Daniel Radcliffe: ‘The friend zone refers to a very male thing’ & it’s sexist

Daniel Radcliffe

I always get a little excited to see interviews with Daniel Radcliffe yet seldom cover them because he’s not a huge gossip draw. He’s so gracious and sweet, but he lacks controversy (with rare exception). So I usually resist posting about DanRad even when he confesses hilarious things like knowing the lyrics to every Emimem song (video here).

Anyway, here is a rare Radcliffe fix. He gave a pretty great interview to the Guardian to promote his new romantic comedy (!), What If. This is a movie about a guy in love with his best female friend (who is played by Zoe Kazan). Daniel rails against the use of the term “friend zone” to describe the film’s story. He’s very conscious of the sexist connotations of the word, and he wouldn’t allow producers use The Friend Zone as a title. Dan also says some hilarious things about his nude scenes and why he had to stop Googling himself. There’s also some not-so-happy topics of conversation, which include cluster headaches and the right moment to whip out one’s bitch on a pushy journo:

On past predictions of a career implosion: “[That's] hard to deal with, because a lot of us already have those fears anyway: what if this doesn’t last for ever?; what if I don’t end up working in 10 years? So for other people to then be asking you about those things all the time is like having your innermost fears confirmed by somebody outside of yourself. And that’s quite a challenging thing when you’re 17.”

He gets cluster headaches: “You have to be on blood pressure medication and have an ECG every so often … but don’t worry, I’m perfectly fine!”

On not calling the movie The Friend Zone: “I was like, no, we can’t do that, because it’s not a [phrase] I love,” he says, no doubt aware that the phrase has increasingly been under attack from feminists. “The friend zone refers to a very male thing … you never hear women say they’ve been put in the friend zone. And I think that’s because it’s just used by men who are p-ssed off that their mate won’t sleep with them.”

His girlfriend, Erin Darke: “She’s an obsessive Detroit Redwings fan – when your girlfriend can talk sh-t about sports better than the men she’s doing that with, that’s pretty sexy.”

On his career’s nude scenes: “I don’t mind it, but I’d like to make clear it’s not a request. I’m not sat there reading scripts thinking, how can I get my d–k out in this one?” He admits the naked scenes have caused him to increase his time in the gym, especially since he watched Kill Your Darlings and thought, “F—, I’m skinny as a rat!”

He fanboy-ed on Pete Doherty in a Eurostar station: “He was really really sweet. He let me waffle on for five minutes about how brilliant I thought his music was.”

He goes incognito to music festivals: “I wore a gas mask for [one] most of the time. I was with Rupert Grint and we really didn’t want to be recognised.”

Dan says he won’t talk about his alcohol issues, journo asks anyway: He fixes me with a surprisingly icy stare: “Why would you ask that when you know I don’t like to talk about it? If I had to give my younger self one piece of advice it would be, don’t talk about that in an interview. Because I’ve answered questions on it for three or four years since. And it’s such an insignificant part of my life that everyone just wants to talk about. Daniel Radcliffe alcoholic. Daniel Radcliffe gay. Daniel Radcliffe girlfriend.”

Are the gay rumors a sign he’s made it? “Probably. If people are speculating about your sexuality, then you’re doing OK. It f—s you up. You shouldn’t be on [Google] if you’re an actor. There’s a line in The Thick Of It – Googling yourself is like opening the door to a room full of people telling you how sh-t you are – and it’s exactly that. I first did it in my late teens and it was such a destructive thing for me to do.”

[From Guardian]

There’s so much in this interview that I could talk for days. I dig how Daniel shut down the question about alcohol. He acknowledged that the rumors of hard boozing were true but didn’t want to talk about it. Then the journo tried to push him to discuss anyway. Rude. The journo deserved the icy stare. Dan deftly shuts down talk of gay rumors and his relationship status. What he says about Google is funny, and the “destructive” description of self googling is probably true. I bet he still plugs his name into a search engine sometimes.

