'It didn't feel like there was too much of a crossover,' the 'Harry Potter' star says

By Clark Collis
Updated May 31, 2016 at 08:10 PM EDT
Credit: Jay Maidment
  • Movie

Since filming the last of the Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe has appeared in an incredibly diverse array of movies whose only common factor is their lack of connection to the world of Hogwarts. But in the upcoming sequel Now You See Me 2, in theaters June 10, the actor is returning to magic with his role as a villain named Walter who strong-arms the Four Horsemen into carrying out a heist for him. Why did he decide to take the part? And is it really true he didn’t even notice the connection until after he had signed on to make the movie?

“No one’s going to believe that, will they?” the actor questions. “I don’t think of things in those terms. Obviously, the Harry Potter films are connected with magic but the world of magic they inhabit is so different from the one Now You See Me inhabits that it didn’t feel like there was too much of a crossover. It never occurred to me. I remember when I did Kill Your Darlings, the first interview I gave for that, someone said, ‘Well, you know, in the first scene, you’re wearing glasses and you’ve got a broom in your hand. Did you think about that?’ I was like, ‘No, I didn’t! Because it’s Allen Ginsberg sweeping up his house in the 1940s!’ With this one, it should have been more obvious. But, also, I suppose the thing is that my character doesn’t have a huge amount to do directly with magic. He’s fascinated by it, and wishes he was good at it, but isn’t actually that talented in it. So, it felt like a nice counter to what I’d done before. It was incredibly fun to play somebody that’s so petulant, and kind of psychotic, and try and make all of that as real as possible, and try to give a little bit of an understanding as to where that is coming from.”

Radcliffe was also drawn to the project by the caliber of the film’s cast, which includes Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, and Jesse Eisenberg. “Working with that group of actors was extraordinary and was one of the attractive things about doing the film,” he says. “I’ve looked up to people like Mark Ruffalo, and Woodly Harrelson, and, indeed, Jesse Eisenberg. I’ve always loved Jesse’s work, so to get to work with him was fantastic.”

You can see the trailer for Now You See Me 2, below.

For more on Daniel Radcliffe and Now You See Me 2, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands now or purchase a copy here.

Now You See Me 2

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 127 minutes
  • Jon M. Chu