Daniel Radcliffe: “I had been aware of Ginsberg since I was about fourteen years old, and I read the first line of “Howl” when I was about that age.. (“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix”)… It was a few years before I then read the rest of it.. (but)… I was more a fan of… I was given Naked Lunch by William Burroughs, when I was fourteen to read, and I really really got into that, just because it was so anarchic and chaotic and appealed to me at the time. And so I was really.. I was much more aware of Kerouac and Burroughs than I was of Ginsberg, when I started making the film (but then, yeah. I’m a (I have) a huge interest in poetry, so, when I.. so I was obviously very aware of his work). And then, when I got the part, it was just.. it was a fantastic excuse to dive into his life and start researching him.. and.. and.. The main resource for me in looking at his character were his diaries, (which he started making when he was very young), and they’re just…they’re an amazing insight into the mind of a young genius (and he did.., you know, he, absolutely, you know, saw himself as a genius, and was just not sure what form that was going to take). So, I mean, I think that, in the.. And, in doing the film, I learned about his relationship with his mother, and his family, and that really informed how I read his poetry, in a much deeper way.. and I.. yeah, I think doing the film’s given me a much greater appreciation of Ginsberg and his work.”
“I’m not playing Allen Ginsberg, the great literary giant that everybody knows, I’m playing a guy called Allen from Paterson, New Jersey, who’s going to a University for the first time where he… and he thinks that everybody is smarter and richer than he is, and he feels socially insecure, and intellectually insecure, and it’s about him finding his way out of that, and falling in love in the process, and the way that, you know, turned him into the poet that he became, or the part that I played in that journey.”
“Yeah, I don’t think I felt particularly a pressure because it was Ginsberg and because I’m.. I think that, you know, had it been..John Keats, it would have been… I would have felt it in a different way, because I am an obsessive sort of Keats fan, but because I didn’t have that relationship with Ginsberg, I didn’t really feel that pressure, but I did feel a huge amount of pressure to put in a good performance, and to.. I loved John (Krokidas)’s script so much that I just wanted to be, you know, an important part of bringing it to life, and I wanted to, you know, do justice to the great characters that.. and great character that he’d written. So that was the only pressure I felt.”
Daniel Radcliffe, from an earlier interview: “I don’t care why people come and see (my) films. If they come and see a film about the Beat poets because they saw me in Harry Potter, fantastic. That’s a wonderful thing. I feel like I have an opportunity to capitalize on “Potter” by doing work that might not otherwise get attention. If I can help a film like this (Kill Your Darlings) get attention, that’s, without doubt, that’s a great thing”.
Undoubtedly, Kill Your Darlings is getting (and will continue to get) attention.
As for other news:
Seamus Heaney passed away last week. Here‘s Geoffrey Heponstall‘s memory of meetings with both Heaney and Ginsberg.
Noli timere – Heaney’s “last words” (in a text message he apparently sent to his wife) – “Don’t be afraid”
“Aware Aware wherever you are No Fear/Trust your heart Don’t ride your Paranoia dear/Breathe together with an ordinary mind/ Armed with Humor Feed & Help Enlighten Woe Mankind” (Allen Ginsberg – “Capitol Air” (from Plutonian Ode, 1980)