When a relatively unknown streaming platform announced it was making a biopic film of parody king Weird Al Yankovic – there was really only one man for the job.
It was revealed Daniel Radcliffe had signed on to play the musician soon after, joining actors such as Rami Malek and Taron Egerton who have starred as real-life performers in biopics in recent years.
Though unlike Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, this biopic is a parody – a reimagining of Yankovic’s life with everything from jumping into bed with Madonna, to wielding machine guns in South American drug dens.
Speaking to Backstage, the TV and film podcast from Sky News, Radcliffe said he didn’t feel pressure playing Weird Al.
“There was something quite liberating for us about how different the people we’re playing are from their real-life counterparts,” he explained.
“You know, if I had been walking off set, and it was a ‘Serious Al’ biopic, I’m sure I would have been looking at Al every time and being like, ‘Oh, is he happy with that?’ Like, ‘is that moment we’ve recreated alright?’
“But, you know, when I’m walking down the table, letting loose with a machine gun, it definitely gives you a lot of licence to go ‘we’re just we’re doing something crazy and different’.
“If somebody played me as a crazy person, I’d be delighted.”
Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood, who plays a scheming Madonna, added: “I would have had to have gone to a boot camp if I was really doing her.”
She was referring to the rumours that actresses vying to play the Ray Of Light singer in her own biopic had to go through a gruelling dancing and singing bootcamp.
Instead, Wood “watched as many interviews and videos as I could and then thought, ‘great, now just turn her into a raging sociopath, and we’re there'”.
The movie was made in a miniscule amount of time, with filming taking just 18 days in early 2022.
Not only that, but it packs in cameos in just about every single scene – from the likes of Jack Black and Lin-Manuel Miranda, to Conan O’Brien and Weird Al himself.
Plus factor in musical performances in kitchens, all the way up to stadiums – this shoot could not have been easy.
However, the breakneck speed of production wasn’t a barrier, Radcliffe told Backstage, saying instead it felt “amazing”.
“It was the fastest shoot I’ve ever done. It was amazing – it was so well-prepared, that you did feel like you were basically getting enough time for everything and everyone came in super prepared.
“Everyone came in also and realised very quickly, ‘oh, we’re getting like two, maybe three takes of everything. And that’s just that’s what it is, and you can’t be too precious about it’.
“The vibe on set was just… it did feel very celebratory all the time. There was no one on set that was indifferent to Al’s work.”
For Wood and Radcliffe – maybe in a few years we’d see films about their illustrious careers, as biopics seem to start becoming part of the Hollywood churn.
But who would play them?
“I almost need to feel like I need to stop giving this answer because we do get mistaken for each other all the time, and I think it’s probably annoying him, but Elijah Wood is the obvious place to play me in a parody of my life,” Radcliffe told Backstage.
Radcliffe and Wood became household names at similar times in the early noughties, with the pair starring in the lead roles in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises.
Wood says Rachel Brosnahan, the star of Marvellous Mrs. Maisel would play her, saying she is often mistaken for the actress.
Weird streams on Roku, a free streaming service, from 4 November.