Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t suffer from commitment issues. The 25-year-old was faithful to the Harry Potter franchise for a decade, until the relationship came to its natural conclusion in 2011, leaving Radcliffe on the lookout for new passion projects. The size of the paycheque was no issue (he is, after all, Britain’s wealthiest celebrity under 30), so he was able to play the field a little. During the two years after the final Potter wrapped, he took on roles as diverse as a turn-of-the-century lawyer (The Woman in Black), beat poet Allen Ginsberg (Kill Your Darlings) and a possible murderer (Horns). “I think the misconception is that actors can plan things out long-term,” he says. “The reality is you never know which movies are going to get to the point of actually being made. You have to find as many potential parts as you possibly can and hope that some of them come off.”
His latest liaison, The F Word (Aug. 1), follows the delicate dance between two would-be lovers. Based on Toothpaste and Cigars, by Canadian playwrights TJ Dawe and Michael Rinaldi, and shot in Toronto—playing itself for once—it’s a romcom by most definitions (with a little unexpected slapstick), but minus the syrupy-sweet ideals. Radcliffe is Wallace, a broken-hearted med-school dropout who falls for Zoe Kazan’s Chantry, a spirited animator. The only snags? Chantry’s live-in boyfriend … and the fact that she wants to keep her relationship with Wallace platonic. The titular F-word is, in fact, friendship, posing the age-old When Harry Met Sally … conundrum: can men and women be friends? Radcliffe certainly thinks so. “But can men and women who are sexually and romantically attracted to each other stay just friends?” he asks. “Mmm, probably not. Those feelings will always rear their heads eventually.”
The actor, a self-described serial monogamist, has a love life decidedly less tumultuous than that of his on-screen counterpart (he’s been seeing Erin Darke, his Kill Your Darlings co-star, for two years). As someone perpetually coupled up, he has seldom indulged in the wild dating schedule of many millennials, but here’s what he’s gathered so far: seeing multiple people at once is “a minefield,” being single is “sh-t most of the time,” and he will likely never meet a girl off the Internet. “I find it interesting that people my age would rather sit in front of a screen analyzing someone’s potential than going out and meeting in person,” he says. “I’m a long way from Tinder!”
In The F Word, the chemistry between Radcliffe and Kazan crackles with intimacy born of off-screen bonding. “I’m a big geek, basically, and I think Zoe enjoyed that about me,” he says. “We would take the piss out of each other quite a lot.” Sounds like a perfect match.