Radcliffe says he was attracted to the project because it was explicitly a horror film, but its strengths were uncommon to more contemporary scare fests. "It felt unusual for the genre because it’s character driven, and has some very strong themes," Radcliffe recently told press in New York City. "For me, the film is about what happens to us when we can’t move on from a loss. Arthur has become devastated, he's become completely disconnected from his life." And he's not alone in his grief either. "The woman in black has had a terrible wrong done to her, and has carried her grief and rage into the afterlife," he explains. "It’s a fight for closure, a fight for who can move on quicker. Everybody’s reacting to grief in a different way in this moment."
The film feels steeped in a history of the macabre that also appealed to Radcliffe, not necessarily a Hammer horror fan, but cognizant of the legacy of the ancient horror brand. "Having been in the British industry all your life, if you’re not working with someone who worked on those films, you’re working with their kids," he laughs. "The person who did my makeup on all the 'Potter' movies, her dad, Eddie Knight, did all the Hammer makeups. So growing up in the industry, you know how important those films were. Those, and the Ealing comedies, gave England a sense of confidence they didn’t have before." And Radcliffe definitely understands that he's a more modern element in a very classical framework often utilized by the original Hammer productions. "Peter Cushing was the still center of all those films, around which all of that chaos could develop," says Radcliffe. "I was aware that, had this film been made in a different time, Peter Cushing would have gotten that part."
It's not all fantasy and boogeymen for Radcliffe's future. He's also lined up a role as Allen Ginsberg in "Kill Your Darlings." The film, from first-time director John Krokidas, features a murder that brings together Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Ginsberg, who Radcliffe continues to research. "I’m reading the journals at the moment, I’m about to read the biography," he confirms. "He’s an extremely interesting character. In his life, he was more or less the most placatory person you can ever have met. He was all about keeping peace, trying to keep every situation calm, to not upset people. His mother had a deep personality disorder, so he was at home a lot of time as a kid, just trying to make sure everything was okay. Which is why it’s intriguing as to why he’s so confrontational in his writing, it was something that could never come out." And don't worry about the accent, says the very British Radcliffe. He says, "I’m working on my New Jersey Jew at the moment!"
"The Woman In Black" hits theaters today.