Radcliffe says he loves the aspect of his character Abigail Fairfax, The Lost City’s eccentric billionaire antagonist, being both funny and pathetic.
Daniel Radcliffe, star of the action-adventure comedy The Lost City, describes the personality of his villainous character Abigail Fairfax as “pathetic” and “very funny.” Having initially cut his acting teeth as a child in various projects, Radcliffe is one of the most recognized and beloved film stars in the world thanks to his portrayal of the titular boy wizard in the Harry Potter movie franchise. However, since bidding farewell to the character following Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011, Radcliffe has enjoyed a varied career playing a smorgasbord of distinctive roles that are a far-cry from his most famous performance. From haunted lawyer Arthur Kipps in The Woman in Black, to flatulent corpse Manny in Swiss Army Man and “Weird Al” Yankovic in the upcoming biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, Radcliffe has proven his versatility as an actor time and again since leaving Hogwarts behind him.
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Radcliffe’s most recent project, The Lost City, sees the actor in yet another eccentric role, playing billionaire and international criminal Abigail Fairfax. Directed and co-written by the Nee Brothers, the movie sees Fairfax kidnapping romance novelist Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) so that she can lead him to the priceless treasure known as the “Crown of Fire,” as she has based her novels on genuine historic research. Featuring an impressive cast that also includes Channing Tatum, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Oscar Nunez and Brad Pitt, The Lost City has exceeded box office expectations as well as earning itself a number of positive reviews for its fun and humorous take on the action-adventure genre.
Radcliffe has now provided his thoughts on how he sees his wealthy and idiosyncratic antagonist. Speaking in an interview with Empire, the star outlines how Fairfax is “a very funny villain” because “there’s something so pathetic about all of his motivations,” especially given that “he thinks he’s really cool and nice.” Read Radcliffe’s full account of his character below:
I think directors go one of two ways with me. Maybe less so now, but after Potter in particular, if 50% of directors only saw me as one thing and only saw me as Harry, then the other 50% were excited by the chance to be the people who showed me as something else. I think these directors were really excited about getting to show me as this sociopathic villain. But he’s also a very funny villain, to me. There’s something so pathetic about all of his motivations. It’s the idea that, obviously, no one’s the villain of their own story, so he thinks he’s really cool and nice, and he’s kidnapping Sandra’s character, all the while thinking, “If you really think about it, you’ll find being kidnapped is fun! If you realize what a cool opportunity this is.” That was a very, very funny aspect of this character for me.
Radcliffe’s love for the movie and the role is palpable, a feeling which he has often exclaimed in various interviews. Along with explaining how working with Bullock was “mind-blowing” for him, Radcliffe compared The Lost City to The Mummy (1999), the latter being one of his favorite films. It’s certainly evident that the humor that Fairfax carries as an eccentric antagonist was a huge selling-point for the actor in taking on the role. In particular, the pathetic element of his character in thinking that he’s actually a really nice guy despite kidnapping Loretta appears to have been especially appealing to him. But as well as this, the fact that he claims “these directors were really excited about getting to show [him] as this sociopathic villain” once again highlights the name Radcliffe has made for himself post-Potter in adopting such a diverse catalogue of unusual roles that have no resemblance to the boy wizard.
As Radcliffe has played a number of bizarre characters in various offbeat movies over the past few years – such as Horns and Guns Akimbo – it could be that some audiences will start to associate the actor more with this type of genre than with Harry Potter. It also suggests that it is a genre that Radcliffe has found a real passion for, meaning that the possibility of him portraying yet another quirky personality following his “Weird Al” performance is far from unlikely. And with speculation on a sequel to The Lost City gaining traction, it may well be that audiences might even get see Radcliffe portray the funny and pathetic Fairfax once again.
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About The Author
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Toby is a Movie/TV News writer for Screen Rant. With a degree in Scriptwriting and Performance from the University of East Anglia, his fascination and love for film goes all the way back to his first viewing of ‘Chicken Run’ (which he maintains is still the greatest film of all time).
He is currently based in the North East of England and in his spare time can be found writing plays, going for runs (or otherwise a short jog and calling it a run), and watching Classic Doctor Who.
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