Thursday 23 October 2014

Daniel Radcliffe: managing my hair is a nightmare

Daniel Radcliffe talks about his difficult hair after being reunited with his Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, both winners at the WhatsOnStage Awards

Published 24/02/2014 | 21:00

Daniel Radcliffe receives the award for Best Actor in a Play during the What'sOnStage Awards at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Daniel Radcliffe with the award for Best Actor in a Play during the What'sOnStage Awards at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Daniel Radcliffe's hair was the talk of The WhatsOnStage Awards as the former Harry Potter star turned up to collect his best actor prize sporting shoulder-length extensions.

"Oh my days. It's Oliver Cromwell, as I live and breathe!" joked awards host Mel Giedroyc as Radcliffe took to the stage to accept the best actor award for his performance in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Backstage, Radcliffe was reunited with his Potter co-star Rupert Grint, who won the best newcomer award for his role in Mojo.

Radcliffe, 24, explained that he has had hair extensions for his latest role as Igor in a film version of Frankenstein.

"I don't mind how it looks but I mind dealing with it. I don't know why any man would have it voluntarily," he laughed.

"The amount of work it takes, having to dry it - doing anything to it is a f------ nightmare. I do have a whole new sympathy for women. I wouldn't be growing my hair this long in my own time."

The hair extensions do have one bonus: Radcliffe is now occasionally able to walk down the street without being recognised.

He added: "I actually don't mind it because there's something really fun about looking totally different and seeing yourself that way. But it's not a permanent change."

The Frankenstein film stars James McAvoy in the title role. McAvoy was one of Radcliffe's fellow nominees for the WhatsOnStage best actor award, along with Ben Whishaw, Lenny Henry and Rory Kinnear.

Radcliffe won for his role in a West End revival of Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, in which he played a bullied, disabled boy who believes fame might come calling when he learns a Hollywood film is being shot nearby.

He told the Telegraph: "It's very lovely to win. We were blessed with amazing audience the whole way through the run.

"It's also kind of crazy to me to be nominated against James and Ben. Watching them was very formative in my experience of theatre - Ben in Hamlet, James in loads of things but particularly Privates on Parade. They were just amazing so to be in a category alongside them is just surreal."

Radcliffe was offered the role by director Michael Grandage, who assembled a starry cast for his inaugural season that included Jude Law and Dame Judi Dench.

"I had a meeting with Michael about wanting to do a play in London. He gave me five plays to read, one of which was Cripple of Inishmaan, and immediately I knew I wanted to be part of it," Radcliffe said. "It was a real luxury, a dream position as an actor."

The Cripple of Inishmaan is a departure from his previous work. "It's a darker comedy than I've ever done before. It's breahtakingly cruel at times and that's one of the things that's so exciting about it and gets audiences so vocal. They're shocked a lot of the time.

"I just think it's a beautifully written play and I'm excited about taking it to Broadway."

The play transfers to Broadway in April.

US audiences will have to contend with the Irish accents in the play, which is set in the Aran Islands. Radcliffe employed a voice coach for the role but admitted to moments of doubt before the play opened.

"Definitely there was a moment of, 'Oh, ----, I'm the only Englishman in this and I'm about to do the most Irish play I could choose," he said.

"But I like fighting past that moment and that's when you do really good stuff. You can do some really good work when you've got the incentive of -----ing yourself [over]. That's definitely a motivator."

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