Dan Radcliffe Speaks about “December Boys” to Fan Sites
Sep 07, 2007
A few minutes ago, Dan Radcliffe took part in a conference call with several fan sites about his upcoming film, December Boys. In the below audio file, you can hear him talking about playing an orphan, the mega-hint J.K. Rowling dropped him regarding Harry’s Deathly Hallows fate, his Australian accent, and much more. To listen, click below:
This call had poor audio quality, which is why we are now lucky to have a transcript, brought to us by our lovely transcription elves Overcast, SusannahMio, Poet, stampsgal and StephanieElf. Thank you guys!
Host: So, do we have Alison?
Alison: That’s right! Hello there, Dan.
Daniel Radcliffe (DR): Hello there, Alison!
Alison: Hi, I’m from DanRadcliffe.com and Aced Magazine, for Jenna today. I’d like to ask: this has obviously been an amazing experience from you, based on the interviews you’ve given so far. Is there one particular aspect of the film that you’re most proud of, or one recollection of the filming you’re gonna take back with you forever?
DR: I think one…I think, I mean, I’ve made really, really great friends out there. I’ve made one friend that I particularly…who I’m still very, very much in contact with, and is still a really, really close friend. And, so that’s the thing that I’ve probably taken away from the film most, is that friendship. In terms of the aspect of the film I’m the most proud of, I’d say that, A: it’s beautiful, you know, visually. It’s wonderful, beautiful, and terrific, and all those things, but also, I’m really pleased with the sort of relationship and chemistry between all four boys, myself included in that. I’m really pleased with what we achieved there. You know, we were four people who’d never met each other before, and we were all thrown together, and there’s a good chance we might not get on, but luckily, we did. And so, I think that’s one of the things we were very, very lucky with, and one thing I’m proud of in the film.
Alison:That’s wonderful. Thank you very much.
DR: Thank you.
Host: Great. Is Laurie on the call?
Laurie: Yes, I’m here.
DR: Hello, Laurie!
Lauries Hi. Hi, Dan. I was wondering, in the film, can you explain the meaning, or the symbolism, of the old man and the fish?
DR: I think that was mainly to do with our…that had to do with just the- Because what you have to remember when you watch this film, it is a reminiscence. It is somebody’s memory of what actually happened, and so certain things are exaggerated, or have been made more magical by the imagination. And I think that, and also the horse, are the two very static elements of that. And also, I think it was both the writers and Rod Hardy’s sort of homage to Old Man and the Sea.
Raadhika: Okay. I’m Raadhika from TheSnitch.co.uk.
Raadhika: Hi! And I was wondering, was working on a tighter schedule than the Harry Potter
DR: I don’t know if it made it, or brought out a better performance, necessarily. It was, I suppose…I’ve done a couple of- I did this, and I also just finished a film called My Boy Jack, which was an even tighter schedule, and we were doing seven scenes a day, and I think what that’ll teach you, is it teaches you even more about the absolute vitality of knowing everything you have to do when you get on set that day. You can’t just know the first scene, and then learn the others in between, you know? You have to learn six scenes, and know them all absolutely, and make sure you’re totally prepared. So it taught me a lot about focus and professionalism, and things like that. But I don’t know if it necessarily brought out a better performance, although, possibly, the chaos of filming in those sort of situations is quite…does have quite an energizing effect.
DR: Thank you.
Melissa Anelli (MA): Hi, it’s Melissa from The Leaky Cauldron.
DR: Hello, Melissa, how are you?
MA: Hey, how are you doing?
DR: I’m very well, thank you.
MA: I wanted to ask, J.K. Rowling told you early on that Harry was getting a death scene, she revealed. And you carried this secret around with you for ages, and then close to the release of the book, you said that you thought that Harry wasn’t going to die anymore. So what was it like, carrying this around, and what kind of relief did you feel upon getting to the end of this (DR: Well, it’s…) saga?
DR: It was really, it was actually really fun. (MA laughs) The all-consuming sense of smugness that I was (MA laughs) carrying around for a few weeks was just joyous. So, no, I- it wasn’t a big- to be honest, I wasn’t even tempted to spill the secret, or anything like that. No. There was nothing that I was even once tempted to say.
Sydney Hey, Dan.
DR: Hello there.
DR: It’s a good question. I don’t actually know. I mean, there- we’re always being sent scripts, I’m always reading lots of different things and different projects, and there’s a couple of things that are very, very interesting. But nothing has been even close to confirmed about anything, or even- it’s so early stages in those processes that I’m not really going- have anything to say at the moment. But, certainly I am looking to do something between Half-Blood Prince, anything, and Equus, but if nothing comes along that I think’s right, then obviously I won’t be doing anything. I’m not gonna do something just for the sake of it.
Sydney: Okay, thank you very much.
DR: Thank you very much.
Host: Is Emerson on?
Emerson Spartz (ES): I’m here.
Host: Cool. Go ahead.
ES: Hey, Dan. Emerson Spartz. Sorry if this question has all ready been asked. I just jumped onto the call, but has Harry Potter in any way prepared you for the part of yet another unloved orphan?
DR: I don’t think it’s really- (sighs) I don’t think you can, to be honest, compare the two because they’re so- they are so different. To say that playing one orphan means you could play another is sort of to imply all orphans are the same, and of course that’s obviously not the case. I tried not to involve any of the processes that I’ve gone through while playing Harry to play Maps, because I wanted Maps to be a stand alone character, and not to be influenced by anything else that I have done.