Dan’s been giving interviews all over the place. He talks more about his cluster headaches with the Independent. He says he was taking 12 painkillers a day, and nothing worked until he got on blood pressure meds. Sounds painful. He also spoke to USA Today about how he finds interest in celebrities to be “weird.” He says, “People ask me about my relationship, and I try to give a little away as possible. People are dying in the world, give time to that.” Yes, but celebrity gossip is escapism from all the true ills of the world.

Daniel Radcliffe

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

88 Responses to “Daniel Radcliffe: ‘The friend zone refers to a very male thing’ & it’s sexist”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. AuroraO says:

    He seems very self aware. I dig him. I’m glad he’s overcoming his problem with alcohol. Wish him well.

  2. allons-y alonso says:

    Thick of It reference for the win!!!!! I like Daniel Radcliffe. He seems like a lovely guy and I respect people that don’t take anyone else’s BS ……That, and the fact he knows all the words to Tom Lehrer’s ‘the elements’ – that is impressive :)

  3. Eleonor says:

    I like him he is smart, intelligent and a decent actor.
    And chronical headhaces are a living hell.

  4. Santolina says:

    I like that he cares about sexism and what feminists think.

  5. Nance says:

    I think you can put women in the friendzone too, like I always call Éponine, from Les Miserables, the Queen of Friendzone. Unrequited love can be both ways. I don’t think the word is neccessary bad, it’s how you use it.

    • Maria says:

      yeah i also dont see it as sexist. i know two girls like that, one of them also has the fantastic ability to fall in love with gay men all the time.

      assuming that the men are only pissed because they dont get laid and not because they want to be loved too could also be interpreted as sexist stereotype.

      • maybeiamcrazy says:

        It wasn’t meant to be a sexist term. But boys started to use it that way. The problematic part is not unrequited love a guy has for a girl, it is that the guy feels entitled to have sex with the girl because he did her a favour or he likes her. And if girl refuses, she is a bitch.
        It is not the word that is bad or sexist, it is the way it is used.

      • Gurien says:

        I mean THIS to all of what you just said. Taylor Swift’s “you belong with me” is a prime example this, I mean just look at how popular it was. (Or Chloe Sullivan/Felicity Smoak being yes the viewers avatar but a lot of people project their “Friendzoning” in real life on to the characters relationships with the leads in their shows)

      • QQ says:

        Agreed Maybe! is this tinge of “I feel like im owed the woman of my choosing, she can be my Manic Pixie dream girl even if i look an unwashed neckbeard, no matter what her preference may be, If I choo choo choose you and you dont want me then you are a bitch”

        This also goes with the Fedora Nice Guy™ Bullsh-t of “Women dont like Nice Guys™” because basically these bags of d-ck aren’t nice and simply treat some ladies with politeness, niceness and courtesy etc as means to an end of sleeping with them and when that doesn’t happen Butthurt fee fees ensue, cause you see, culture, patriarchy and entertainment teach men that everyone gets to earn a woman, at least

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Have you guys seen the stuff on Reddit about being “girlfriend zoned”?
        The idea behind it isn’t that men are seeing a female only as a girlfriend and not as a friend. It’s the opposite of “friend zoned” and puts the onus on men, instead of on women for not acting as men think we should in response to men we are not attracted to.

      • Anna says:

        It probably didn’t mean to start out as sexist but it’s definitely that way now. It’s this sense of entitlement that some men get with women, like they “deserve” them and become relentless trying to persue them and if you say no then you’re some evil, hairy-armpitted feminist who’s put them in the friendzone. I’m pretty sure the man who went on the shooting spree a few months ago who wrote that manifesto complained about being in the “friendzone” as well. And everyone man who agreed with him always cried about being put in this “undeserving space”, while they used a bunch of misogynistic language. So the type of men who really believe in this “friendzone” are probably sexist.

        @QQ yes the fedora! The always seem to have one and say “m’lady” in this really creepy tone

      • Tiffany :) says:

        QQ, I love your reference to the “unwashed neckbeard”!!!!

        LMAO!!

