PARK CITY, Utah -- Daniel Radcliffe has really left Harry Potter behind with a startling and explicit Sundance Film Festival role as poet Allen Ginsberg.
"Kill Your Darlings," the "Harry Potter" star's first film at the independent-cinema showcase, premiered Friday at Sundance and puts Radcliffe into daring territory.
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His young Ginsberg is initiated into booze and drugs, has oral sex performed on him in a library, makes out with one man and gets naked for sex with another man.
In a session with the audience after the premiere, Radcliffe was asked if he chose the role because it fit the "weird stuff" he likes.
Radcliffe said it was the second time that day he was asked the same question and conceded his tastes can run outside the mainstream.
"Films like this don't get made unless everyone involved loves them," Radcliffe said.
The film recounts a little-known story of murder involving Ginsberg's circle of friends, including fellow future beat heroes Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster).
Dane DeHaan co-stars as Ginsberg idol and intimate Lucien Carr, and the cast also includes Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Director John Krokidas said Radcliffe became his muse on the film and that it was clear within minutes of their first meeting that the part was his.
Krokidas said young Ginsberg starts as a dutiful son who spends his time taking care of others but eventually spills over with repressed passion.
"By the end of the movie, he is a poet and a rebel," Krokidas said. "I had a feeling Dan might be able to relate to this."