PARK CITY, Utah – Harry Potter’s scar has been with him every step of his career, but actor Daniel Radcliffe, of the new surrealistic series “Miracle Workers,” told EFE that as the years go by, the fame he earned playing the young wizard, far from becoming a burden, is more like a gift.
“Honestly, it’s lovely. I think people expect me to find it oppressive that people are still talking about it, but there is a generation of people who grew up with us and that’s a real honor. When someone comes up to me and says like ‘you were a huge part of my childhood’...The idea that I could occupy that space for someone is, just, you know...amazing,” he said.
“My friends they were showing the first Potter film to their young child the other day. And it’s an amazing thing to see that sort of continuity...I’m very lucky to be famous for something that a lot of people love,” he added
Radcliffe, 29, has been starring this year along with Steve Buscemi and Geraldine Viswanathan in “Miracle Workers,” a surprising comedy of loony satirical humor about religion and the meaning of life, which TNT will premiere in Latin America on May 17.
In this series, God (Buscemi) is the depressed, alcoholic and cynical Lord of Heaven, which instead of being Paradise is a company that manages Earth’s destiny as it goes from insecurity to bureaucracy to the heartaches of office life.
Sick of humanity’s eternal dysfunction, God decides to blow up the planet, but before that can happen, two angels (Radcliffe and Viswanathan) appear and try to convince Him that his creation still makes sense and it would be worthwhile avoiding an apocalypse.
“I don’t think the series starts this way anymore, but it used to start with God just having a monologue about how he kind of felt: Have you ever felt like you just don’t have any control of your life? That you are just lost? And the idea of God saying that is the most terrifying sort of thing,” Radcliffe joked.
Very agreeable during the interview and without a sign of ego from someone who for years was the most famous youngster in movies, the British actor admitted he wanted to try his luck on US television.
“For a long time, when you signed up for an American TV series, you were signing for a minimum five- to seven-year contract and you would be playing the same character for that long. I did that with Harry Potter so I didn’t want to get locked into just one thing again,” he said.
But the idea with “Miracle Workers” is that, “if we are lucky enough to get a second series, it would be new characters, new setting, new story: everything starting fresh. Basically, TBS let us make a really long film,” he said.
Radcliffe plays Craig, a timid angel whose job consists of listening to people’s prayers and who is surrounded by contradictions: he has great power go perform miracles on Earth, but could never makes friends even with divine succor.
“One of the first questions I said to Simon (Rich, author of the book that inspired the series) was: ‘Are we gonna have wings? Or halos? Or anything like that?’” he said with a big smile, before noting that these are very human angels.
Craig is “so scared of failure that he has narrowed down the scope of his life so he never has to go near risking anything, or failing at anything, which is not a good way to live,” Radcliffe added.
But Craig’s insipid existence takes a major turn with the appearance of Eliza (Viswanathan), an idealistic companion who still believes the world can be saved.
“And that’s what I love about the show. It’s this very dark comedic sensibility sometimes but ultimately it’s really warm, there is like kindness to comedy and optimism for human beings,” he said.
On the other hand, he admitted that the irreverent touch of the series could annoy certain people, but said there had never been any intention to offend anyone.
As for “people who are religious and who also have a sense of humor, I hope they like our show,” he said.
Distancing himself from big Hollywood projects and more interested in Indie shorts like “What If” (2013) and “Swiss Army Man” (2016), Radcliffe defended the path his career has taken now that he’s an adult.
“There was something very freeing about knowing at the age of 18 that I could work for a hundred years and I would never do a film as big as this again. It just won’t happen,” Radcliffe said.