Daniel Radcliffe is actually used to being naked in front of audiences. The erstwhile Harry Potter starred in a 2007 West End production of "Equus," a performance which required him to disrobe in front of patrons each night. But that hasn't stopped attendees of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah from being shocked by Radcliffe's sex scenes in "Kill Your Darlings," an indie drama about Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation.
"It's shocking by the sheer fact that it's me," Radcliffe told Esquire.com's Logan Hill about the film's sex scenes. "Otherwise, it's entirely unshocking that I'm playing Allen Ginsberg in a film about self and sexual discovery, and there's a sex scene."
In addition to the sex scene, Radcliffe's Ginsberg also makes out with Dane DeHaan's Lucien Carr. As HuffPost Executive Arts & Entertainment Editor Michael Hogan wrote in his dispatch from the festival, "Plenty of male actors have passionately kissed male co-stars in films, as Radcliffe and the excellent Dane DeHaan do here, but it's hard to recall a Hollywood star as famous as this one simulating the act of homosexual lovemaking this explicitly -- knees in the air, lover on top of him -- or this vulnerably."
The authenticity of the sex, a one-night stand, is part of what pleased Radcliffe. "I'm just happy that it’s a well-done scene," he told Esquire. "[Director] John [Krokidas] had never seen the version of that scene that he wanted: gay sex in a film that felt very real. He wanted to achieve that and he did."
As for the controversy surrounding the onscreen encounter, Radcliffe is a bit perplexed. After all, he already appeared in the aforementioned "Equus" when he was just 17.
"What weirded me out the most last night was people were asking me all these questions about the gay sex scenes," Radcliffe told MTV after the "Kill Your Darlings" premiere on Jan. 18. "I was like, 'You know I did 'Equus?' Some people are asking me questions like this is a more shocking subject, which is so strange."
For more from the very thoughtful Radcliffe, including what he and Robert Pattinson have in common, head over to Esquire.
Sundance Film Festival 2013
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Radcliffe's character has onscreen sex with DeHaan's character. As Radcliffe told The Los Angeles Times, "I would like to make it clear at this point that Dane and I do not have sex in this film. That is a different character."