      • Belle says:

        I don’t see it as sexist either. I have never even heard the term used by a guy who is pissed because he feels entitled to sex… ? I guess I’m sheltered or something because I’ve only heard the term from guys and/or girls who are actually interested in having more of a relationship (beyond ‘just friends’) than that person seems to want with them.

    • Algernon says:

      I think the term “friendzone” took a dark turn after the shootings in Santa Barbara. That twerp’s problem was that he kept getting friendzoned and no one would sleep with him. He seemed to think he was owed sex by any female *he* wanted just because he followed the basic tenets of being a decent person, regardless of what *she* wanted. That incident illustrated the dangerous side of that kind of thinking.

    • Missy says:

      Poor Eponine. I think she was a true friend, though she wanted more. Friend zone is a pick up artist term that describes where you end up if you play your cards wrong and are no longer considered a viable sexual partner. A friend zone isn’t about friendship; it’s about how far away you are from the possibility of sex. I think that’s why people are wary of the term.

  6. maybeiamcrazy says:

    I adore DanRad and loved how he shut tge question down. Still polite but firm enough so that journalist won’t bring it up again.

    I detest the term “frendzone” and the belief “good guys finish last”. Fucking please…

  7. Kristin says:

    As if I needed another reason to love him :D

  8. bettyrose says:

    Funny that I’ve never been bothered by this particular term. I get the analysis that suggests it comes from a place of entitlement, but I never felt like my dorky guy friends growing up felt entitled to my body. If they had crushes on me it was because we had fun together (And they were friend-zoned because like a girl I wanted to date guys I wasn’t BFFs with). Maybe us nerds/geeks didn’t have quite the same teen gender issues. I don’t know. Still, I’m on board with any social movement that brings positive awareness to feminism, so I respect that he fought the good fight here for this film.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      The reason why the term annoys me is because no woman “puts” a man in the “friend zone” or anywhere, for that matter. Also, the term poses the theory that women “put men in the friend zone” because they don’t like nice guys and are only attracted to assholes.

      Honestly, the term reminds me of something that Elliot Rodger (the Santa Barbara shooter) would say. It really evokes the image of a sexually-frustrated guy who’s pissed that he can’t have what he wants, as if he’s resentful that women have free-will and a mind of their own.

      • Josefa says:

        There’s different uses of the word. I’m with bettyrose here, I always took it as people not flirting properly and things heading in the wrong direction – becoming friends instead of a couple. It has happened to me and several guys. Most people I know use it like that, to describe that stage we’re you’re so close and you like someone so much you don’t want sex to ruin it, but the other part does have romantic feelings. I don’t “put” guys in the friendzone like I put my clothes in the closet, but I have thought “you know, I like my friendship with this guy too much and rather keep it like that”. It’s a metaphor.

        But yeah, it irks me whenever a comment like that pops up in my Facebook index. If you were being nice to me with the sole purpose of getting laid, then you’re definitely an assh*le and you went from my friendzone to my people-I-have-to-drag-to-hell-with-me-at-the-apocalypse list. Assh*les who victimize theirselves are the WORST.

      • bettyrose says:

        TOK- I hate that the Santa Barbara turd gets to define anything for us, but you make good points. It’s a complicated issue because those sweet, awkward teen boys who we’ve all known and befriended are human and sexually curious and struggle to understand why girls don’t see them as sexual beings.If the term “friend zone”offers them some comfort as they navigate the confusing world of adolescence… but I don’t know what to think of adult men using this term.

      • Faith says:

        Completely agree when it comes down to if a man is taught if I am rejected what is wrong with her? If a girl is rejected what is wrong with me? I used to think it was a innocent term but the root of is disgusting.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful comments, bettyrose and Josefa and maybe you guys are right and I’m reading into it too much.

        Growing up, I had so many male friends (still do actually) and I remember getting so frustrated that they all seemed incapable of being friends with me, or could start off as friends but always wanted something “more”. It would piss me off because when we got to that crossroads where he would confess that he wanted more, I would have to be honest and say no (so as not to lead him on). Then he would turn around and whine to all his friends that I was a cold bitch who played with his emotions. It happened so many times that I guess it made me feel like a conquest or an object and not an equal–so maybe that’s where my revulsion to the term came from.

