How do you get Harry Potter to star in your indie rom-com?
Just send him a letter.
Of course, sitting on one of Hollywood’s hottest scripts doesn’t hurt either.
Calgary-raised filmmaker Michael Dowse is set to begin shooting the romantic comedy The F Word in Toronto with the former bespectacled boy wizard himself, Daniel Radcliffe.
The 23-year-old will star with Zoe Kazan in a film based on the play Toothpaste and Cigars, by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi.
“We just sent it to him and I wrote a letter to him,” said Dowse, who was scouting locations in Toronto earlier this week. He read it quickly and got back to us. It happened relatively quickly for casting. Obviously, I’m thrilled to have him on board. I think he’s a fantastic actor.
“He’s a big movie star, but I think he’s ready to do a romantic lead and I think he’s going to be fantastic. It’s a bit of a departure for him from the successful Potter films. It’s a very funny part and I think people will be surprised at how funny he’s going to be in this film.”
Dowse, whose film career began with the low-budget, Calgary-shot 2002 mockumentary Fubar, is hot off the success of his hockey comedy Goon, which recently earned him a nomination from the Directors Guild of Canada Award.
The comedy opened with $1.2-million in earnings at the box office, out-grossing all Hollywood films at Canadian cineplexes for the Feb. 24 weekend.
According to the website Box Office Mojo, it has so far gone on to earn $6.4-million.
Meanwhile, shooting began earlier this week in Newfoundland for the English-language remake of the 2003 Quebec film La Grande Seduction.
Dowse co-wrote the screenplay with original writer Ken Scott and was slated to direct until he had a falling out with a producer. Don McKellar took over for the comedy, which stars Brendan Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch.
The F Word was written by Canadian Elan Mastai and landed on the famous “Black List” in 2008. The Black List is based on an annual survey of film studio and production company executives who vote for their favourite unproduced screenplays of the year.
The F Word, which presumably refers to “Friend,” is about young man struggling to keep his relationship with an involved woman platonic, despite having the hots for her.
“I read it and just fell in love with it,” said Dowse. “It wasn’t really on my bucket list in terms of genre. Once I read the script I felt I had to make it.”