At this year’s Sundance Film Festival there’s probably one film that’s been talked about more than any other – Swiss Army Man. It’s been dividing critics and there’s also been talk of walk-outs from screenings, largely because not everyone can quite get a movie about the growing relationship between a castaway man (Paul Dano), and an extremely flatulent corpse (Daniel Radcliffe).
Described by some as puerile and by others as oddly profound, the surreal movie doesn’t just have Radcliffe farting (to the extent his body is used as a kind of jet-ski at one point), but also grows increasingly homoerotic – something that apparently isn’t just hinted at and eventually leads to a necrophiliac kiss. Then there’s Radcliffe’s erection, which despite his being a corpse has a prominent role in the movie.
Inevitably Daniel was asked about this, and exactly how the filmmakers pulled off reanimating his excited member (unsurprisingly he wasn’t method-acting this part of the movie). Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan was the man who broached the subject, writing, ‘Since I’m a responsible journalist who’s curious about low-budget practical effects, I asked Radcliffe about his erection. How’d they manage that wiggly piece of equipment, which gets plenty of close-ups as it points the way home through Radcliffe’s pants?
‘“That day actually came quite far into the shoot, and we’d sort of been building up to it for a while,” said Radcliffe. “And also, you’ve got to remember that the directors have a little bit of experience with moving dicks, because they directed the ‘Turn Down For What’ video,” where one hyped-up dancer gets so excited that he boasts a sweatpants-straining member. Radcliffe grinned: “So I knew I was in good hands when it came to that.”
‘How did the mechanical boner rig work? Radcliffe said it went through several iterations. “One of the pieces that I had on was just a wooden — wow, I can’t believe I’m telling you this — it was like the end of a broom. It was all just like one line, and too smooth. So that was the one note that I gave, and they took it and ran with it.” Radcliffe started laughing. “Is this too much information?”’