Daniel Radcliffe Found Playing Weird Al ‘Freeing’ in Parody Biopic

Daniel Radcliffe recently portrayed the iconic artist Weird Al Yankovic in the 2022 film Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. According to Radcliffe, playing the character was an incredibly freeing experience for the actor.

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Speaking to ComingSoon in a recent interview, Radcliffe noted that early on in the filming process, director Eric Appel told the cast that, although the scenes they were filming were outrageous, they needed to play them seriously in order for it to work. For Radcliffe, that made things a bit more freeing, knowing that he was not beholden to any historical accuracy to try and follow.

“Eric [Appel, director of the film] talked to me early on about [how] the tone he wanted for the film was that “the situations are insane and the scenes will be ridiculous, but you guys — particularly the main five actors — you guys need to play it absolutely for real and seriously,” said Radcliffe. “If you are starting to be self-aware, winking at the camera kind of stuff, then the whole thing falls apart.” There was something very freeing about playing a biopic where you are not beholden to accuracy. It means that you can really inject a lot of whatever you kind of feel is useful or fun into the character. I think there’s some stuff in this character that’s absolutely Al, like the earnest sweetness that he has. But then he turns into a vastly different person at some point.”

In another interview with ComingSoon, Appel himself spoke on the fact that Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is more of a parody of both biopics and biopic parodies alike. He referenced films like Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and even other films like Boogie Nights and Forrest Gump, as inspiration.

“It was challenging stretching this out to feature length in that it’s not like a direct parody of any specific biopic,” Appel said. “We sort of borrow from everything from movies like Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Walk the Line, all the way to Boogie Nights, Forest Gump, even the fictional biopics. We really wanted to create our own original story and not follow a template so much. Like, we wanted to play off biopic tropes, but really create a refreshing or original story that would surprise people. So I think, I mean, that was the biggest challenge, that we stray from Al’s real life. So it’s not like I did a bunch of research on Al’s actual life. There are nuggets of truth in this movie, but the challenge was really creating an original story for this bizarro movie version of Weird Al.”

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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is slated for release on November 4, 2022, and will be available to watch on The Roku Channel.


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