Roundtable Interview with John Krokidas,
Director of “Kill Your Darlings”
October 8, 2013,
How did you get Daniel Radcliffe (the actor who played “Harry
Potter”) to work with you?
He was actually my first choice from the very beginning.
I managed to contact his agent and send the script, and Dan was very
interested, so we had one of those “first date” kind of dinner meetings,
where you know after 20 minutes if there’s some kind of chemistry there. We
talked for five hours solid! But,
unfortunately, right after that, the funding fell through, and Dan had a
couple of other commitments, anyway, so it just wasn’t going to work out at
first. So I went in another direction
with the casting---I’d secured Jesse Eisenberg, before everyone else
discovered how talented he was, but then after he got famous for “Social
Network” he decided he didn’t want to play the iconic college student
again, then the funding fell through, and I was back to square one.
By this time, two years had gone by, and just on a whim---you’re not
supposed to do this---I e-mailed Dan directly to see if he was still
interested, and he had a one-word response: “Ab-so-f******-lutely”.
So once you secured his participation, did the rest of the cast change?
Yes. I think of casting like a
rainbow, and everyone having different colors.
I consider how people look next to each other, even to the point of
putting their pictures next to each other on the screen on my computer.
Dan was so great about it that he offered to audition, which was an
opportunity to see how some of the other people were going to interact with
him. It’s a dream cast.
These people are my absolute favorites, and I just couldn’t have
asked for any better. It took ten
years, but it was worth the wait.
: Did you consider it a conflict about
the recent release of “Howl”? (released in 2010, also about Allen Ginsberg)
No, not at all, because that was an entirely different interpretation,
as was “On The Road,” and others that have been done about The Beat
Generation. This was the story of how
they began, at
, when Allen Ginsberg enrolled as a freshman in 1943.
: Yeah, about that:
my father was in college in 1942, and he said that all his buddies
signed up for the Army with him. I was
sitting there wondering, “Why didn’t these guys?”
Actually, and this was in an earlier version of the script, Ginsberg
was drafted, but had a medical discharge, and of course one wound up in jail,
and another in the Merchant Marine, later, but we decided that these side
stories were a distraction. We did
decide to put radio accounts of the progress of the War in the film, and also
soldiers in uniform, who actually were temporarily housed in
: The setting looked very authentic.
was amazingly cooperative, even allowing us to film inside the actual
classrooms used then, and also across the street, in the overflow dormitory
rooms at Union Theological Seminary. It
all just added to the genuine feel of the filming.
: Congratulations on finally putting it
all together. Is there a sequel in the works, about how they all later moved
Thank you! And yes, I hope
so---let’s see how this one does!
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister, St.
Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,