Weird Al Confirms One ‘Mistake’ They Worried About Making When It Came To Daniel Radcliffe Playing Him

Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al and accordions in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
(Image credit: Roku)

“Weird Al” Yankovic and Daniel Radcliffe are wildly famous for completely different reasons. The former became a parody icon for reimagining songs like Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Madonna’s “Like A Virgin,” and the latter spent his upbringing playing the beloved wizard Harry Potter. And yet, the two collide for the fresh 2022 movie release Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. It’s definitely a different kind of music biopic, but one that still had to ask the same question popular to the genre: to sing or lip-sync? 

When it comes to Weird, it was decided that Daniel Radcliffe would sing on set, but Weird Al would dub a new recording of his voice over the actor. However, when it came to making that decision, Weird Al himself recalls having mixed feelings about it. In Yankovic’s words:  

That was something we agonized over. Eric and I both felt a tinge of regret once we heard Daniel sing. I mean, we knew he was a great singer — he’s a Broadway star. But [on the set], he would sing along with the pre-recorded tracks, and Eric and I would look at each other and go, ‘Did we make a mistake here?’ The trouble always was that it’s a biopic thing for people to be lip-syncing, because it’s good. It was famously done by Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody, and we just thought, ‘That’s kind of the joke here. That’s part of the joke.’ But man, Daniel would have killed it either way.

Sure, Daniel Radcliffe is best known for the Harry Potter films, but the actor is also an accomplished singer, having numerous stints on the West End and Broadway stage, including the upcoming revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along. Following Yankovic’s comments to Polygon regarding deciding not to use his voice, Radcliffe jumped in, saying this: 

That’s really, really kind. But I think it’s very funny — I get a kick every time I start ‘My Bologna,’ and my mouth opens, and I see your voice coming out of it. I love it.

Daniel Radcliffe sounds like he wasn’t precious about his voice being in Weird, but the man the movie aims to pay tribute to wasn’t so sure. The actor has amazing pipes, but ultimately the production felt it would add to the overall vibe of the movie, which gets super meta in that it parodies his own life and career. In the interview, Radcliffe also shared that a few people have believed it was his voice, even though he thinks it's “so obviously” Al Yankovic. 

Weird has been met with a ton of positive praise from critics and audiences alike. CinemaBlend’s own Weird: The Al Yankovic Story review awarded the film 4 out of 5 stars, with reviewer Mike Reyes saying it’s a major “crowd pleaser” that is “the best of everything that Al himself stands for.” 

Before you see Weird, you should know that it is based on a 2010 Funny or Die trailer that was made for a fake biopic that has become viral over the years. Aaron Paul played Weird Al in the trailer, and Paul was supposed to have a cameo in this movie. Olivia Wilde played Madonna ahead of Evan Rachel Wood taking the role for this movie. 

You can check out CinemaBlend’s Weird: The Al Yankovic interviews with Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood and more. The movie is available to stream for free on The Roku Channel. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.