For a 32-year-old who’s been in show business for more than 20 years, Daniel Radcliffe is doing more than okay. After being frank about his Harry Potter-era problems with alcohol (fueled in part by being Harry Potter), the former child megastar (and legitimate adult movie star) has forged a refreshingly eclectic path after the conclusion of the franchise that launched his career. Whether going starkers on Broadway, or playing an undercover skinhead, a guy forced to do unspeakable things to his parasite-riddled body, a horn-headed devil-guy, or even a “farty boner corpse,” Daniel Radcliffe is clearly game for pretty much anything. (Including clapping back against the high-profile bigotry of the very author whose books catapulted him to fame in the first place.)
And if you were sitting there asking if that gung-ho performing spirit extends to doing an anachronistically sexy dance to a disco-fied, royalty-free “She’ll Be Coming ’Round The Mountain” while wearing purple, spangly assless chaps, well, the Miracle Workers: Oregon Trail star answered the question definitively on Wednesday’s Late Show. With Stephen Colbert praising Radcliffe’s gameness with a clip from the era-hopping TBS series of Radcliffe’s Old West preache vogueing seductively in front of the bewildered patrons of a cowboy-packed saloon (co-star Steve Buscemi seemed into it, at least), the actor demurely refused to explain himself. “The less context people have on that clip, the better,” teased Radcliffe, enticing the live Late Show crowd to perhaps check out the third season of the reliably amusing Miracle Workers.
Colbert rehashed some more good-sport behavior from Radcliffe, throwing all the way back to a clip from 2020 where Radcliffe (Colbert’s first at-home pandemic Zoom interview) played along when The Late Show’s stumbling initial attempt at doing a show from Colbert’s house ran into some technical difficulties. In that neither person could hear the other, leaving Radcliffe to gamely pantomime answers to what he imagined were Colbert’s questions. Appearing in the Ed Sullivan Theater in person on Wednesday, Radcliffe apologized if all this lockdown rust left him incapable of the traditional in-studio chit-chat, but he did fine talking both to and in front of actual human beings.
He even nimbly dodged Colbert’s attempt to have his home flooded with swag, explaining, “I don’t even want to play this game,” when Colbert asked if there were any pandemic hobbies he was currently into. As Radcliffe demurred, that time as a child when he offhandedly mentioned how cool wolves are instigated an avalanche of wolf stuff to his soon-bursting parents’ house, and, while a recent slip of the tongue concerning his pandemic Lego habit was sort of welcome for a while, he’s learned his lesson the hard way. Colbert offered no such restraint, explaining that his pandemic penchant for “high-end bourbon” is ripe for fan encouragement. (Find The Late Show mailing address here.)