Weird Al Reveals What Cemented Daniel Radcliffe As the Actor Who Plays Him in ‘Weird’

Daniel Radcliffe as "Weird Al" Yankovic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)

Image via The Roku Channel

Daniel Radcliffe has had a string of out-there, bizarre, and fantastical movies attached to his name over the years. No longer just “The Boy Who Lived”, Radcliffe has pushed himself and his craft in many many directions, which is one of the reasons Weird Al Yankovic knew he would be the perfect fit to play him in a biopic.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, released last year was just as much a parody of music biopic movies as Yankovic’s covers are of classic pop songs. The “true not true” story painted the artist in a completely different light, following the tropes we so often see in musical biopics these days – a descent into drugs and booze and violence, as well as a toxic relationship with Madonna that never happened in real life.

The film received generally positive reviews, with many citing Radcliffe’s performance as one of the highlights of this daft, silly, fever-dream satire. In a recent interview with Deadline, both Yankovic and the film’s director, Eric Appel, explained why they knew the Harry Potter star would be perfect for the role. Yankovic, in true Weird Al fashion, recalled the moment he knew Radcliffe was perfect to embody him, saying, “As soon as I saw Harry Potter, I thought “Hey, someday … my doppelganger!”

Kidding aside, they dove into what drew them to the actor. In particular, Radcliffe’s vast body of work that ranged from serious dramas such as Kill Your Darlings to surreal comedies like Swiss Army Man, to positively crazed performances such as in Guns Akimbo made the star the frontrunner. “That really impressed us,” Yankovic told Deadline. “He’s made a lot of interesting choices in terms of roles he’s taken on — a lot of weird roles, which made us think he probably would be amenable to our movie.”

Daniel Radcliffe in 'Miracle Workers'
Daniel Radcliffe in Miracle Workers – Image via TBS

They believed that the actor had the ability to play this incredibly ridiculous role without leaning too hard into the comedy, with Appel saying, “He does comedy and drama so well. We wanted our actors to play it very straight and not push the comedy too hard, and Radcliffe totally got what we were going for.” It was after approaching him and discussing the role that they knew Radcliffe was the one for them, with Appel stating,

“He took it very seriously. And in our first meeting with him when he signed on to do it, which was about two years before it got made, he asked the question at the end of our Zoom call: ‘What kind of accordion should I buy? I’m planning on learning how to play the accordion.’”

Radcliffe really does go all out with everything he does, you can see it in every movie he makes, or play he is in, regardless of how ridiculous the project may be. Which is exactly what was needed to portray this “true not true” portrayal of a beloved Grammy-award winning satirical musician. You can watch Weird: The Al Yankovic Story on the Roku channel.

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