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

Hallmark Christmas movies Ellie Kemper Sci-Fi spider-man History APB Discovery Channel TIFF 45 toy story RT21 Drama DC Comics cancelled TV series Action Paramount Network boxoffice GoT spinoff GLAAD anthology Podcast streaming 2016 Warner Bros. El Rey Countdown Film VH1 BET San Diego Comic-Con Mystery historical drama reboot Shondaland First Reviews biography Trailer space singing competition The Arrangement Lifetime Star Wars A24 Comedy Marvel cinemax BBC America TNT Turner Toys mutant President Food Network crime drama Holidays Opinion revenge richard e. Grant Trophy Talk technology Disney+ Disney Plus Masterpiece cults renewed TV shows docudrama DC Universe Logo Shudder Pixar elevated horror Winter TV Rocketman casting HBO Max Winners SundanceTV SDCC Ovation FOX latino DC streaming service Fall TV Turner Classic Movies Disney Plus Nat Geo Western Cartoon Network composers OWN science fiction X-Men Brie Larson Biopics miniseries Interview Sundance Now spanish language USA war ESPN HBO 2017 Cannes Thanksgiving screen actors guild Quiz Oscars nature period drama mockumentary CNN YouTube Red dragons Cosplay Emmy Nominations halloween Nominations independent true crime Comedy Central Rock political drama Spring TV Esquire Starz PaleyFest Photos 21st Century Fox zombie AMC award winner cats Musicals Vudu Musical Song of Ice and Fire New York Comic Con romance facebook National Geographic Country blockbuster Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Certified Fresh television Apple TV+ Avengers CW Seed animated Apple Marvel Television LGBT Amazon Prime GIFs Pride Month WarnerMedia Netflix Christmas movies series Ghostbusters justice league Watching Series Elton John rotten movies we love cars serial killer Year in Review Tomatazos FX Valentine's Day Awards 2015 Epix psychological thriller Disney Crunchyroll zombies Christmas Superheroes natural history TV Land Paramount Universal Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Endgame foreign IFC The Witch Marathons Television Academy Heroines Trivia Acorn TV south america Kids & Family Tubi Superheroe Amazon Prime Video Syfy RT History Academy Awards video theme song harry potter Binge Guide Mindy Kaling Character Guide tv talk Adult Swim Walt Disney Pictures hist golden globes werewolf diversity Apple TV Plus YouTube Premium strong female leads Arrowverse crime thriller festivals Lionsgate comic what to watch zero dark thirty social media Freeform E! psycho BBC Bravo binge christmas movies Polls and Games VICE TCA 2017 Disney streaming service slashers Dark Horse Comics blaxploitation breaking bad kids Fox News 2018 24 frames free movies adaptation NYCC Mary Poppins Returns quibi Extras Marvel Studios MSNBC thriller finale cops Film Festival sports Pirates crime book Baby Yoda canceled 2019 20th Century Fox Star Trek Crackle Hallmark ITV Hulu comiccon CBS American Society of Cinematographers Showtime ABC YA Peacock Captain marvel Pop jamie lee curtis screenings cooking children's TV Video Games travel crossover 2020 Women's History Month comics sequel cartoon Holiday ABC Family witnail TruTV LGBTQ USA Network spain hispanic Netflix Chernobyl TBS teaser directors dc MTV versus Spike Family ratings based on movie Writers Guild of America Rom-Com Sony Pictures stand-up comedy cancelled television TCA E3 Tumblr Sneak Peek robots cancelled TV shows Red Carpet Animation Disney Channel Classic Film batman Mudbound TCA Winter 2020 transformers The Purge Rocky game show disaster The CW Nickelodeon canceled TV shows Creative Arts Emmys Martial Arts Mary Tyler Moore green book talk show First Look spy thriller DGA Teen vampires discovery Tarantino doctor who ghosts Premiere Dates FXX Infographic DirecTV 007 Box Office OneApp adventure medical drama romantic comedy TV renewals SXSW 71st Emmy Awards Set visit Schedule Amazon Lifetime Christmas movies Best and Worst Election Calendar Summer Pet Sematary TLC Spectrum Originals dceu game of thrones aliens anime Fantasy CMT TV cancelled Horror joker Reality Anna Paquin politics police drama Emmys Columbia Pictures movies Comic Book See It Skip It YouTube TCM MCU supernatural Music Sundance TV The Walking Dead Stephen King A&E indie NBC Sundance dramedy Black Mirror CBS All Access name the review Comics on TV unscripted sitcom Britbox WGN Awards Tour IFC Films Mary poppins Super Bowl Grammys PBS Reality Competition sag awards Lucasfilm