News

Daniel Radcliffe's Latest Role Takes Him Further Than Ever from Harry Potter

The star of one of history's highest grossing film franchises hits U.S. TV in surreal TBS comedy Miracle Workers.

by | February 12, 2019 | Comments

Daniel Radcliffe may never in his lifetime escape questions about his most-famous role: Harry Potter. Fortunately, the star doesn’t mind fielding fan queries, including those from Potterhead colleagues and the occasional journalist.

Radcliffe’s Miracle Workers costar Karan Soni, who plays Sanjay, was the biggest Potterhead on the cast, Radcliffe revealed, and he was happy to indulge Soni.

“I think there’s like an expectation that I will hate talking about it, which I really don’t particularly,” Radcliffe told Rotten Tomatoes.

Radcliffe now stars in surreal TBS comedy Miracle Workers, which presents Heaven, Inc. as a regular office grind where employees try to answer prayers every day. God (Steve Buscemi) is over it and decides one day that he’s going to blow up the Earth.


Miracle Workers Episode 105: "3 DAYS" Geraldine Viswanathan, Daniel Radcliffe, Karan Soni Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS

(Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS)

Angels Craig (Radcliffe) and Eliza (Geraldine Viswanathan) convince God to give them a chance to prove humans are worth preserving. If they can perform one miracle in two weeks, God will let the Earth live. The prayer they’ve chosen to answer: Help Sam (Jon Bass) and Laura (Sasha Compere) fall in love.

The angels can’t directly interfere with Sam and Laura. They can just set things up and hope they work. It’s like a game of Sims with real people.

“They’re a lot more caring with them than I was with my Sims,” Radcliffe said. “I killed my Sims accidentally. I put the fridge the wrong way around and didn’t realize.”

Viswanathan confessed to even more sadistic Sim abuse.

“I used to take the ladder out of the pool and just watch them suffer,” she said of her Sims abuse, which shocked her costar.

“That’s you killing them!” Radcliffe objected. “I accidentally made my guy die. That’s a murder.”


Miracle Workers Episode 101: "2 WEEKS" Daniel Radcliffe Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS

(Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS)

Heaven, Inc.’s interference on the show also has collateral damage. Obstacles they throw in Sam and Laura’s path may have deadlier impacts on completely innocent bystanders.

“It does, but it is all for the goal of saving the entire world,” Radcliffe said in defense of the angels. “We’re in a world where virtually anything can be justified in order to save the existence of the species as a whole.”

Miracle Workers is a dark comedy that way, but it’s ultimately optimistic.

“There’s a through-line of hope even when it’s really messed up and extremely dark,” Viswanathan said. “They’re just sticking together and believing in something and going for it. That’s very much the ethos of the show.”


Miracle Workers Episode 107: "1 HOUR" Daniel Radcliffe, Lolly Adefope, Karan Soni Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS

(Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS)

Miracle Workers showcases Radcliffe’s comedic side. He has had funny cameos in films like Trainwreck and shows like Bojack Horseman, and he even played a farting corpse in 2016 film Swiss Army Man opposite Paul Dano.

“I’ve always loved doing comedy,” Radcliffe said. “I think I’ve done a fair amount that certain people have seen. Swiss Army Man is a fairly niche film. The stage shows I’ve done have actually mostly been comedy in some way. I love it. It’s a very lovely thing, particularly on a set like this where you just have to go to set and try and be stupid every day and make people laugh.”

And Miracle Workers can be gloriously stupid. One joke is just about how to pronounce “gyro.” Most foodies know it sounds like “yee-ro,” not like a gyroscope.

“I thought it was ‘gyro’ as well, but my girlfriend — near where Erin grew up is a huge Middle Eastern community — and she was like, ‘No, it’s yee-ro,” Radcliffe said.


Miracle Workers Episode 101: "2 WEEKS" Geraldine Viswanathan Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS

(Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS)

If Miracle Workers is a hit, there will be a second season, but it won’t be about the same angels. Creator Simon Rich’s plan is to make Miracle Workers an anthology series.

“The idea would be to reset it in a different time, place, characters — sort of to do for comedy what American Horror Story is for horror,” Radcliffe said. “Once you’ve saved the world, it’s hard to find where to go from there for the second series, I think.”

