Daniel Radcliffe on the unhealthy stigma of male vulnerability: We should be able to be hurt or worried and it not be viewed as weak

'Its healthy to be in contact with whatever darkness you have within you. The people in denial of it are among the least healthy,' the Horns actor said

Jenn Selby
Wednesday 29 October 2014 14:26

Daniel Radcliffe has highlighted the negative impact social pressures on men to conceal how they are truly feeling from each other has on their mental health.

The Horns actor admitted that he and his male friends had a problem being “communicative” with each other because having “serious conversations” often leaves them feeling “uncomfortable”.

“There is a huge amount of stigma around showing vulnerability around your friends or weakness, or showing that you’re worried about something or showing that you’re hurt, or whatever it is,” he told The Independent.

“That’s such bulls**t. We should be able to be that around each other and it not be viewed as weak.

“One of the great things about being an actor is part of the job, one of the main requirements is vulnerability,” he continued elsewhere. “And the ability to be that. And I think that’s very healthy.

“And we are not very communicative. I have one male friend that I can have like serious conversations about anything with, and for most other things I will generally talk to girls. There’s a tendency with guys that you get to a point where you go, ‘It’ll all be fine! Forget about it!’ And move on. Because it’s uncomfortable.”

Radcliffe plays the part of Ig Parish in the gothic fantasy - an innocent murder suspect harassed by the media and branded a “devil” by the public after he is falsely accused of the brutal killing of his girlfriend Merrin (played by Juno Temple).

As he tries to clear his name, he miraculously starts growing horns and slowly turns into a devil. While an aesthetic burden, the horns wield the magical ability for Ig to draw out the darkest inner thoughts from whomever he comes into contact with – and ultimately uncover the truth.

“But at no point does he judge them for what they feel,” he said of the role. “I mean, he’s horrified by it, but he gives people permission to feel the awful dark things that they feel.

Daniel Radcliffe in Horns

“There’s an Australian comedian Brendon Burns who I’m obsessed with. He has this great line, he says that ‘Feelings aren’t facts… They are real and they are human and they are understandable but they can never be judged against any kind of moral scale’. And I feel like the joy in everyone confessing to Ig being able to confess without being judged to do the worst thing in your head.”

Radcliffe, who also played the lead role of Arthur Kipp in The Women In Black, said he was particularly attracted to the gothic and horror genre because, like the part of Ig, it allowed him to explore his own inner-demons without social judgement.

“I think it’s a very healthy thing to be in contact with whatever darkness you have within you. I think the people who are in denial of it being there among the least healthy people.

“What draws me to fantasy and horror and things like that is the chance to talk about deep, dark intense themes, like, in this film, the loss of the love of your life, or your sense of being an outsider and being alienated while kind of wrapping those themes in a really fun, crazy story.”

Horns is in cinemas across the UK today.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments