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Daniel Radcliffe Reveals The Surprising Reason He Was Cast As Weird Al

"Weird Al" Yankovic fans are no doubt excited about the upcoming Roku Channel biopic "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story." Daniel Radcliffe is set to play the five-time Grammy winner — has joined them in their anticipation. Speaking with "Good Morning America" (via Twitter) earlier this week, the actor called the project "one of the most fun things I've ever done. If you can't have fun making the Weird Al movie, what are you doing with your life?" Then, while promoting his upcoming flick "The Lost City of D" on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," Radcliffe said he was "rarely excited to see the stuff that I'm in; I'm very excited to see that" (via YouTube).

The actual Yankovic co-wrote the movie with director Eric Appel, which means he and Radcliffe have been working in close creative quarters during filming, which the "Harry Potter" alum revealed to ScreenRant took a little over two weeks to complete. At the time Radcliffe's casting was announced, Yankovic said in a statement, "I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for." 

On Friday's "Tonight Show" appearance, Radcliffe also told host Jimmy Fallon that, in his first conversation with Yankovic, he told the singer he was "mystified but excited" to be cast in the role. Little did he know, it was an appearance on "The Graham Norton Show" more than a decade earlier that had put him on Yankovic's radar.  

Radcliffe's performance of an iconic parody song got Yankovic's attention

Daniel Radcliffe told Jimmy Fallon that, in 2010, he appeared on the BBC late-night show "The Graham Norton Show," along with Colin Farrell, Rihanna, and comedian Rhod Gilbert. During that appearance, Radcliffe performed an acapella version of Tom Lehrer's "The Elements," which, as he notes while introducing the song to an audience in the late 1960s (via YouTube), is simply a list of the entries on the periodic table set to the tune of "The Major-General's Song" from "The Pirates of Penzance."

The video Radcliffe's version of "The Elements" is also available on YouTube and shows Rihanna looking teasingly at her watch, then bursting into laughter as Radcliffe stumbles through his game attempt at Lehrer's parody classic. At one point, the "Weird" star forgets the lyrics and shushes the audience, who are audibly reacting with an appreciation for the song. 

According to Radcliffe, Yankovic (who is clearly a fan of Lehrer's) saw that performance "and was like 'This guy gets it.'" And while it may have been their connection to Lehrer that drew Yankovic's interest, Radcliffe's talent and enthusiasm will be what makes "Weird" worth watching. The upcoming Roku biopic will also be worth a watch, if only because of its supporting cast. Although a release date has not yet been announced, we do know that Evan Rachel Wood will appear as Madonna and Rainn Wilson will play novelty radio DJ Barret "Dr. Demento" Hansen, who helped launch Yankovic's career (via The Oklahoman).