Whether or not that means season 1 ends with a miracle or we all die, it will be a definitive ending.

“The opportunity TBS gave him to do was to do a totally self-contained season so you didn’t have to, as a writer, write an open-ended ending which may or may not go onto something in season 2,” Radcliffe said of Rich’s deal. “Essentially they let us make a three-hour film with commercials.”


Miracle Workers Episode 101: "2 WEEKS" Daniel Radcliffe Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS

(Photo by Curtis Baker/TBS)

Returning to our Potter obsession (and Radcliffe’s patient accommodation), we related that when his Potter costar Rupert Grint spoke to us for Snatch season 2, he said it was weird for him to watch another actor play Ron Weasley in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Radcliffe hasn’t seen the play yet, but not because of another actor playing Harry.

“I think I would find it weirder just sitting in the audience and know that people were probably looking at what my reaction to the thing was,” Radcliffe said. “That’s kind of the reason I haven’t gone.”

It’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Radcliffe has had a whole career since then, but he’ll always be Harry Potter.

“It’s still a big part of my life, but I’ve gotten to go on and do loads of other things,” Radcliffe said. “I’m very happy with how it’s all gone. If you told me at the time that I was going to be sitting here eight years later talking about this amazing, weird series that I love, I’d be very, very happy with that sort of thing.”

Most actors don’t get one or the other. Radcliffe considers himself blessed to have both.

“I don’t think the idea of me always being known as Harry Potter and the idea of me just being an actor who does lots of stuff are mutually exclusive,” Radcliffe said. “I think they can both be true. So far they have been so fingers crossed.”

Miracle Workers premieres Tuesday, February 12 at 10:30 p.m. on TBS. The premiere is available for viewing now at TBS.com.


