27 January 2012

Interview plus photo by Dave Abel

Daniel talks about The Woman in Black at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto.

Radcliffe was also enthused about the chance to work with Hammer, a studio that in its day ('50s to '70s) busily cranked out Dracula films with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and myriad haunted house stories. (The revived studio also produced the child vampire story Let Me In).

"Peter Cushing, he was the one I wanted to be when I saw Dracula. I just thought he was great," Radcliffe says. Though it has been inactive in recent years, he says the old studio's influence could be felt throughout British cinema.

"The British film industry does run on nepotism in the best sense. It's a family trade," Radcliffe says. "By the time we'd finished the Potter series, there was three generations of the same family working in the props department.

"And Amanda Knight who did my makeup on Potter, her dad was Eddie Knight who did makeup on the original Hammer movies. And as someone who spent half their life in the British film industry, it's very gratifying to be part of the resurgence of such a beloved company."

Stylistically, he says he feels The Woman In Black is a piece with old-school Hammer. "For the first 45 minutes of the film, we're kind of like The Others or The Orphanage or something like that. And for the rest of the movie, it's just full on Hammer. It's Hammer Time if you'll excuse the pun.

All the playing, all the scares, all the creepy toys, that's what James (director James Watkins) does brilliantly."
The movie was shot in " all the grimmest places in England -- not that they are naturally grim, but we certainly made them look that way."

And though it's nowhere near as graphic as, say, a slasher film, it does feature the death of children -- a line most horror films won't cross.

"It's one of the reasons this film is particularly affecting for parents," he says, "because it's about the most unimaginable of all losses. Everybody in this film is miserable, everybody has been touched by death."
Next up: something completely different. In March, Radcliffe starts work on the Beat-era murder drama Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays a 19-year-old version of the late Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. "I've been working on my New Jersey Jew accent," he says.

"Without a doubt, it's the biggest challenge of my career so far."
picture source: Dave Abel/QMI agency & jam.canoe.ca

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