Jeff Guillaume (JG): Hi, it’s Jeff from HPANA, Dan. (DR: Yep.) I was wondering, since you’ve already been fully nude on stage, (laughs) how did that compare, or did that prepare you for the intimate scene in December Boys?
DR: Well, actually, I did December Boys about a year before, in fact, a year and a couple months before I did Equus. So, it was really that the scene in December Boys was probably almost a warm up for going nude on stage. (JG: Mm-hm.) So it was rather the other way round on that occasion.
Andy McCray (AM): Hi, Dan. I’m from Andy from HarryPotterFanZone.com, and I’m also Australian. I would be very interested to know what special things you did to work on your Aussie accent?
DR: It was mainly a matter- I had a dialect coach and I worked about six months before shooting, just to make sure. Because you probably heard the Aussie accent caricatured very badly (AM laughs) a few times, and it’s very easy to caricature, but it’s not very easy to get the subtleties of. And that’s what I was very, very keen to do, and whenever anybody says to me things like, “You missed a vowel there, or here, or there,” I always tend to say, “Well, yeah, I was doing an Adelaide accent.”
AM: Well, thanks, Dan.
DR: Because that slightly sounds more English, apparently. (laughs)
Host: Great. Is Sharon on?
Sharon: Yes, I’m here. Thank you.
DR: Hello there.
Sharon: This is Sharon from DanRadcliffe.co.uk. Dan, how are you?
DR: I’m very well. How are you?
Sharon: I’m doing well, thanks. I did hear you mention a little bit about not having a lot of time to do research specifically with orphans and/or adoptive parents. As an adoptive parent of three American foster children, I’m curious, if you had one question to sit down and ask an orphan, what would it be?
DR: It would mainly be- The things I would’ve been asking about were, like, growing up- (telephone static) Oh, sorry. Life growing up being in an orphanage, and what that would be like, and that experience would have been like. (Sharon: Hm.) The situation these orphans find themselves in is pretty unique, because it’s an orphanage that’s in the Australian Outback. So those are the kind of questions I would’ve been asking. In particular, there was one guy who was consultant on the film who’d been through very similar experiences and I suppose also I would have been asking about, “Do you feel when you’re growing up, are you constantly aware that you’re missing something or is it something that slips into the background very much?”
Sharon: Yeah, that sounds great to me. You also had worked for about six months on an Australian accent, and I’m curious if you ever accidentally slip into it every once in a while?
DR: Um, not really. I mean, it was one of those things where you try and do it as much as you can, and so I did it, you know, I’d read aloud in it. I’d, you know, I’d try and talk to my parents in it just around the house, which became probably really, really irritating for them. (Sharon laughs) It was just mainly about just doing it as often as you can. If I did slip into it by accident, then that’s probably quite a good thing.
Host: Great. Do we have Winn on the call?
Winn: Yes, hi, Dan. I was wondering if you had a mentor. Who would be your biggest mentor either in acting or just in life in general?
DR: In terms of acting, it’s certainly Gary Oldman, definitely. I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve got, a huge amount of admiration and respect for him, and he’s a lovely bloke. I suppose in terms of life, it would obviously be my parents, and also my best friend, Will, is somebody I look up to hugely, and is a great guy, and has been amazing with me on these films himself, because he’s been there since the very beginning.
Winn: Okay, thank you.
DR: Thank you.
Host: Great. Is there anybody on that has yet to ask a question?
Matthew Vines (MV): Yeah I haven’t. I’m Matthew Vines from Veritaserum.com.
DR: Oh, hello, Matthew.
MV: Oh hi, nice to talk to you. I was just wondering what message do you want to send through this film?
DR: I think the main message of this film is that family need not be about blood connections. It can be- Family is who you love, and who you trust, and who you are protected by, and who you protect. And I think that’s- Those are the- I think that’s the main thing the film fits. The December boys’ family, as in those four boys, is just as valid in their relationship as any mother, father, and son sort of set-up.
MV: Thank you very much.
DR: Thank you.
Host: Great. Is there anybody else that hasn’t had a chance?
Dominic: I haven’t. This is Dominic.
DR: Hello Dominic.
Dominic: Hi. In the past, you’ve done extensive research to get into the mind and spirit of your characters. Was there anything in particular you did to prepare for December Boys?
DR: It was- for me it was mainly a case of shaking off the natural sort of enthusiasm I have for life, because Maps really does not have that. And so for me mainly it was just, it was a case of trying to lose that and trying to be as reserved and restrained as I could in my own life, as well as just when I was on set.
Dominic: Okay, thank you.
DR: Thank you.
Host: Wonderful. Anybody else?
Sharon: Sharon here with DanRadcliffe.co.uk again. I was just hoping maybe you could describe a little bit for us the role that Maps has? You know, in the… (telephone static)
DR: You were fading out then for a moment. The signal, the line went bad there for a moment.
Sharon: Sorry, I’ll repeat it. I would just like you to discuss briefly the roles of the children as the competition for the affection of the adoptive couple increased in the storyline.
DR: I mean, I think Maps’ role is very much the older brother/father figure to these boys, and that’s very much the role he’s assigned himself, and he wants to protect them. I think the other boys, as you say, they’re all very, very distinct personalities. They’re all, necessarily, desperately competing for the affections of this potential family. So, I think what’s brilliant about the film is that they don’t just, you know- While that is a brilliant part of the story, they each have their own story outside of that main story to discover in the realization of the plot.
Host: Well, great. Well thank you all for joining us.
DR: Thank you very, very much indeed.
All: Thank you. Thanks. Thank you everybody.