Tag Cloud

DC streaming service streaming true crime critics festival franchise Emmys FOX Countdown PBS Teen aliens Academy Awards worst movies feel good Wes Anderson foreign Syfy deadpool Anna Paquin social media DC Universe heist movie science fiction 2019 biography Ghostbusters Tarantino Mindy Kaling Nat Geo comic books Election cinemax E3 Drama TV Land WGN high school Winter TV Marvel new york scene in color joker nature movie twilight 4/20 AMC Plus Starz ITV golden globes aapi all-time historical drama BBC PaleyFest Photos talk show australia slasher Sundance History ESPN hispanic Comedy Central spider-man Apple TV Plus The Purge archives laika comic book movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt razzies CBS All Access rom-coms chucky crime The Walt Disney Company french Tubi Superheroes Awards wonder woman cars Marathons Amazon Prime Valentine's Day Logo FX king arthur Shondaland biopic BET 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards rotten Fox News IMDb TV 2017 binge robots vs. stop motion Broadway Writers Guild of America dceu video TNT TBS 1990s italian LGBT series GoT E! fast and furious Mary poppins Tumblr jamie lee curtis a nightmare on elm street Netflix Christmas movies game show cooking romantic comedy universal monsters RT History kaiju stoner dark Extras CW Seed OneApp Oscars miniseries based on movie spy thriller Infographic news 20th Century Fox PlayStation monster movies Pop TV CNN Binge Guide Music VOD posters comic A&E classics TIFF discovery BBC One Western Spike Netflix japan DGA mob Animation sitcom 2021 toronto mission: impossible zombies Podcast First Reviews romance 93rd Oscars cats latino Arrowverse Epix 2018 Hear Us Out crime drama Apple TV+ hist Musical El Rey Winners live event hispanic heritage month obituary black comedy Funimation Heroines festivals Universal boxing emmy awards Grammys spanish language free movies Cosplay action-comedy Nominations Spectrum Originals politics finale Black History Month Holidays harry potter ABC saw Christmas indiana jones children's TV Video Games CMT movies TCA worst trailers Peacock boxoffice Horror TV IFC 90s slashers supernatural cartoon doctor who video on demand versus gangster know your critic rt labs lord of the rings natural history Disney mockumentary die hard BET Awards ViacomCBS ghosts sequel TCA Awards Hulu Shudder Biopics Superheroe Thanksgiving green book 71st Emmy Awards Calendar Sony Pictures Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Masterpiece thriller Best and Worst Alien zombie Toys royal family Tomatazos renewed TV shows anime Television Critics Association VICE First Look DirecTV spain Dark Horse Comics Ovation The Walking Dead 2020 screenings elevated horror jurassic park Marvel Television Rock Mudbound NBC kong adenture satire comic book movie Endgame Comic-Con@Home 2021 documentaries ratings directors 72 Emmy Awards Spring TV Set visit Red Carpet USA television LGBTQ The Academy dramedy TV movies GIFs adaptation Women's History Month Summer venice best Avengers space SDCC south america HBO Max American Society of Cinematographers ID tv talk Interview crime thriller Travel Channel A24 serial killer docuseries nfl christmas movies 99% X-Men james bond Disney+ Disney Plus new star wars movies streaming movies Neflix 73rd Emmy Awards richard e. Grant disaster Pacific Islander Hallmark vampires Disney Plus The CW Turner war rt labs critics edition indie TCM marvel comics Song of Ice and Fire Sneak Peek Year in Review mutant RT21 Rocketman blockbuster live action rotten movies we love zero dark thirty Star Wars ABC Signature New York Comic Con Rom-Com Schedule SXSW Ellie Kemper game of thrones psycho dragons unscripted Universal Pictures Awards Tour scorecard what to watch cults king kong HBO Go Baby Yoda Reality Competition quibi women rt archives name the review japanese football comics YouTube Premium halloween Hallmark Christmas movies MCU YouTube Red book medical drama facebook critic resources Crunchyroll spider-verse book adaptation hidden camera Certified Fresh 2015 Pop diversity legend crossover stand-up comedy Polls and Games Amazon Prime Video DC Comics Character Guide sag awards halloween tv marvel cinematic universe Columbia Pictures young adult Amazon justice league batman Lionsgate cancelled TV series Reality USA Network dreamworks Sundance TV Emmy Nominations prank dexter popular MTV blaxploitation Elton John Lifetime Christmas movies comedies films APB GLAAD IFC Films Cannes Mary Tyler Moore Marvel Studios Disney Channel Rocky blockbusters YA animated Watching Series San Diego Comic-Con Discovery Channel AMC Premiere Dates godzilla National Geographic Fox Searchlight spinoff Disney streaming service werewolf Nickelodeon MSNBC cancelled target NBA TV renewals casting Pride Month Box Office genre Comics on TV 45 Fantasy President political drama Pixar police drama new zealand breaking bad remakes 24 frames Chernobyl technology nbcuniversal black superman Walt Disney Pictures Fall TV Film Festival docudrama Vudu Black Mirror TCA Winter 2020 Brie Larson Turner Classic Movies TruTV canceled TV shows Paramount Network TCA 2017 YouTube Food Network Paramount suspense Tokyo Olympics pirates of the caribbean Britbox Opinion Captain marvel Country screen actors guild Television Academy transformers Pirates The Witch psychological thriller Bravo asian-american sopranos comiccon scary movies BBC America scary Quiz telelvision FXX basketball composers WarnerMedia criterion 007 Adult Swim Showtime ABC Family Stephen King VH1 toy story concert reboot superhero Pet Sematary teaser Creative Arts Emmys art house TV One Paramount Plus Mary Poppins Returns FX on Hulu adventure Super Bowl award winner Acorn TV Star Trek anthology Exclusive Video BAFTA 21st Century Fox period drama debate hollywood Sundance Now olympics fresh international witnail NYCC Apple Esquire independent singing competition documentary Kids & Family reviews dogs Cartoon Network canceled Classic Film SundanceTV strong female leads Lucasfilm sports sequels Trivia Amazon Studios 2016 mcc Family dc theme song Lifetime See It Skip It cancelled TV shows parents Warner Bros. Crackle The Arrangement Mystery Musicals travel Image Comics Film TLC Martial Arts cancelled television Action revenge Trophy Talk Instagram Live Comic Book HBO Legendary spanish cops child's play Freeform Comedy CBS Trailer Holiday Sci-Fi OWN kids golden globe awards