Back in May, rumors began to circulate that Daniel Radcliffe had joined a bizarre-sounding miniseries, where he would play a doctor in early 20th century Russia and the younger version of “Mad Men” leading man Jon Hamm.
The premise sounded just odd enough to be true, and when it turned out to be, MTV News had to find out more from Radcliffe when we visited him on the set of his new film “The F Word.” Radcliffe was thankfully able to fill in some of the blanks for this upcoming project.
“[Jon Hamm and I] play the same character 20 years apart,” Radcliffe said of “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” dramedy. “If you look at the thing as kind of being a meditation on memory, he, as the older doctor in 1935, is remembering his youth and reliving it again by reading the diary he kept when he was a young doctor.”
The unconventional structure of the series will allow the two versions of the doctor to interact, thus leading to some shared screen time for Radcliffe and Hamm. “The way we show that is he is walking through his memory,” Radcliffe said. “Jon has a scene in 1935 that bookends every episode, but then within the story we interact in scenes together because he’s looking at his younger self with great amusement and despair.”
The project earned a good number of snickers from the press when the news originally broke, but Radcliffe claims that none of those reports were particularly accurate. “I love it. When it first came out that we were doing it, some English paper said, ‘Dan Radcliffe and Jon Hamm are going to play doctors in World War I in Russia.’ You think, no, just because it takes place in 1917 doesn’t necessarily mean it was involved in World War I,” he said. “It has nothing to do with that. What I love about that project is that even though there’s a book out there that people can read if they want to, everyone thinks they know what it is, but it’s not that.”
Within the complex structure, Radcliffe said there are equally complex emotions to be found. “It’s only four parts of 20-minute or so episodes, but in that there is so much comedy and tragedy,” he said. “It’s very, very dark and also very funny. It’s just a weird comedy, and I think people are really going to enjoy it.”
As for his future as Jon Hamm, Radcliffe seemed pleased. “I’m going to turn into Jon Hamm. That’s incredible news,” he said. “If that comes to pass, I will be very, very happy.”
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