well and deserve all the success they have achieved. And a lot of credit and respect must go to their parents and those working with them to make sure they didn't go too off the rails, or got help if they did.

Horns? Or a Friday night out?

Daniel Radcliffe openly talks about his struggles with the height of the Potter fame. He has come out of it as one of the entertaining and genuine people in Hollywood today. And I think that has had a big factor in why he doesn't dive into mainstream film roles. He could have tried to get a Marvel or DC role, or go for being in the next James Bond film, or even taking on a leading role in any Disney film. His name would sell it and people would want to see it. However, that's not what he wants to do, and that's what I love about him.

As Yossi Ghinsberg, lost in the Amazon

Radcliffe is an openly weird person, I think. I would love to meet him and talk to him about this. He can be a bit awkward in interviews but he uses that. I love that about him. Also, he doesn't need big budget jobs. His name will get the money in anyway but he wants to do interesting and fun projects. Horns (2013), Swiss Army Man (2016), and Jungle (2017) show the variety that he looks to do. I enjoyed his comment he made when deciding to play Miles Lee Harris in Guns Akimbo (2019) -

It's very hard not to be charmed by a script where the main protagonist has guns for hands after about page 10. Two scenes later it's – he's, like, trying to go to the toilet with guns for hands.

It shows just what appeals to him. And it's a fun film!

As Tim Jenkin in Escape from Pretoria

In 2020, he played Tim Jenkin in Escape from Pretoria, a film about three white men imprisoned in a maximum security for a variety of anti-apartheid stunts in South Africa during the seventies. Along with his portrayal of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg in Jungle (2017), this gave a great show of Radcliffe's abilities to grasp different accents.

Weirding out as Al Yankovic

More recently, Dan has taken up a role that I am greatly looking forward to seeing. In 2022, he took up the mantle as "Weird Al" Yankovic in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which looks BONKERS! I will have great fun reviewing that one! I am a great fan of Weird Al!

Dan Radcliffe has used his position well and has taken the opportunity to have fun in what he does. I feel like Harry Potter has become one of his most wooden and restricted performances, just because he has been able to spread his wings and explore his abilities so much since. I would love to meet him one day and ask him so much about his works, and I greatly look forward to more of his bizarre and brilliant films.

Other Selected Filmography

The Tailor of Panama (1999) - First film.

The Woman in Black (2012) - Lead, first film after Harry Potter.

Kill Your Darlings (2013) - as Allen Ginsberg. Met his partner on this production.

Victor Frankenstein (2015) - as Igor, alongside James McAvoy.

Beast of Burden (2018) - Lead. Kind of an anti-hero.

The Lost City (2022) - Plays the villain

This image might be the image of his life! (Guns Akimbo)

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