May 21, 2022

Daniel Radcliffe loved playing a villain in ‘The Lost City’: ‘It’s always nice to do something different’ For Daniel Radcliffe, it felt good to be bad.

The English actor, who rose to fame playing the heroic Harry Potter, embraced portraying an eccentric villain in the new adventure-comedy “The Lost City.”

“It’s always nice to do something different. It’s not something I do a lot of in my career, sort of as the bad guy, so it’s very, very fun,” Radcliffe told the Daily News.

“There’s great stuff about playing a hero … but it’s lovely to spend a film not having to be the emotional center of the film or the eyes of the audience or anything like that, and just to kind of go, oh yeah, I don’t even have to be sympathetic or likeable or any of those things. There’s something very freeing about that.”

Radcliffe stars in the movie, in theaters Friday, as Abigail Fairfax, a bombastic billionaire obsessed with recovering an ancient artifact from the Lost City of D.

He kidnaps romantic novelist Loretta Sage, played by Sandra Bullock, after she references the Lost City in her book, hoping she can help him find the treasure. Loretta’s cover model, portrayed by Channing Tatum, then begins an ill-equipped rescue mission, kicking off chaos in the jungle.
“It’s very, very heightened in situations and the characters are in danger all the time, but even in those situations everyone’s still very quippy and funny,” Radcliffe said. “There’s something very classic-feeling about that. The journey the audience should go on is really just fun. There’s great action and there’s thriller elements, and it is a very compelling story, but ultimately you’re kept hooked because you love the characters.”

Radcliffe, 32, enjoyed playing a villain in a comedy, saying he approached the antagonist role differently than he would have in a straight drama.

“He is the least favorite son of a media mogul,” Radliffe said of his character. “He is kind of amoral and villainous, but all of his villainy is motivated by a very human and slightly pathetic need to be liked, and (he) desperately wants his dad to be impressed by him. The evil actions are almost from a very mundane and human place, which I think was clever.”

Production took place in the Dominican Republic, with many scenes shot in the actual jungle.
The setting provided “extraordinary scenery” that’s featured throughout “The Lost City,” said Radcliffe, who appreciated the film using a helicopter unit rather than drones to capture the natural beauty.
“We had a proper helicopter unit on this, so (with) some of those shots of the ocean and of the mountains, you really feel the scope of it in a different way,” Radcliffe said. “It’s very, very cool.”

The actor, who has also frequently starred on Broadway throughout his career, said it was a thrill to work with Bullock and Tatum.
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“I grew up obviously on the ‘Potter’ films and working with extraordinary actors like Maggie Smith and Richard Harris, but I didn’t as a young child really have an appreciation for who they were and what their work had been,” he said. “Whereas I grew up watching Sandra’s movies, so to be on set with her is incredibly special. Very nerve-wracking at first, but thankfully she puts you at ease pretty quickly.”

“The Lost City” had its world premiere this month at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, marking Radcliffe’s first time at a cinema since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was just joyous,” Radcliffe said. “It was so nice to sit in there with an audience and listen to them react to stuff. It was very much a reminder, like, oh yeah, this is why cinemas are good and this is why I’ve missed this.”