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Radcliffe takes turn as gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg

The time is coming – maybe sooner than you expect – when you look at Daniel Radcliffe and don’t think “Harry Potter.”

The 23-year-old actor has gone from boy wizard to Broadway hoofer to gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, whom he plays in the new film “Kill Your Darlings.” He has several wildly different films lined up, and is soon to take to the London stage as star of Martin McDonagh’s barbed comedy “The Cripple of Inishmaan.”

The play gives audiences the chance to see Radcliffe in yet another new light, as Billy, a disabled orphan in 1930s Ireland who harbors an unlikely dream of Hollywood stardom.

“I think one of the hilarious things about this play is, by our standards today, how politically incorrect it is,” said the actor, looking lean if a tad tired – he’s been at the gym, working out ahead of rehearsals for the play – in the troupe’s office atop a West End playhouse. “So much of the comedy is just people being relentlessly cruel to Billy.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the one-time boy wizard is a fan of the edgier end of comedy. His entire post-Potter career feels designed to wrong-foot anyone seeking to pigeonhole him.

The play is Radcliffe’s first time on the West End stage since his 2007 run in “Equus,” Peter Shaffer’s play about a troubled stable boy who blinds horses. It featured the then-teenage actor in a nude scene, which triggered a deluge of “Harry Potter’s Wand” headlines. But critics praised the young actor’s brave and committed performance.

Radcliffe said “Equus” was “a signal of intent as to what I wanted to do.”

“I didn’t just want to take an easy way out of this. I wanted to really try and take risks and make a career for myself.”

Since then, he’s mixed movies and theater work, including a 2011 Broadway run as a scheming businessman in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

He’s shot three films due to come out in the next year. “Kill Your Darlings,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, stars Radcliffe as Ginsberg – Beat poetry, gay sex scenes and all. Radcliffe says he’s never been prouder of a piece of work.

He’s also filmed “The F Word,” which he calls a “very funny, very sweet but also very smart” romantic comedy from Canadian director Michael Dowse.

“I don’t want to say (I’m) playing myself, exactly,” Radcliffe said, “but (I’m) playing a character that’s fairly high-anxiety, slightly hyperactive guy.”

He’s especially excited about “Horns,” a film by French horror auteur Alexandre Aja (“The Hills Have Eyes,” “Piranha”). It’s about a bereaved man who grows devilish horns that allow him access to the thoughts and feelings of others.

“It’s a love story, it’s a revenge movie, it’s a horror movie in parts – it’s going to be crazy,” said Radcliffe, who made an earlier foray into horror movies with “The Woman in Black.”

Next up, he will star as mad-scientist’s assistant Igor in Max Landis’ pop-culture spin on the “Frankenstein” story.

All in all, it’s an eclectic list of projects. Radcliffe says there is a philosophy guiding his career choices, but “it’s very basic. It’s just what excites me.”

“Hopefully later on this year people will start to see some very different performances from me. And hopefully some really good movies,” he said. “It’s about the movie as a whole, not just people studying my performance and seeing how I’m getting different and how I’m growing up.”

Radcliffe accepts that fascination with how he’s growing up is unlikely to fade altogether. But he seems comfortable with the Harry Potter legacy, happy to have made the transition from child star to adult actor.

The “Harry Potter” moviemakers have been praised for creating a stable, creative home for their young stars, who went from preteens to adults over the course of eight films released between 2001 and 2011.

“I feel like everyone wanted Potter to be more of a handcuff than it actually was,” said the resolutely well-adjusted Radcliffe.

“I think Harry Potter is going to be around for a while – a long while – but as long as it doesn’t inhibit me getting parts in the present time, then it’s fine. It’s a lovely association to have, because it’s something I’m incredibly proud of.

“People always say, ‘Don’t you just want to forget about it?’ No! That was my entire adolescence.”

Radcliffe conjures brave new role as gay poet Ginsberg

Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t mind hearing that schoolgirls were staking him out at the Sundance Film Festival, hoping for a Harry Potter sighting.

In fact, Radcliffe is happy if his Potter fame conjures up interest for what he wants to do with the rest of his career, such as his bold turn as young gay poet Allen Ginsberg in the Sundance premiere “Kill Your Darlings.”

Radcliffe goes nude for an explicit sex scene with another man, makes out with co-star Dane DeHaan and also appears in another sex scene with a clerk in a library while DeHaan’s character looks on.

As with his Broadway debut in “Equus,” which also featured a nude scene, Radcliffe said his celebrity from the boy wizard franchise might draw in fans who would not have seen a film such as “Kill Your Darlings.”

“I don’t care why people come and see 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,” Radcliffe said in an interview alongside DeHaan. “I feel like I have an opportunity to capitalize on ‘Potter’ by doing work that might not otherwise get attention. If I can help get a film like this attention, that’s without doubt, that’s a great thing.”

“Kill Your Darlings” recounts a little-known chapter in the life of Ginsberg, who met Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University during World War II.