        It might be harmless in the end, but I DO think that men need to take the approach that women are equals/friends first, instead of assuming that we’re automatically sexually attracted to them just because we’re talking to them.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “Then he would turn around and whine to all his friends that I was a cold bitch who played with his emotions”

        I totally identify with your experiences, Kitten. Sigh…

      • Petrichor says:

        I get where you’re coming from too, TOK. I didn’t just get cold bitch, though. Tease, prude, frigid, ice queen–I’ve been called them all.

        Do we maybe have When Harry Met Sally to blame, in part, for making the idea that men & women can’t “just” be friends (as if that’s so terrible) a cultural standard?

    • Algernon says:

      I don’t like that it implies that being someone’s friend is less valuable/desirable than being their sex partner. Take all issues of sexism/feminism away, and you still have that devaluing of significant human relationships.

  9. InvaderTak says:

    I hope he makes it for a long time. Not an HP fan, but he seems like a good dude.

  10. Just me says:

    My english is not good so can you explain what friendzonde means ? I’m not sure I really understand

    • Josefa says:

      In a nutshell, it’s when 2 people have developed a friendship. 1 of them likes it that way and the other has sexual/romantic feelings and wants to take it further. There’s dispute about how it’s used and whatever, but that’s basically what happens.

    • Wren33 says:

      I first heard it popularized on one of the first episodes of Friends. Basically, when you like a girl but don’t make your move quickly enough and you start developing a friendship, making it more difficult for her to think of you as a potential romantic partner. It has taken on a little more of a sexist bent since then, of girls “putting” “nice guys” in the friend zone under the theory that girls only go for assholes.

  11. Stacie says:

    I love him! He is just such an incredibly humble and down to earth guy. I met him a few months ago outside of his Broadway show and was so impressed with how kind he was to all his fans.

  12. Hawkeye says:

    Daniel Radcliffe seems to be that rare combination of a celebrity who doesn’t court attention but is always professional and obliging to fans, comes across as a genuinely nice guy but but not in an extra way, and while very talented, also aware how fortunate he is to get such awesome work. I am a fan!

  13. ToodySezHey says:

    I agree completely with Dan. On average if a gal has a guy she us friends with that she likes but the feeling isn’t returned we generally don’t complain about being friendzoned. Then again, most women don’t feel entitled to penis. We just accept it and carry on.

  14. jess1632 says:

    He is looking good lately

  15. minime says:

    Yey a movie with Zoe Kazan!! She is such a cool actress, although I feel she’s been doing the “girlfriend” role since forever, would like to see her in something else that not a romantic comedy…still, that’s something I will definitely watch.

    His interview is great. I think he will have a great future career. He sounds very grounded and nice.

  16. Malificent says:

    I think there is a flip-side of “The Friend Zone” that doesn’t acknowledge the fact women can and do choose not to sleep with men because they don’t find them sexually appealing. Women are stereotypically supposed to be sensitive and above-it-all and be willing to overlook a man’s physical shortcomings (or even just his averageness) because he’s nice and kind and thoughtful. And when niceness doesn’t work, guys need an explanation for the lack of interest that doesn’t wound their ego.

    Women are acutely aware of how attractive we are perceived to be, both physically and socially. I think most women are very self-aware of their own social/sexual “currency”. Men, not so much. A lot of guys don’t realize that if you are not blessed with beauty, you really have to up your game in the personality department if you want sex and/or romance. And even then, it may not work.

  17. Sam says:

    I find the comment about friend zone to be sexist a bit funny. I am a woman and I friendzone guys all the time. If I am not interested, I am not interested. I hardly think I am the only woman who does that.

