Daniel Radcliffe: from boy wizard to gay beat poet

Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:43pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Daniel Radcliffe casts off boy wizard Harry Potter to play the voice of the 1950s Beat Generation in new movie "Kill Your Darlings" - a seductive tale of friendship, gay love and murder.

Radcliffe, 23, plays poet Allen Ginsberg aged 17 - a young, naive and closeted teen who struggles to find his place in the world years before the sexual and cultural liberation of the 1960s.

As Ginsberg enters Columbia University in New York, his encounters with fellow mavericks Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) bring about a new vision - the founding of the Beat Generation.

Indie film "Kill Your Darlings" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical praise this week and was purchased by Sony Pictures Classics for wider distribution later this year.

After 10 years and eight "Harry Potter" films, Radcliffe is also looking for a new place as an actor, appearing on stage in 2007 in London and New York in the drama "Equus," for which he appeared fully nude, and musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in 2011.

"Kill Your Darlings" sees Radcliffe pushing boundaries again as Ginsberg comes of age, including a raunchy sex scene with a man.

"Everybody wants to have as diverse a body of work as they can possibly have, and that's what keeps people interested in your career," Radcliffe told Reuters.

"There's a lot to live up to in a sense that you're playing someone so well known, and revered by so many people, but we're not making a reverential film about him in any way," he added of his role as Ginsberg.   Continued...

Cast member Daniel Radcliffe poses at the premiere of "Kill Your Darlings" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni