Daniel Radcliffe Actually Learned Accordion to Portray ‘Weird Al’ in Biopic
Daniel Radcliffe plays "Weird Al" Yankovic in the upcoming WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story. But the actor wasn't content to just mime along with an instrument for the portrayal.
No, Radcliffe went out and learned to play Yankovic's signature instrument — the accordion — to properly embody the beloved comedy-music entertainer. That's what the actor told Screen Rant in part of a new interview that emerged on Wednesday (March 16).
When asked if he knew all of Yankovic's songs now, the Harry Potter star noted that he knew many of them before being cast. But he suggested he has a fuller understanding of many of the tunes after learning some of the parts on the accordion.
"I knew a lot of them before, but now I definitely know, and now I can play some of the accordion," Radcliffe said. "So that's a big step up from where I was before."
Viewers got a first look at Radcliffe in costume as Yankovic last month. Along with the entertainer's identifiable glasses and curly hair, an accordion was prominent in the photo.
Sharing the image on Feb. 22, Yankovic joked, "SHOOT DAY #8: It never fails — we're trying to shoot a movie here, and this cosplayer weirdo tries to crash our set. Ugh! I mean, I love my fans, but… boundaries, people! Don't worry, we had security throw him out."
WEIRD is being produced by the streaming and digital media company Roku and will premiere on The Roku Channel, which doesn't require a Roku device to watch. However, there's no release date for WEIRD just yet. The biopic was first announced in January. Yankovic wrote the film with Funny or Die scribe Eric Appel.
In a statement, Yankovic said, "When my last movie UHF came out in 1989, I made a solemn vow to my fans that I would release a major motion picture every 33 years, like clockwork. I'm very happy to say we're on schedule. And I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me. … I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for."
Yankovic has delighted listeners with his comedy music for decades. He first came to public attention as a contributor to the Dr. Demento radio show, eventually seeing his song parodies grow in popularity with his self-titled debut album in 1983. "Eat It," "Another One Rides the Bus" and "My Bologna" are among his earliest releases, followed by songs such as "Like a Surgeon," "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Amish Paradise."