'The Woman in Black': Did you have a hard time watching Daniel Radcliffe play a father?

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Image Credit: Nick Wall

Like many, I was excited to see Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black this weekend. 1) I like scary movies. 2) The reviews were promising. And, most importantly, 3) I was excited to see post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe on the big screen.

I was not among those lucky enough to check out Radcliffe on Broadway, but had heard enough good things to go into the film with confidence that I could believe him in another role — see him as something other than a wand-wielding boy of magic. And, to my pleasure, that’s exactly what happened — with one small issue: I didn’t think he was old enough to play a father.

Now, I’ll address one fact immediately: Yes, I know Radcliffe is 22 years old, an age at which many people are already parents. (In the film, his son is four years old.) But perhaps as a result of his youthful Potter image, I couldn’t bring myself to see him in such a light.

That’s not to say his acting was sub par. Quite the contrary, in fact. At many points during the film, I found myself addressing the character quite easily as “Arthur,” which is always a sign that I’ve fully committed to the story before me. (Does anyone else have silent conversations with the characters during movies? “Arthur, you idiot, why are you walking back into that child’s creepy-ass room?!” I digress…) But the fact remains that when we first learned his character had a son, I was taken aback. Immediately, turned to my movie buddy and cried foul. (Yes, I heeded the warnings and did “not watch it alone.”) He agreed.

So my question, I suppose, is were you able to easily imagine Radcliffe as a father while watching the film? Or were you, like me, stunned by your own inability to see him in such a role?

I find it hard to believe that this matter wasn’t addressed by the filmmakers at some point. And if it was, perhaps their thinking was that Radcliffe’s youthful appearance added to the character’s vulnerability and made you feel more sympathetic for the young, over-his-head father. If that’s the case, then bravo. They were ten steps ahead of me. The idea came to me only after I’d let the issue germinate overnight. (In case you’re wondering, I slept fine.)

Still, it was enough of an issue for me to bring up now. So I’m curious about your thoughts on the matter, friends. Do share.


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