DeHaan plays Ginsberg’s early idol and infatuation Lucien Carr, whose relationship with an obsessive older man (Michael C. Hall) involves the future beat-generation icons in a seamy murder case.

In the course of the film, Ginsberg comes to embrace his homosexuality. Hall said he hopes “Harry Potter” fans can come to embrace Radcliffe in the role and “expand their definition of what a magic wand might be.”

“Kill Your Darlings” director John Krokidas said Radcliffe hurled himself into the role and treated the nudity and gay love scenes as another part of the job, with no qualms or anxiety.

“None! None! None!” said Krokidas, who is gay and so became Radcliffe’s coach in same-sex love-making.

“Radcliffe simply asked, ‘John, you’re gay. How does this work?’” Krokidas said. “I’m not kidding. And so perhaps there was a little dry run-through – oh, she’s going to kill me – with me and the director of photography Reed Morano.

“I might have done it on purpose to make everyone laugh, too, but I also wanted to make sure that we got it right. And other films that have depicted certain moments of sexuality like this, it doesn’t happen that way. And at least for cinematic history, I wanted to get that moment right. But Dan watched, observed, found his own connection like he did any other scene and dove right into it.”

“Kill Your Darlings” premiered last week at Sundance’s main theater, which is adjacent to a high school where classes were just letting out for the day. A group of teenage girls rushed from the school to the back of the theater, trying to determine where Radcliffe and his co-stars would be coming in and out.

Some stars grow to resent that sort of fan attention resulting from past roles, feeling it overshadows the work they’re doing now. So far, Radcliffe seems to see nothing but good things coming out of “Harry Potter.”

“There was a generation of people who maybe wouldn’t have gone to see a production of ‘Equus,’ had I not been in it, that came to see ‘Equus,”” Radcliffe said. “Even if they came for the wrong reasons, you know, we got them there, and they stayed, and they watched. And they stayed for the right reasons.”

Radcliffe appears in PSA for LGBT hotline

An LGBT youth hotline’s new public service announcement featuring Daniel Radcliffe premieres tonight on Fox during the network’s hit series “Glee.”

The 30-second spot encourages LGBT youth to call the Trevor Lifeline if they need support or are considering suicide. The number is 866-488-7386.

The spot also will run on Hulu in conjunction with of “Glee.”

“We are very excited to premiere this life-saving PSA featuring Daniel Radcliffe during prime time on one of the most popular shows on television,” said David McFarland, CEO of The Trevor Project. “The opportunity to reach millions of LGBTQ youth, their families and friends during a show like ‘Glee’ with a message to reinforce that it is OK to reach out for help when you need it can truly help save lives.”

This is Radcliffe’s second PSA for The Trevor Project Lifeline. The actor has been involved with the organization since 2009, dedicating much of his public support to raising awareness for the 24/7 free and confidential crisis line.

“My work with The Trevor Project has taught me that the best thing I can do as a straight ally is show my support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Radcliffe said. “When we let someone know that we accept them for who they are and that we are safe to talk to, we can help save lives. It’s as simple as that.”

The PSA was produced by Emmett Loverde, a Los Angeles-based writer-director and cinematographer.

For more about the project go to TheTrevorProject.org.

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Hero

Daniel Radcliffe, the 20-year-old star of the “Harry Potter” film franchise, recently filmed a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, the leading organization focusing on suicide prevention efforts among LGBT youth.

“I think it’s important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like ‘Harry Potter’ and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. … The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well.’

Potter said his parents, who are both actors, imbued him with a tolerant attitude. “I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about. …And then I went to school and (for) the first time … I came across homophobia. …It shocked me.”

Harry Potter speaks for gay suicide prevention

NEW YORK (AP) — Daniel Radcliffe is explaining why he has just filmed a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, the leading organization focusing on suicide prevention efforts among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth.

Because his parents were both actors, “I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about — that some men were gay and some weren’t,” the “Harry Potter” megastar said Friday. “And then I went to school and (for) the first time … I came across homophobia. … I had never encountered it before. It shocked me.

“I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals,” the British actor added. “Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it.”

The result is a public service announcement that was filmed Friday at the organization’s Wall Street offices. The announcement is scheduled to air sometime this spring.

Radcliffe first became aware of The Trevor Project, founded in 1998 by three filmmakers, while he was appearing on Broadway in the 2008 revival of “Equus.” Their movie, “Trevor,” which won an Academy Award for best short film, concerned a gay teen who attempts suicide. The Trevor Project allows young people to call in for counseling or just to talk.

“I have described myself as being ‘gently eccentric’ and slightly different as a person just because I’ve had a very different set of influences growing up than anybody else in my peer group did,” the 20-year-old Radcliffe said. “I’ve always felt very lucky to have the life that I’ve had. I never had to cope with anything serious about my religion or sexual orientation or anything like that.

“I think it’s important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like ‘Harry Potter’ and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. … The fact that I am straight makes not a difference, but it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well.”