Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Hanukkah Hotness, Night 2: Daniel Radcliffe

Happy second night of Hanukkah!

For a long time, I didn't realize Daniel Radcliffe was Jewish. When I found out, I was really excited. Not that there's anything wrong with being non-Middle Eastern. It's just nice to belong to the same tribe as the cool kids.

From Sorceror's Stone and Chamber of Secrets, Daniel Radcliffe was just "that kid who plays Harry Potter." In Prisoner of Azkaban, Daniel Radcliffe became "that cute kid who plays Harry Potter." Then, right around the time of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - right about the time he starred in Equus on London's West End - it became, "Wow, Dan Radcliffe is an actual hot guy."

As I wrote here, I do not mind his vertically-challenged status. Height is not required for hotness.

Grace Norwich published Daniel Radcliffe: No Ordinary Wizard in 2005, when Radcliffe was 15-ish and still in the "cute; I'd be into him if I was in high school" phase. I bought it (at a card shop that also sold books, now out of business) because I was as Potter-obsessed then as I am today, and I read it, too, although the writing is clearly intended for a teen/tween audience.

For your edification, I'll quote a few passages.

"...Dan shares a lot of similarities with the fictional character that has made him a household name. First off, they are both British, and very cute!...'We have curiosity [and] loyalty,' Dan told People magazine...Another similarity that Dan and the fictional wizard seem to share is a level of wisdom and maturity that is beyond their years, which is probably due to the fact that they both had to handle a great deal of responsibility at such a young age."

"Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23, 1989, in London, England, to Alan Radcliffe and Marcia Gresham. He grew up in the well-to-do neighborhood of Fulham, in the southwest part of the city. Daniel attended Sussex House, an exclusive all-boys private school in Chelsea, where his favorite classes were gym and science."

On how Dan came to audition for the role of Harry Potter: "One summer Dan went to the theater with his parents to see Stones in His Pockets, a comedy about two extras on a big American movie shooting in Ireland. In the row directly in front of the Radcliffe family were two men who knew his father. And they were behaving oddly. Instead of concentrating on the play in front of them, the men kept turning around to stare at Dan....The two men turned out to be none other than David Heyman and the screenwriter, Steve Kloves."

"More than ten thousand fans gathered to scream and swoon when Dan arrived at the world premiere of Harry Potter in London. At the momentous event, Dan watched the film for the third time. Although he loved the final product, he hated seeing himself on the screen, especially that evening."

"There were a lot of people who would weigh in on this film, but perhaps there was no one more important than J.K. Rowling. She made her firm pronouncement after seeing the film. 'I think Dan nailed it,' she said in a written statement later published by the Toronto Star..."

"Not surprising are Dan's sophisticated tastes. He likes music from bands that broke up way before he was even born. But Dan has been hanging around adults on film sets for a long time now, and has picked up a thing or two. He also is the only child of two very sophisticated parents, who took him to the theater regularly and exposed him to a lot. Dan wasn't going to settle for any Britney Spears or the latest boy band. Instead Dan is into edgier stuff. In fact, with his main musical passion, punk, he doesn't even like the current bands."

"He has a ton of crushes on the leading ladies of rock. He admitted to Radio 1 that he is a sucker for Brody Dalle, the lead singer of the punk band the Distillers, who sports enormous tattoos and thick black eyeliner. 'I'm madly in love with her!' Dan said. He also professed love to Marcie Bolen, the adorable red-head guitarist for another punk band, the Von Bondies."

"When the inevitable time arrives for Dan and Harry to go their separate ways, Dan's future will be wide open and anything is possible. Who knows what he will try next?"

We do! We've already seen him in The Woman in Black. Next up, we'll see him in the adaptation of Joe Hill's horror novel Horns and as Allen Ginsberg (squee! He's my dead gay Jewish boyfriend) in Kill Your Darlings.

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