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By Josh Lee

The director od

Daniel Radcliffe put the innocence of his “Harry Potter” years behind him once and for all when he played gay poet Allen Ginsberg in 2013’s “Kill Your Darlings,” set in the early days of the Beat Generation.

Much of the buzz surrounding “Kill Your Darlings” focused on an explicit sex scene in which Ginsberg would lose his virginity to a stranger (played by Dane Dehaan) he met at a bar. In a new interview with New York magazine’s Vulture blog, director John Krokidas recalls the process of shooting the steamy moment with Radcliffe.

“Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn’t want the sex scene to feel like that in any way,” Krokidas, whose other credits include “Wayward Pines” and “Black Box,” said. Calling Ginsberg “one of the most renowned gay artists of the 20th century,” he added, “I felt that not including his sexuality as part of the story would be a crime. He wore it unabashedly on his sleeve and helped establish queer sexuality as something you could even talk about in art and literature, so the scene was incredibly important to capture right.”


The director explained that he and his female cinematographer, Reed Morano, broke down the blocking, appendage by appendage, for Radcliffe and Dehaan themselves. When it came time to shoot the scene, Radcliffe “had no issue” whatsoever, but just how much of the “Potter” star would be display once the scene hit the big screen remained a matter of debate ― for one specific reason.

“I remember going, ‘Oh shit: You’re British, and Allen Ginsberg is one of the most famous Jews of the 20th century,’” Krokidas recalled. “And Dan said, ‘John, my mother’s Jewish and I’m circumcised. Play the scene any way you want.’ God bless Daniel Radcliffe, he commits to all of his actions.”

Radcliffe, who is straight but has become a staunch LGBTQ rights advocate in recent years, opened up about the challenges of shooting the racy “Kill Your Darlings” scene in a 2013 interview with Flaunt magazine. Above all, Krokidas wanted the scene to reflect “an authentic loss of virginity,” Radcliffe said.

“I was talked through it by the director. He would be telling me what I would be feeling in each take,” he told Flaunt. “Basically, gay sex, especially for the first time, is really f*cking painful. And [Krokidas] said that he had never seen that portrayed accurately on film before.”