26 February, 2007

What I Have Against Dan Radcliffe's Penis

Okay. You. Stop with the joke that's in your head right now. I know you and I know what you're thinking. And I don't mean what you think I mean with the title of this post.

So let me explain myself.

Here I am, a married woman of a certain age, and an avowed Harry Potter fan. So of course you realise that the publicity pictures of Naked Dan Radcliffe--Harry Potter in the movies--would find their way to me somehow. (And no, I'm not going to link to them from here, because they are of questionable legality in the United States, him being 17 and all.)

Being a married woman who took a couple fine arts classes, I've seen a few naked men in my time. The male reproductive organ isn't new to me by any stretch (ha!) of the imagination.

Being a person who goes to the movies on occasion, I'm also aware that actors and actresses routinely appear in more than one role (if they're both good and lucky.)

Thing is, one of the things that I believe has made the Harry Potter franchise so successful across all generations is the fact that it tables discussion and exploration of sexuality in favour of other themes. So much of modern fiction (even Young Adult literature) is now so overtly sexualised that it has become very difficult to find entertaining books about themes like courage, honesty, friendship, romance and sacrifice without bringing the question of sex into play. With Harry Potter, JK Rowling created a world where the sexuality of characters was wholly incidental to the telling of the tale.

Of course, that hasn't stopped the sexualising of the series from any number of fanfic authors, wistful virgin teenagers and others. But that fanfic exists in its own ghetto and doesn't encroach upon the canon experience.

Dan Radcliffe's twig-n-berries, on the other hand, does. He's the face of Harry Potter and still appearing as Harry in at least one upcoming film. I know he doesn't want to be typecast as Harry Potter forever, but to mind as long as he is still playing Harry Potter, he is associated with that role. And flashing a picture of "his" (or some photoshopped model--the jury is still out on that) penis around the internet casts a bit of a red light upon what should be a non-sexualised experience.

I think it may be old-fashioned of me, but I do believe there is a time and a place for sex and the expression of sexuality. I think now is perhaps not the time and Harry Potter newsgroups are perhaps not the place for Dan Radcliffe's sexuality to be so overtly explored.

Ironically, the play which started this whole thing, Equus**, is all about the psychic pain of passion and teen sexuality and the force of nudity.




**In case you haven't seen it, I'll offer my one-sentence summary:

"I have no life so I made up a fixation about horses and then tried to have sex in front of the horses and couldn't get it up so I poked their eyes out and now this shrink thinks my fantasy horse world is cool."

I like Peter Shaffer a lot, but I have always profoundly disliked this play.

12 Comments:

At 7:25 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger bridgett said...

You do realize that the title of this post is going to be a perv magnet...

 
At 8:40 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger dolphin said...

or some photoshopped model--the jury is still out on that

Not really caring to see Dan Radcliffe naked, I probably haven't seen all the pictures that are out there, but the one frontal nude image I've seen (black and white, him with the horse) is definitely a photoshop, and not even a good one.

 
At 8:50 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger newscoma said...

As an old broad, I saw the picture and was sort of just creeped out.
I refuse to make a wand joke here.
Is he 18 yet?
Because when he does 18 than I will have a comment.

 
At 9:42 AM, February 27, 2007, Anonymous grandefille said...

It's long been beyond my ken why actors fearing they'll be typecast want to try to SHOCK folks into realizing that they're indeed not Harry Potter/Fox Mulder/Judy Winslow (from "Family Matters"). If you're good at your craft, you'll get roles other than what you're commonly recognized for. Plus, you'll get respect, Mr. Radcliffe et al, instead of strangers from Burma to Blountville gawking at your privates.

Although I must admit that I was briefly a member of the Old Women Strangely Fascinated by That Little Boy Club, I was completely ooked out by the bath scene in the film GoF because he is still a child. It alarmed me that the director chose to linger so creepily on Myrtle trying to peek (which was not the tone in the book), and it was clearly to pander to the "Hey, Dan, Boxers or Briefs" crowd. Those actors are all still children, and capitalizing on their nascent sexuality is sickening; publicists and agents creating opportunities for more Pamela Rogers-type antics is equally nauseating.

Your synopsis of Equus is spot-on, by the way. Even absent the "Harry Potter Nekkid!" aspect of it now, I can't abide the animal abuse.

 
At 9:56 AM, February 27, 2007, Anonymous Muffy said...

Did you catch him on Extras?

The HP fanfics are disturbing. Especially the ones about Snape. I won't go near those.

As for Daniel's meat n two veg... I'll wait till after the final movie to go look for pictures. I think he's a hottie now but I'm with you - I certainly don't need to see him bare all just yet.

 
At 10:25 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

but the one frontal nude image I've seen (black and white, him with the horse) is definitely a photoshop, and not even a good one.

That's the one I've seen. I'll admit I didn't look closely enough to examine it. I did notice that whomever they used was not circumcised.

I saw the picture and was sort of just creeped out.

I wasn't creeped out, per se. Irritated, but not creeped out. What did creep me out was that some jerk posted the link to it in a couple of my Harry Potter literary discussion groups. Groups which are frequented by kids as young as 13.

I also don't think DR & his publicity crew realise how much this photo will be used as bait by eager pedophiles interested in getting 13 year old girls to talk about sex.

It's long been beyond my ken why actors fearing they'll be typecast want to try to SHOCK folks

I don't get it either. And it frequently bites them in the hindquarters later.

Your synopsis of Equus is spot-on, by the way.

Thank you. I have a shorter one (Boy worships horses, Doctor worships boy, neither can have an erection) that I often use. I think Shaffer tried to accomplish something with Equus that just missed the mark. Fortunately he captured the essence of those themes much more elegently in Amadeus a few years later.

Did you catch him on Extras?

Yes, and I thought it was pretty funny. It still skeeved me a bit though, how they are exploiting his sexuality.

 
At 12:50 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger P. K. Nail said...

I think the problem with Equus - a play which I am quite fond of, by the way - is that people are too focused on the nudity aspect when that is a very minimal part of the actual play. This play came out just after Oh! Calcutta! and Hair were making onstage nudity kind of a fashion statement. The nudity in Equus is quite different indeed - it's not about shock; it's essential to the character's vulnerability in that moment and the shame that leads him to blind the horses.

People I know who have seen the play in previews - many of whom have somewhat inappropriate crushes on him (as do I, no need to be shirty :P) - have had far more to say about Radcliffe's outstanding performance and pretty much nothing to say about his ... fun parts. It is not written, nor I understand is it being performed, in any kind of titillating way. Unfortunately, the media in general do not understand that.

I'm seeing this play two weeks from Friday, and I'm quite excited and anxious. I've heard nothing but fulsome praise about the production, and Daniel in particular, and I can't wait to experience it.

And yeah, I'm pretty sure that's a photoshop job, too.

 
At 12:59 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I think the problem with Equus - a play which I am quite fond of, by the way - is that people are too focused on the nudity aspect when that is a very minimal part of the actual play.

In my case my personal problem with it is that I think Shaffer's understanding of the psychology was both infantile and overstretched. It reminds me of dorm room conversations with pretentious art majors. The only subtlety he achieves is with the sexual transferrence of the doctor. Equus teeters on the brink of being a great play but never achieves the heights of Shaffer's later work, in my opinion.

The nudity in Equus is quite different indeed - it's not about shock;

No, the nudity IN THE PLAY isn't about shock. But the publicity FOR THE PLAY clearly has been.

I'm seeing this play two weeks from Friday, and I'm quite excited and anxious. I've heard nothing but fulsome praise about the production, and Daniel in particular, and I can't wait to experience it.

I am jealous of your trip, but not of your having to sit through that monstrous play twice.

 
At 1:39 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger P. K. Nail said...

No, the nudity IN THE PLAY isn't about shock. But the publicity FOR THE PLAY clearly has been.

Indeed. I can understand them wanting to prepare people for what a divergence this will be from HP, and that may be what they claim they're trying to do. But it smacks of "sex sells" to me. I kid you not, when those pictures were released, I witnessed three or four people making posts saying essentially "Okay, that's it - now I HAVE to spend several hundred dollars to fly to London and see this play." I couldn't help thinking that if they were truly interested in the play, they wouldn't have waited for pics of a naked 17-year-old to make that decision.

I watched a couple of bits of Amadeus (the movie) last night, by the way. Salieri's commentary on "Contessa perdono" from Figaro (perhaps the most gorgeous piece of music ever) is a thing of beauty. And the dication of "Confutatis" from the Requiem is just ... genius. I can't hear that piece without savoring each of the elements in the score.

 
At 1:35 AM, June 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kid you not, when those pictures were released, I witnessed three or four people making posts saying essentially "Okay, that's it - now I HAVE to spend several hundred dollars to fly to London and see this play." I couldn't help thinking that if they were truly interested in the play, they wouldn't have waited for pics of a naked 17-year-old to make that decision.


Yeah, I definitely was interested in seeing the play. I even went out and read the book. The nudity scene is just a plus.

 
At 4:36 PM, September 19, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay well I'd like to say that I'm 14 and I've had a crush on Daniel Radcliffe since i was 10....although i was completely turned off by dan's naked picture....i must say that it is his decision and his decision only whether or not he wants to act in a nude play, and if he wants to post it on the internet, fine. Signing a contract to act in a major motion picture like Harry Potter shouldn't mean signing away one's right to express them self. I don't see you going around harassing every actor/actress in every single porno on the internet. Radcliffe isn't even engaging in sexual acts. Its much easier for a child to type in "Sex" or "Penis" on google than it is to type in "Daniel Radcliffe" Nakedness doesn't always have to mean sex. There is a reason that many statues from Greek and roman times are naked. I don't see you knocking those down or harassing museums for showing them. Being naked shouldn't be regarded as such a terrible thing. I agree that i was uninterested in dan after seeing the nude picture, but please don't harass him in honor of Harry Potter. His name is Daniel, not Harry, and if he thinks this play is something interesting, he should be allowed to take his part without being harassed.

 
At 3:05 AM, February 08, 2008, Anonymous Kofta said...

o.k. , people! it doesn't affect my reactions to the Harry Potter sequels... When you see Leo die in Titanic... you see him in other movies, you don't think... hey he died already, he cant be used in another movie.
I find a huge deal out of nothing. Crying outrage over "Harry Potter" in the nude...News flash people, Harry Potter is a character, not a person or an actor. Daniel Radcliffe is. Peoples children might idolize Harry Potter, but he is a character. Obviously Equus has very mature themes, so people should be smart enough to know better then to take their children to it, or allow their children to view content pertaining to it. I think it was summed up by this 13 year old that wrote into Larry King Live perfectly. "Harry Potter is not real. We can imagine that it's real, wish it could be, but it's fantasy. Daniel Radcliffe might bring him to life, but that's not who he is. He's an actor, allowed to act in more then Harry Potter films"
and Equus is a work of complex, i truly resent the summarization that you pulled, i read the book way before i knew they were shooting it , and the nudity is the extra and you can easily get by it without noticing and judging P.S. for it, he wanted to express the agony of a teenager and the confusion of a mature old therapist.
"Sorry I seem harsh but you have to admit that i am right."

 

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