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

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