Daniel Radcliffe on the difficulties of perfecting an Irish accent for his new play The Cripple of Inishmaan


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The Independent Culture

Daniel Radcliffe has spoken about his struggle with perfecting an Irish accent for his new role as a disabled boy in Martin McDonagh’s play The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Radcliffe, whose father is from Northern Ireland, said he was “pretty pleased” with his accent but hoped it would get stronger throughout the run of the London production.

“Learning an accent is an on-going thing. I’m pleased with it to be honest and most of the cast, many of whom are Irish, seem pretty happy with it. So it’s definitely going to get better and better the more I do it,” he told the BBC.

The actor added he thought the Irish accent was funnier than the English one.“It’s a fun accent to talk in and the stuff that wouldn’t necessarily be funny in an English accent for some reason is just funnier in an Irish accent,” he said.

Radcliffe’s role as Irish ‘cripple’ Billy Craven will be his third major theatre appearance since Harry Potter, after starring in Equus in 2007 and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway in 2011.

“Every time I come to the stage it’s a different character, I learn something new and I think I grow," he said. "For people who have followed my career, they’re used to me picking darker, slightly less predictable material and this definitely comes under the same category."

Away from the stage, the actor has starred in A Young Doctor’s Notebook, The Woman in Black and the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays beat poet Allen Ginsberg, due to be released this autumn.

But the actor hoped he will not be the main attraction of The Cripple of Inishmaan. “I know my face is on the poster, but ultimately people should come to see a great play. I think Billy is the character through whom the audience gets the story- it’s very much an ensemble piece about the island and everyone who lives on it.”