Premiering on The Roku Channel November 4 is the biographical parody film ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,’ directed by Eric Appel, and written by Appel and “Weird Al” Yankovic.
The new film stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al Yankovic and openly tells the “true” story of Yankovic’s rise in the music business as a parody musician in the early 1980s.
‘Weird’ also describes Yankovic’s discovery by radio personality Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), and his fictional romance with pop star Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood).
Moviefone recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood to talk about their work on ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,’ the outrageous screenplay, portraying fictionalized versions of Yankovic and Madonna, and working with “Weird Al.”
Moviefone: First of all, Daniel, what was your first reaction to this outrageous scenario and what was your approach to playing “Weird Al” Yankovic?
Daniel Radcliffe: When I first read it, I immediately didn’t know what to expect. Then as soon as I started reading it I was like, “Oh right. What else could be a Weird Al biography than a parody of a biography?” As soon as I realized what the joke was, I was like, “This is so clever, so funny and I’m in.”
Once that’s a starting point, once you’ve done a biographical film where the point isn’t accurate, then you have permission to be like, “Oh, okay, I can get as close to Al as I can, but then we can actually start going to some of the places that really matter.” really wild as the film goes on.”
MF: Evan, you play Madonna, but you don’t actually play Madonna, you actually play a fictional version of Madonna. Did it give you some freedom when creating this character?
Evan Rachel Wood: Yes. I mean, to be honest, I don’t think I’d say yes to playing Madonna except in this context, in comedy, in some sort of parody. Otherwise, it will be too much pressure.
So, that makes it a little more relaxed, but I take it seriously anyway, because when you play an icon like Madonna, you can’t just walk past it. So, I really did research and watched a lot of interviews and shows to prepare for it.
MF: What do you think Madonna’s real reaction was when she saw the movie?
ERW: I mean, I thought he’d find it funny, I hope. He actually reached out to Al to have him parody one of his songs so that part of the film was accurate. So, I’m going to go ahead and say he’s going to like it.
MF: Daniel, you have some scenes in the movie where you play “Weird Al” and “Weird Al” Yankovic which is actually in the scene with you playing different characters. What was it like working with him on set, was it real?
DR: Those two scenes were our first and second day of shooting. I think especially the one with Will Forte, where I stubbed out the cigarette in his hand. It was a great scene to do early on, because I think they showed the tone of the film and they built it really well.
Honestly, Al also wears that wig and not having his usual hair means people walk past him all day. He was on set and people were saying, “Has anyone seen Al?” He’s like, “Yeah, I’m here.” But I think that’s the most obvious thing about how he looked nothing like Al at the time.
MF: Did Al give you any advice on how to play it, or how to play it?
DR: Naturally. I mean, on set, most of the notes for me were actually on the accordion. He would just say, basically, that he didn’t want me to look ugly on the accordion like I naturally did. So, he’s like, “Could you do it a little more broadly and look like you know what you’re doing a little bit more?” He said it was better than that. But other than that, he was a very uplifting presence on set.
MF: Lastly, Evan, was there one scene in the movie that you really enjoyed shooting?
ERW: I mean, to be honest, every day is a lot of fun to shoot. I never wanted to let go of Madonna’s closet. At the end of the day, there’s always a sad moment like, “Oh no. I have to take off the bracelet and the cross.”
This is very fun. Everyone wants to be Madonna in the eighties at some point in their life. I don’t care who you are. So, honestly, it’s hard to pick one. They are all great!
Weird: Al Yankovic’s Story
“A strange belonging to the world.”
Daniel Radcliffe is Al Yankovic’s “Strange” in an unmistakable true story about the greatest musician of our time. From conventional upbringing where to play… Read the Plot