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Weird Al told Daniel Radcliffe not to ‘make him look like a shy accordionist’

The man himself had all the best notes for Radcliffe.

Daniel Radcliffe as "Weird Al" Yankovic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)
Image via The Roku Channel

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, the much-talked-about biopic about musical parody superstar Weird Al Yankovic, is set to hit The Roku Channel later this fall after a successful run at the Toronto International Film Festival. Currently boasting a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it looks like this will be one to tune in to.

The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as the titular accordionist, documenting and dramatizing his life events, from Dr. Demento to Madonna. The film is unique among biopics as it’s only loosely based on Yankovic’s life. Indeed, as is only appropriate for a rascal of Yankovic’s prestige, the film is a parody of the musician’s life, with many of the film’s plot elements and events being anywhere from egregiously played-up to entirely fictional.

But despite the comparative creative freedom bestowed by this biopic, it didn’t mean they had the liberty to drop the ball on portraying the man himself, and this wasn’t lost on Radcliffe; in an interview with Collider, Radcliffe recalled how Al Yankovic’s presence on set, a firm but fair and, ultimately, funny one, helped steer him in the right direction.

He’s very, very generous. Most of the notes that I got from him were musical, and particularly about the accordion. He was like, ‘Can you be a bit more expansive in how you’re pumping it? Because you’re a bit cautious with that,’ and he’s very expressive with it. So, I think he was a bit concerned that I was gonna make him look like a shy accordionist.

He would go on to point out that despite the pressure of portraying a real person, Al’s various chuckles of approval went a long way in relieving a good deal of it.

It was intimidating but also, as Evan said earlier, when you would see him laugh at something, you’d be like, ‘Okay, great! I can go home.’ It’s a very good seal of approval.

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will release on The Roku Channel on Nov. 4 later this year.

Charlotte Simmons
About the author

Charlotte Simmons

Charlotte is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered, a graduate of St. Thomas University's English program, a fountain of film opinions, and probably the single biggest fan of Peter Jackson's 'King Kong.' Having written professionally since 2018, her work has also appeared in The Town Crier and The East.