Daniel Radcliffe Laughs Off Overzealous Fan Mob in Venice

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

Two years after the "Harry Potter" franchise came to a close, Daniel Radcliffe's fans are just as enthusiastic as ever. In fact, they might be a little too enthusiastic.

Italian police and a security team had to step in on Sunday when Radcliffe made an appearance at the Venice Film Festival. Crowds broke through the barricades to get a closer look at the British star, who was on hand for the premiere of his new film "Kill Your Darlings." Radcliffe soon found himself mobbed.

While the 24-year-old was briefly surrounded by a large pack of over-zealous well-wishers, armed with cameras and autograph books, the actor displayed an admirable sense of humor about the situation.

"Thankfully, it's not always like this," Radcliffe said at a press conference. "I've been dealing with it in various ways since I was 11. I don't take it seriously, actually I think it's funny."

[Photos: 70th Venice Film Festival]

Radcliffe also seemed happy that fans were coming out to support a project that represents a serious change of pace for him. In "Kill Your Darlings," Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg, the celebrated beat poet who faced obscenity charges for his groundbreaking 1955 work "Howl," and openly celebrated his homosexuality and use of marijuana long before either was a subject of conversation in 'polite society.'

"I'm incredibly grateful for the swirl of support behind me." Radcliffe said. "My fans seem to be excited by the unconventional path I am taking."

Radcliffe took a moment to discuss how much it meant to him to have the chance to play one of the major figures of American poetry. "I love poetry and it was fantastic to get the part and have the opportunity to dive into Ginsberg's life," Radcliffe said. "The diaries he made when he was young gave me an amazing insight into his character."

With Harry Potter safely in his rear view mirror, Radcliffe has been eager to take on edgier roles. In addition to "Kill Your Darlings," which opens in American theaters on October 18, Radcliffe will soon be seen in "Horns," an offbeat fantasy in which his character grows antlers after the unexpected death of his girlfriend, and "The F Word," a romantic comedy-drama about friends who discover their feelings for one another have stopped being platonic.

"Kill Your Darlings," "Horns," and "The F Word" are all playing at the Toronto International Film Festival, which opens Thursday, September 5. Hopefully, the famously polite Canadian audience will treat Radcliffe with a little more courtesy, or at least offer him beer and doughnuts after they storm the gates.