Daniel Radcliffe has transitioned from boy wizard to haunted widower in his first film since the "Harry Potter" franchise came to an end last fall.
Radcliffe is set to appear in "The Woman in Black," which hits theaters on February 3. In the film, the actor portrays Arthur Kipps, a young lawyer and widowed father who visits a remote village to deal with the accounts of a recently deceased client. There, he is confronted by the ghost of a scorned woman who is out for revenge.
"I never expected the first thing I did after 'Potter' to be a horror film or anything like that. That was one of the reasons it was intriguing to me as well because it was so unexpected," Radcliffe told the Associated Press in a recent interview. "This film is a film that has a great story but it is driven by characters at the heart of it. It fit in perfectly. It was going to be filming when I was on break from finishing "Potter" and starring in "How to Succeed," so it was perfectly timed out. Also, when I was reading the script, I was surprised to be enjoying a horror film because I have never gravitated towards that in my own life."
The film is based on the 1983 book by Susan Hill and has previously been adapted into a TV movie and a play in Britain.
"It's my first grown-up role," Radcliffe told the UK's Daily Mail. "This is the first time I've played older than myself - I'm supposed to be 24 in this. And... I've got a son.'"
At 22 years old, Radcliffe wasn't sure how to portray a father figure in the film, but found it easy to create chemistry with the 4-year-old boy when he suggested that director James Watkins let his real-life godson Misha Handley audition. Watkins is the son of Thea Sharrock, who directed Radcliffe in his theatrical debut, "Equus."
"It is very hard to create that chemistry with a 4-year-old boy who you have never met before and who is stepping onto a film set going, 'What in the hell is all of this?'" Radcliffe explained of his request. "At the time when we were filming, I was so obsessed with him having a good time and making sure he wasn't cold or wasn't freaking out that I didn't really pay attention to the fact that he is actually quite a good little actor."
Radcliffe also opened up about his relationship with girlfriend Rosanne Coker. Coker, 22, who goes by Rosie or Rose, is reportedly a painter and met Radcliffe in 2007, when she was working as a production assistant on "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." She has since worked on the final "Harry Potter" films as well as "The Woman in Black."
"At the time we had been filming this we had only been going out for a couple of months. There is actually one shot in the film where Rosie had to play the woman in black because we didn't have a double for her that day so she is actually in one of the reveal shots in the film. She is going to kill me for telling you that."
When asked if he used his love for Rosie to portray his character, who is mourning the loss of his wife, Radcliffe said, "I don't think I probably drew on things at that time, but I am sure now I will probably use -- the fear of losing her will be a very good motivating tool."
Radcliffe joked about the fact that he will most likely always be known as Harry Potter on his recent "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig, but the actor also got some good advice from another actor who shrugged off an iconic role.
"I did hear the other day from a friend of mine who is friends with Sean Connery and apparently Sean Connery asked him to pass along to me how well he thought I was doing and how well I seem to be handling everything and making good choices," Radcliffe told the Associated Press. "For me, that was great because he is a great actor. He had this amazing start to his career in Bond and managed to create a fantastic career for himself outside that, so to hear that from him was very flattering."
Radcliffe rose to fame playing boy wizard Harry Potter in the films based on the books by J.K. Rowling. He most recently appeared in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which was the final showdown between teen wizard Harry Potter and the evil wizard Voldemort.
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