Daniel Radcliffe talks 'The Cripple of Inishmaan,' post-'Potter' life

Daniel Radcliffe performing in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," Daniel Radcliffe performing in "The Cripple of Inishmaan," opening April 20, 2014 at the Cort Theatre in Manhattan. Photo Credit: AP / Johan Persson

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In the world that is LPHP -- life post-Harry Potter -- Daniel Radcliffe's been busy. Doing the naked thing (in Broadway's "Equus"), the radical thing (as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in last fall's film "Kill Your Darlings"), the musical thing ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"), even the dad thing (in the thriller "The Lady in Black").

Now, he's kickin' it full-on Irish, playing the title role -- awkward as it is -- in Martin McDonagh's black comedy, "The Cripple of Inishmaan," which got raves in London and opened last week at the Cort Theatre.

Inishmaan is a remote island off the Irish coast, a tad smaller than Fire Island, and boasting a much thicker accent. Billy (Radcliffe), a lovable local, is determined to get to a neighboring island, where a Hollywood director is casting his next film.

Radcliffe, 24, knows that score -- he's spent the past few years trying to prove to folks he's more than just ... the kid who played Harry. He'll play Igor in Max Landis' new film "Frankenstein," out next year. He recently sat down with Newsday contributor Joseph V. Amodio.

What's more challenging here -- the physicality or the accent?

Walking into a roomful of Irish actors to do a read-through of an Irish play was probably one of the more intimidating things I've done. The most challenging part is just getting inside his head -- as with any character. Billy's the smartest, wittiest, most compassionate person on the island, but he lives with a disability, so people dismiss him. In talking with friends of mine, some of whom live with a disability, the thing that came up again and again was how you are perceived.

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How tough or easy were those chats?

I have a friend, David -- he was my stunt double on "Potter." So he's been one of my best friends since I was 11. He had a bad accident on one of the "Potter" films. I was here doing "Equus." We can talk about anything. Dave is ... loud, a bit cocky. And funny ... but people look at him and see a wheelchair. The fact that I'm able-bodied and playing this is...

A privilege ...?

It's something you want to get right. I don't want anyone to say, "Oh, that actor's been lazy."

Have you visited Inishmaan?

@Newsday

No. I thought I'd pop over. But you don't pop over to Inishmaan. It's a plane and a ferry and a bus and a ... it's a journey. My dad's from Northern Ireland, and I went out with a few Irish girls. I think anyone with Irish family will enjoy this play.

Tell me about Igor -- only one of the most beloved characters ever. This film has a new take?

There are so many Frankenstein stories out there. It's like Max Landis has sewn together the dead corpses of other Frankenstein films, books and mythologies to make this. Igor gets a backstory, which we've never seen before, and the relationship between him and Dr. Frankenstein is more level. A lot of it is just Victor going insane and me trying to drag him back from the edge. But, yeah, it's a really good dark adventure movie.

Will there be a hump?

There will. Not for the whole film, though, so I'll leave that to your imagination.

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Last time we spoke, I had a question from an 11-year-old friend. This time, it's from 14-year-old Jula, from San Diego.

Ah, yes, very good.

She's going to London tomorrow for the first time, and I thought you'd like to know that all Western civilization pales compared to --

She's doing the studio tour?

Yeah. Ask her where she's going in London, and the only thing she says is: the "Harry Potter" studio!

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Well, that's cool -- she'll have a good time.

Anything she should watch for?

The things I think are coolest are the art department models. People don't realize Hogwarts is a model. There's no castle. It was a brilliant miniature. I think it's still on the tour. We filmed a bit at Annick Castle in Newcastle, and they've blared that association for all it's worth. We were there for like two weeks for the first film. And they're like, "This is Hogwarts, you guys." In fact, Hogwarts was made by model makers. Every book would come out, and Jo Rowling would've added some new room. So we'd have to add a bit on. It was constantly changing, expanding.

She wondered what your favorite post-Harry role has been.

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Probably Ginsberg in "Kill Your Darlings." That's a bit old for her. There's a film coming out in August called "What If?" A sweet, lovely romantic comedy.

Ah, you hang out and play suave?

Oh, no -- not suave. I don't get cast as suave. I get cast as charmingly self-deprecating and a little bit nervy.

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