Daniel Radcliffe: How he landed the role in Weird: The Al Yankovic

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story presents Daniel Radcliffe as the famous song parodist, whom the film describes as a tormented genius who faces his own demons as he rises to conquer the music industry. He is deliberately balderdash – Yankovic is known for his gentle nature, his quiet work ethic, and a resolute lack of drama in both public and private life – which presumably forms the crux of the film’s humor. And true to its title, it looks downright odd.

No less strange is the sight of Radcliffe in the role. The actor who became famous for playing Harry Potter looks utterly out of place and completely perfect with Yankovic’s signature curly hair, glasses and a Hawaiian T-shirt. It is very much in line with his previous work after Harry Potter, and earning the role was as seemingly weird as the film itself. Indeed, Radcliffe’s fan status helped him on that front – not of Yankovic himself, but of another comic songwriter, whom the actor publicly praised in a decidedly unusual way.

Who is Tom Lehrer

Tom Lehrer he was one of Yankovic’s forerunners: a math professor whose songs and satirical compositions earned him national attention in the 1950s and 1960s. He often parodied popular musical styles, such as folk songs and Christmas carols, and his work of his included the likes of “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” and “The Masochism Tango”. Gen-X probably know him best for a series of grammar-based songs he wrote for The Electric Company. He retired from music in 1972 to focus on academic endeavors.

Weird Al regularly cites Lehrer as one of his great influences, and the two artists were the staples of The Dr. Demento Show. This is the weekly radio show dedicated to news and comic acts that famously started Yankovic. Weird Al recorded one of his earliest songs – a Queen parody titled “Another One Rides the Bus” – live on the show in 1980, and the recording eventually led to his first album.

Daniel Radcliffe big fan of Tom Lehrer

Daniel Radcliffe he was a fan of Lehrer, which apparently helped him land the lead role in the new biopic. The actor literally sang his praises on The Graham Norton Show in 2010 while promoting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. After talking about the genius of Lehrer, he recited one of the satirist’s songs from memory: “The Elements” , a list of the Periodic Table sung to the notes of “Modern Major General,” which Lehrer himself recognized was difficult to perform.

This caught Yankovic’s attention as well, according to an interview with Daniel Radcliffe on The Tonight Show, he played a significant role in landing the role. Beyond the ability to sing it, the actor’s enthusiasm and love for the song shines through in Graham Norton’s clip. The audience looks baffled, as do other guests Rihanna and Colin Farrell. This is the right energy required for the project, which portrays Yankovic in his formative years.

Daniel Radcliffe it seems cut from that fabric much more than it seems at first glance. Since the Harry Potter films ended, he has shunned studio headliners and high-budget productions in favor of offbeat projects like 2016’s Swiss Army Man and 2019’s Guns Akimbo. The actor’s resume speaks to the kind of energy that such a quirky biopic requires. His public love of him for Lehrer is just another sign that the film has found the right performer for an extremely odd job.

To see the performance of Daniel Radcliffe, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will premiere on The Roku Channel on November 4th.

Daniel Radcliffe: How he landed the role in Weird: The Al Yankovic