Daniel Radcliffe may only be 25, but he’s fast being one of the most outspoken and steadfast of LGBT allies (the fact he grew up around gay people who were always part of his life helped set him on this path).
With his new movie, What If, hitting hitting cinemas, he’s been chatting to Out & The Advocate about the film, and also plenty of other things. For example, when Out asked him what he thinks about openly gay Michael Sam making his NFL debut, he says (while showing an impressive understand of the American Football draft system for a Brit), “I think it’s fucking awesome. It’s fantastic that he’s got a team. It’s horrendous that he slipped to 249 after being the SEC defensive player of the year. People can say whatever they like about his athleticism, or not fitting the bill for certain conditions or whatever, but the fact is no player in the last six years to win that award has been drafted lower than 16th overall, I think. So it’s sad that that was an issue. But I think he’s amazing, frankly. In interviews, at no point does he allow himself to be portrayed as a victim or someone who deserves extra sympathy. He’s brilliant at shutting that down.”
He also talks about whether he thinks more films will be made in the future that are like What If, but centring on same sex couples. Radcliffe comments, “I still think we’ve got a ways to go before we see more types of films like What If made with same-sex couples. I say that because I was quite shocked when I did all the press for Kill Your Darlings and how much of a talking point it was for people that I was playing a gay character…
“The way gay people have been depicted [in entertainment] has changed so much in the last few years and hopefully that is what is normalizing it for everyone. Just look at characters like Cam and Mitch from Modern Family. They are hugely successful and get to every region of the country. Stories are now beginning to be told that include all different types and kinds of sexuality and characters who aren’t there for the sake of being gay, they just happen to be gay… I do think that in the next generation we will see an even bigger difference in how gay people are shown in the media and in film because people are getting over it, finally.”
There were also some questions about the other Dan seems completely comfortable with – nudity – which started when he was just 18 on stage in Equus, and has continued with the likes of Kill Your Darlings and now What If.
He tells The Advocate, “Once you’ve done Equus that really shakes any inhibitions you have out of you. Other actors might get to a scene like that and say, ‘Actually, I’d like to not be naked in that part,’ but because I’ve done it once on stage, it doesn’t really hold fears for me anymore…
“I would like to say at this point that I am not picking projects so I can get naked. It just so happens that in all the ones that have been released so far – and in fact the next two that will be released as well – I do show a bit of skin.”
And I’m sure there are many people out there who won’t complain about that.