“Remember, Daniel’s closer in age to my students, the actors at the New School,” Lipton told us, “and they love that. He’s talking to his peers.”
Radcliffe told the students that it was practically by accident that he became an actor, since the idea to send him on his first audition was to give him a good story to tell at school, not to land a part. He’d been complaining to his mother that he was “crap at everything … I was crap at academic stuff, I was crap at sports,” and so a friend of his father’s — and ever since, Radcliffe’s agent — suggested that he try out for “David Copperfield.”
“Because that as an experience, none of the other people in the class would have had, an audition,” he explained. “It would make me stand out, be special. No one expected me to get it.”
And when Radcliffe got the part for Harry Potter, he didn’t have any comprehension what it was he got — his response to his dad when he heard the news was, “Great, can I stay up late and watch another episode of ’Fawlty Towers’?” He didn’t consider himself or the other kids to be great actors out the gate: “We didn’t know what we were doing,” he admitted. But by the third film, he was starting to take acting seriously, which is what led to him taking on roles outside of Potter, including his current turn in “Equus.”
Of course, “Equus” gets a lot of attention for Radcliffe’s infamous nude scene, which he excuses by comparing himself to Michelangelo’s David. “David is supposed to be facing Goliath,” Radcliffe explained, “which is why his parts aren’t probably looking the best that day. That’s pretty much what happens to me on stage. My friend said to me, ’Are you ever worried about getting an erection on stage?’ And I said, ’No, that would be great.’ In fact, rather the opposite takes place.”
Radcliffe also joked about his size during the Proust questionaire portion of the program. When asked what he would like God to say if he goes to Heaven, the actor joked that God would say, “It’s amazing we’re the same height!” His favorite word is verdurous, his least favorite is mediocre, and his favorite spell is Alahomora. But as for his favorite curse word, “you’re going to have to watch the show to find out,” Lipton teased.
It was hard to cram everything from the four-to-five hour taping into a one-hour show, but Lipton thinks even non-Harry Potter fans will be impressed.
“He was a fabulous guest,” Lipton said. “He’s very, very smart. He was serious, he was jolly, he was touching, he was a lot of things. There’s some wonderful extra moments that we put on the Internet already, so you can see the outtakes. But as for the show, he’s very happy with it, I’m very happy with it, Bravo’s very happy with it, and you’ll see the results on December 1.”
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