In what is clearly an attempt to lull American protagonists into a false sense of security, British person Daniel Radcliffe has declared that Americans are bad at writing British villains. That comes from an interview Radcliffe gave to HitFix regarding his new film Victor Frankenstein, and a lot of the discussion seems to have revolved around some issues that Radcliffe had with the original script (written by Chronicle’s Max Landis, an American). Radcliffe says he has noticed that Americans tend to write English villains as “very, very verbose, to a point where they actually become a little less scary,” adding that they’re “just charming.” Appropriately, he notes that his film’s director, Paul McGuigan (from Scotland), “brought a sense of real menace and danger” in his rewrite of the script.
Reading between the lines, then, it’s clear that Radcliffe is arguing that Americans should leave the writing of British villains to British people. On the one hand, sure, they’ll have a better understanding of what the parliament does and how to pronounce aluminum in weird ways, but on another, more sinister hand, a British writer will also be biased toward the British villain instead of the American hero. So their country looks cooler, they’ll make their bad guys smarter, more intimidating, and more capable, while the Americans look more oafish, lazy, and stupid by comparison. If a British villain isn’t charming, then they’ll be scary, and if Americans are scared of British people, then the Queen will be able to march right up to the White House and take over.
So no, Daniel Radcliffe, British people shouldn’t be the only ones to write British villains. America won the war, and with that win we earned the right to make our bad guys charming and pronounce aluminum however we damn well please. (Imagine that a rousing, pro-America song is playing in the background right now.) Anyway, Victor Frankenstein will be in theaters on November 25.