In Daniel Radcliffe’s latest film role, the Harry Potter star goes in a split second from a normal, anonymous young man to a celebrity sensation whose life is turned upside-down.
Does that sound familiar to the former child actor who was plucked from obscurity to front one of the biggest movie franchises of all time?
“Yes I suppose so! I really hadn’t thought about that,” Radcliffe told AFP. “God I need to call my therapist.”
Fortunately for Radcliffe, his real-life journey was considerably more gentle than the protagonist of Guns Akimbo, which had its world premiere at the Toronto film festival.
He plays a nerdy video game developer who wakes from a brutal attack to find guns have been surgically bolted to his hands, and he has been forced to fight to the death for the amusement of a sadistic online community.
Asked how he chose the role, Radcliffe said: “A lot of the things I’ve done have been like weird fairytales, like Horns or Swiss Army Man. They’re all about somebody living a normal life and then something crazy and transformative happening to them. So I guess I enjoy those kind of stories.”
As the plot suggests, Guns Akimbo is a more radical departure from Hogwarts than any of his projects yet.
Its darkly cartoonish approach to copious on-screen violence includes countless gory fight scenes and deaths in which the characters wield guns, hammers and even a bazooka.
Like The Running Man or The Hunger Games, ordinary people are cheered on by bloodthirsty crowds in their fights to the death—with the millennial twist of live-streaming and YouTube-style trolls.
“This film is inspired by the darker corners of the internet and parts of social media and those ideas, but it’s not necessarily making a massive point about them,” said Radcliffe.