    • krastins says:

      the issue is that there is an assumption involved that if you’re friends with a woman, and you get along, you are ‘deserved’ sex. You have ‘earned’ it. There is a sense of expectation. That is not the same from woman to man. Of coruse we turn down guys, but every guy we befriend, we don’t expect a sexual relationshiop from. That is why typically it is men using this term and not women. “I am in the friendzone” means “the woman I don’t like won’t sleep with me or date me, god why not I mean we are friends I am deserved this I’ve already done the work.” I hope that clarifies the issue at hand a bit more

    • Ally8 says:

      @krastins, exactly.

      Plus, the next step in that ‘thinking’ can be date rape, e.g. when everyone falls asleep after a party, the guy who feels he has ‘undeservedly’ been put into the “friend zone” may feel he’s entitled to rape his unconscious friend/victim.

      Women are not resources for men to play with, as the term “friend zone” implies. They are humans of equal sensibility, agency, worth and value.

  18. Merritt says:

    I think it is great that he gets how offensive the concept of “the friend zone ” is. So many people fail to grasp that it is sexist.

  19. serena says:

    I really enjoy reading his interviews. I think he’s a brilliant actor and and a smart/charming person (also reading that he was at a music festival with Rupert Grint made my inner nerd fangirl like crazy). I don’t know much about his alcohol issues, is it a past or a present thing?

  20. Mrs McCubbins says:

    I’ve met him and he’s a really nice down to earth guy. I used to get terrible migraines, unable to work, thowing up kind. I was on Beta Blockers which worked fine most of the time. I finally had a Lasix Renin test and found out that my migraines were caused by a condition called Conn’s Disease. I strongly suggest to anyone suffering severe migraines to have this blood test. I had my adrenal gland removed and voila! no more migraines, no more medication.

  21. kri says:

    I’m so conflicted(i’m not). I am into him, but feel weird cause I watched him as HP & now I’m digging him cause he is 1) Really clever and funny 2) BRITISH. It’s my Kriptonite. Sigh-am I pervy? *thinks about that “icy stare”*….

  22. BleedingHeartLibra says:

    Correction…. The friend zone was a very male thing. As a Lesbian you have to put other women in the friend zone. So now it is a dating thing.

  23. Emily C. says:

    I hope he continues to be awesome. There are so few important actors who are intelligent, well-spoken, and all-around cool. He’s like an oasis in a desert of shallow stupidity.

  24. Ally8 says:

    Not having been into the whole Harry Potter thing may explain why I don’t care for him. Like many child actors, what constituted cute features on a young person, makes for a homely adult.

    Plus he is one of the people who come off the worst on The Graham Norton Show, which is a format where celebs usually seem human and relatable. Radcliffe seemed both incredibly nervous and arrogant; a rare and unpleasant combination.

  25. RobN says:

    Like it or not, The Friend Zone is a catchy title that might draw people in, while What If seems completely dull and unimaginative.

  26. Tara says:

    I love Daniel. I’ve never watched any Harry Potter movies, but I’ve watched the amazing Young Doctor’s Notebook. Everyone was so good in it, and the story about how the show came about was pretty awesome, though i can’t find a link to it. Thanks to whoever mentioned Horns; I had forgotten about that but am looking forward to it. Also, Daniel’s interviews are always interesting; he seems very intelligent, talented and down-to-earth.

  27. mmerain says:

    Is there an expression in English to say that he’s really white? In french we say white as an ass but it doesn’t sound as pretty in english haha Do you say white or pale? I don’t know :( Anyway, Every time I see a picture I’m happy, he’s so cute but damn, he’s so so pale, not used to see that, kind of freaky (I wouldn’t mind anaway :D )

    I see the point for the friendzone thing but I had the read the comments lol never saw it as an issue, I mean, it isn’t always about sex even for guys but like everything, it becomes problematic when you overuse the word…

  28. manda says:

    Glad to hear that he and Rupert were out together. I had always heard that they didn’t get on together (I feel like I heard that Rupert was sort of standoffish from all of the HP actors, but not sure. It made me sad because Ron was my favorite. I’ve only seen Rupert in one other movie, can’t recall the title, but it was british and had Bill Nighy in it!)