Harry Potter Would Do Shakespeare

Face it, Daniel Radcliffe, you’ll forever be known as Harry Potter. And I know, it’s not terribly newsworthy to hear that he’d “love to do Shakespeare one day”. But since he seems intimidated by the idea (he admits that he’d need a lot of direction), I thought it might make for some interesting conversation to ask…. which character for him?
I figure that his name recognition alone at this point would require that he get a fairly lead role, there’ll be no Banquo or Benvolio for him. But do we see him as a Romeo? I don’t think so. It would be a fun character turn to see him try Iago, but come on, the kid’s intimidated by Shakespeare already, do you really want to start him there?
How about Benedick?

9 thoughts on “Harry Potter Would Do Shakespeare

  1. Benedick might be good because it's a great role but, since it's so much prose, possibly less intimidating for someone new to Shakespeare. I could also see him taking a crack at Orlando, Biron, Lysander… for his age, the charming comedic leads seem right. We can move him into tragedies later. 😉 He might also make a really lovely Prince Hal.

  2. I agree that being part of a comedic ensemble is the best way in for him. Benedick seemed promising on first thought, but then there is that element that he and Beatrice have a long complicated "history" behind them — might leave a very young actor at a disadvantage.

    I agree with Cass that Orlando, Berowne, one of the two Midsummer boys, Orsino… those are the way to go.

    Coley's ideas seem like veiled putdowns of Radcliffe, as those are the two most thankless male juvenile roles in the canon — Claudio because after a promising start he turns into such a heartless jerk when he doesn't get entirely lost, and Sebastian because he has few scenes, those purely reactive, and everyone assumes he's been cast only because he resembles the leading lady.

  3. Wow, Jon, I meant no disrespect to Mr. Radcliffe. Those two happen to be two of my favorite characters from two of my favorite plays.

    I just love to feel that my opinion is unwelcome or wrong. You've just made my day!

  4. Sorry for misunderstanding, Coley! There are lots of people around who'll sneer at "that guy who plays Harry Potter," and I was probably overprotective.

    I like both those parts myself, but I've known (and read of) actors who were less than grateful for being given them; Sebastian is apt to be forgotten, Claudio to be disliked. Apologies for misreading you (and, in retrospect, sounding more accusatory than I felt — I meant to describe an impression, not point a finger).

  5. I always imagine Orsino as older… Actually, any of the lovers who go in for the world-weary, Byronic hero stuff are older in my head. So it's hard to see Radcliffe as Berowne or Benedick either.

    Orlando is a good start, as would be Lysander or Demetrius. I'll also suggest Ferdinand, since his scenes with Miranda have the potential to steal the show.

    I concur with Cass that working up to Prince Hal would be really fantastic. Also, his first tragic role should be Mercutio, hands down.

  6. Prince Hal was my first thought too.

    Radcliffe as Edgar in King Lear, though, seems to me like it would be perfect with the right Gloucester. He has the vulnerability and the tenderness.

  7. No worries, Jon. I was feeling a little oversensitive yesterday.

    I actually think Daniel Radcliffe is a good actor with great potential and would love to see him do Shakespeare.

  8. You know, it's funny – I went right to Hal as well, and then immediately thought "Oh god no, not for his first performance."

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