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Alexandre Aja's adaptation of Joe Hill's Horns has a lot of things going for it, a good cast included. And at the center of that cast is Daniel Radcliffe, an actor who continues to impress as he steps out from under the shadow that is The Boy Who Lived. So, how did the Harry Potter star land the dark role of the horned Ig Perrish in Horns? The director was skeptical about Radcliffe for the part. But it only took a few minutes for that to change.
Alexander Aja left us severely rattled with The Hills Have Eyes and delivered a lot of blood and spring break gore with Piranha. More recently, the French director delved into Joe Hill's murder-mystery/horror story Horns with a feature adaptation that hits theaters later this month, and is already available On Demand. Back during Comic-Con, we sat down with Aja to discuss Horns. As a fan of the book, and of Daniel Radcliffe, I was curious to know how the Harry Potter star managed to exchange a lightning bolt scar for a set of horns.
"I knew that what made the book such a success was not the genre, it was the fact that the character within the book, Ig Perrish, was a character that you could relate to, that people could run for," Aja told us, going on to say, "I knew that the only way to make a movie with different genre that could feel like a real story was to find the right Ig Perrish."
Aja says Daniel Radcliffe read the script and was really interested in doing the movie. But he wasn't so sure Radcliffe was right for the part, until he met him and won him over, pretty much right away...
It’s such an amazing project and at the time, it was right before Woman in Black, and I couldn’t judge his skill beyond Harry Potter. He was an amazing Harry Potter, but that was not enough for Horns. I met him, and I remembered, after just a few minutes, realizing that he was so much exactly like Ig Perrish, that he was this absolute committed, romantic, genuinely good guy and humble. And you know, talking to him more, I realized that he was asking the same questions. He was in many aspects -- it was not just the bullshit of an actor -- he was really honest and I knew at the end of the meeting that I had to make the movie with him.
That's not where the praise ended either. Aja says Daniel Radcliffe is the most hard-working actor he's ever met, going on to note that people are going to see how great he is when they see Horns. "People will discover in Horns that he can be an amazing comedian and he can be an amazing, like drama," Aja said. "He’s good at everything and he’s so skilled, everything is just, the proof when you see the movie that Harry Potter was a great beginning, but just a beginning."
He's not wrong to point out that Harry Potter was just the beginning for Radcliffe. The actor's willingness to take risks and try new things in his post-Harry Potter career seems like a good indication that we've only just begun to see Radcliffe's potential as an actor. But those who know Radcliffe best as the lead in the feature adaptations of J.K. Rowling's beloved series may forget those associations when they see Daniel Radcliffe sporting a set of horns and wreaking havoc on his community as his newly acquired influence takes its toll over pretty much everyone in his vicinity.
To say that Radcliffe is showing off his darker side in Horns would be something of an understatement. But the actor is up to the task, delivering a dark and occasionally twisted performance as Ig Perrish, a man who's living in the aftermath of his girlfriend's brutal murder. Blamed for the act and overwhelmed with grief, Ig has pretty much hit rock bottom when he wakes up to discover he's sprouted a set of horns, which prompt people to reveal their darkest secrets and desires.
Horns arrives in theaters October 31. However, as mentioned, the film is already available to rent or purchase digitally through a variety of platforms, including iTunes and Amazon.