Radcliffe ‘weirded out’ by media focus on gay sex scenes in new film

Actor says he found incessant questioning at the Sundance Film Festival ‘strange’

Daniel Radcliffe has voiced his frustration at the furore generated by the gay sex scenes in his new film – hinting that the industry still has a problem with portraying same-sex romances.

The 23-year-old star of the Harry Potter films said he had been “weirded out” by incessant questioning at the Sundance Film Festival about the sex scenes in Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays the gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

In the film, the young Ginsberg experiments with drugs and alcohol and has oral sex performed on him in a library. Radcliffe, who is straight, is shown kissing a man in one scene and making love to a sailor in another.

The actor, who is a vocal supporter of gay rights, said he had been left bemused after walking the red carpet at the Eccles Theatre in Utah at the weekend, as the majority of the questions put to him focused on the film’s gay scenes.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “I don’t know why a gay sex scene should be any more shocking than a straight sex scene. Both of them are equally un-shocking.”

Radcliffe expressed particular surprise that some people seemed more alarmed by the gay sex scenes than his previous role in the play Equus, in which he played a character who was sexually attracted to horses.

He told MTV: “What weirded me out the most last night was people were asking me all these questions about the gay sex scenes. I was like: ‘You know I did Equus?’. Some people are asking me questions like this is a more shocking subject, which is so strange.”

Describing the experience of filming the intimate scenes, he said: “It was something new. But you know what, we shot that whole scene in maybe an hour and a half so it was incredibly fast-paced. I didn’t really have time to stop to think and worry about it.”

Radcliffe stars alongside Elizabeth Olsen and Michael C Hall in Kill Your Darlings, which is garnering positive early reviews. The film depicts the lives of other members of the Beat Generation including Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.

Radcliffe said the film’s director, John Krokidas, had helped prepare him for the sex scenes, saying he “was very helpful in furnishing me with a lot of graphic detail of what I would be experiencing at the various stages”.

He said it had helped that Krokidas had chosen a friend of his to play the sailor. “We were able to hang out a little bit on set and get to know each other a little bit, which is important when you’re doing a scene so intimate. You have to feel like you’re both in it together,” Radcliffe said.

The actor added that a straight female friend confided to him that she had been “turned on” by the sex scenes. Radcliffe told the director, who joked: “I told you girls were going to be into it.”

He is not the first bright young actor to play Ginsberg in recent years, following in the footsteps of James Franco in the 2010 movie Howl.

That film focused on Ginsberg’s 1957 obscenity trial following the publication of the seminal poem of the same name.

Kill Your Darlings follows earlier events: a 1944 murder and how it brought together Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs, three of the biggest names of the Beat Generation.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

art
Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

music
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer is believed to be playing a zombie wife in Patient Zero

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch oozes sex appeal with his 'Byronic looks' and Sherlock coat
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Clothing items bearing the badge have become popular among music aficionados
musicAuthorities rule 'clenched fist' logo cannot be copyrighted
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson will star in Seth MacFarlane's highly-anticipated Ted 2

film
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 'Gone Girl'

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style