Premiering on The Roku Channel November 4th is biographical parody film 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,' which was directed by Eric Appel, and written by Appel and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The new film stars Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al Yankovic and loosely tells the “true” story of Yankovic’s rise in the music business as a parody musician in the early 1980s.

‘Weird’ also depicts Yankovic’s discovery by radio personality Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), and his fictional romance with popstar Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood).

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Radcliffe and Evan Rachel Wood to talk about their work on 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story,’ the outrageous screenplay, portraying fictionalized versions of Yankovic and Madonna, and working with the real “Weird Al.”

Evan Rachel Wood and Daniel Radcliffe star in The Roku Channel's 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.'

(L to R) Evan Rachel Wood and Daniel Radcliffe star in The Roku Channel's 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.'

You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Radcliffe, Wood, Rainn Wilson, and co-writer and director Eric Appel.

Moviefone: To begin with, Daniel, what was your first reaction to this outrageous screenplay and what was your approach to playing “Weird Al” Yankovic?

Daniel Radcliffe: When I first read it, I immediately didn't know what to expect. Then as soon as I started reading it, I was like, "Oh, right. What else could Weird Al's biopic be other than a parody of biopics?" As soon as I realized what the joke was, I was like, "This is very clever, very funny and I'm in."

Once that is the jumping off point, once you're doing the biopic where the point is not accuracy, then you kind of have permission to be like, "Oh, okay, I can get as close to Al as I can, but then we can truly start going to some really wild places as the movie goes on."

MF: Evan, you play Madonna, but you’re not really playing Madonna, you’re actually playing a fictionalized version of Madonna. Did that give you a certain amount of freedom while creating this character?

Evan Rachel Wood: Yes. I mean, quite honestly, I don't think I would've said yes to playing Madonna unless it was in this context, in a comedy, in somewhat of a parody. Otherwise, it just would've been too much pressure.

So, it made it a little more relaxed, but I still took it quite seriously, because when you're playing an icon like Madonna, you can't just sort of breeze through it. So, I definitely did my research and watched a lot of interviews and performances to prepare for it.

MF: What do you think the real Madonna’s reaction will be when she sees the movie?

ERW: I mean, I think she'll think it's hilarious, I hope. She did actually reach out to Al for him to parody one of her songs so that part of the film is accurate. So, I'm going to go ahead and say that she's going to like it.

Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna

Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna in the Roku Channel's ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.'

MF: Daniel, you have a few scenes in the movie where you are playing “Weird Al” and the real “Weird Al” Yankovic is in the scene with you playing a different character. What was it like for you to work with him on set, was it surreal?

DR: Those two scenes were our first and second day of shooting. I think particularly the one with Will Forte, where I stub out the cigarette in his hand. Those were nice scenes to do early, because I think they show the tone of the film and they establish it really well.

Honestly, Al also having that wig on and not having his usual hair meant that people were walking past him the whole day. He was on set and people were saying, "Has anyone seen Al?" He's like, "Yes, I'm right here." But I think that was the most surreal thing about it was how unlike Al he looked in that moment.

MF: Did Al give you any advice on how to play him, or how to play the according?

DR: For sure. I mean, on set, most of his notes for me actually were on the accordion. He would just say, basically, that he didn't want me to look as crap at the accordion as I naturally am. So, he was like, "Can you do it a bit more expansive and look like you know what you're doing a bit more?" He said it more nicely than that. But other than that, he was a generally really encouraging presence on set.

MF: Finally, Evan, was there one scene in the movie in particular that was especially fun for you to shoot?

ERW: I mean, honestly, every day was incredibly fun to shoot. I never wanted to take off the Madonna wardrobe. At the end of the day it was always this kind of bummer moment of like, "Oh no. I have to take the bracelets and crucifixes off.”

It's just so fun. Everybody wanted to be Madonna in the eighties at some point in their lives. I don't care who you are. So, honestly, it's hard to pick one. They were all great!

Daniel Radcliffe is "Weird" Al Yankovic in the Roku Channel's ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.'

Daniel Radcliffe is "Weird" Al Yankovic in the Roku Channel's ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.'

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

"The world belongs to the weird."
PG-131 hr 48 minOct 6th, 2022