Sunday 25 March 2018

Daniel Radcliffe: using farts in an emotional way is ‘exciting’

Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano star in Swiss Army Man
Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano star in Swiss Army Man

Rebecca Hawkes

In his new film Swiss Army Man, Daniel Radcliffe plays a surprisingly useful corpse with an unprecedented “talent” for emitting gas.

After the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last Friday, the internet was entertained by reports of audiences walking out of the screening, presumably disgusted by the movie’s preoccupation with the functions of a dead body.

Some viewers took to Twitter to defend the film, claiming that Swiss Army Man, which explores the relationship between a suicidal castaway (Paul Dano) and a washed-up corpse (Radcliffe), is actually quite moving. One reviewer deemed it a quirky, unconventional take on the more traditional movie “bromance”; another called it “a crass, beautiful, funny, thought provoking and, most of all, an accomplished work”.

Others weren’t so impressed. The Independent’s Emma Jones praised the performances of Radcliffe and Dano, but felt that the film quickly runs out of steam, writing that “even the most die-hard Harry Potter fan may turn up their noses at the smell of Swiss Army Man.”

Now Radcliffe himself has spoken out about the furore caused by his turn as a “farting corpse” – and explained how the film’s unconventional approach to flatulence first attracted him to the script.

 I love that it's this perverse and mad," the actor told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's exciting, to be honest, using farts other than comedy, like using them for plot and emotion and making some people super uncomfortable. ... There is something wonderful about it."

Daniel Kwan, who directed the film alongside Daniel Scheinert (the duo are collectively known as “the Daniels”), added that he was pleased by the coverage the film has generated so far.

"If you read the headlines, they're just amazing. I couldn't have written them better myself," he said.

Previously, in an audience question and answer session held after the festival screening, Scheinart said that the film was originally “inspired by a fart joke”, before he decided that he could use its story to “explore big ideas and mortality”.

Daniel Radcliffe’s new role where he plays a farting corpse causes audience walk out at Sundance festival

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