Daniel Radcliffe was as stunned as the rest of us when he found out that he was going to play “Weird Al” Yankovich in a biopic film, to the point that Radcliffe had to ask the comedy icon — whom he had never met — “Why me?”
In an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” Friday, Radcliffe said that Yankovich had watched an old appearance from “13-14 years ago” of the “Harry Potter” star on “The Graham Norton Show.” In it, Radcliffe performed a bit of an obscure song called “The Elements,” a 1959 song from humorist Tom Lehrer in which he recites all the elements of the Periodic Table to the tune of a Gilbert and Sullivan song.
“I sang ‘The Elements’ next to Colin Farrell and a very bemused Rihanna who was like, ‘who is this kid and why is he singing all of the elements,'” Radcliffe told Fallon. “I guess Al saw that and was like, ‘This guy maybe gets it.’ So I’m very very lucky.”
Radcliffe’s film is called “WEIRD: The Weird Al Yankovic Story,” which already completed filming and Radcliffe said he hopes comes out later this year, where it will be release for free on The Roku Channel. The film will focus on the prolific career of the Grammy-winning musician and pop cultural comedy icon, and Radcliffe additionally said that he can die happy now knowing that he got to take accordion lessons from the legend himself.
“I’m rarely excited to see the stuff that I’m in, I’m very excited to see that. It’s a fully insane movie, and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” he said. “He gave me his own accordion to practice on for the month, and on day 2 of that, I broke one of his straps.”
“WEIRD” is being co-produced by Funny or Die and was co-written by Yankovich along with Eric Appel, who is also directing. And Weird Al hasn’t been shy about posting behind the scenes shots from the movie, including the first look at Radcliffe donning the Hawaiian shirt and even Evan Rachel Wood playing Madonna.
If you want to see just how strange and hilariously awkward Radcliffe’s performance of “The Elements” was, you can check it out below. And for those curious, you can see a live performance of Tom Lehrer’s version of “The Elements” here. Watch Radcliffe’s appearance on Fallon above.