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Daniel Radcliffe recently learned that “Weird Al” Yankovic was impressed by a novelty song that he performed over a decade ago, although it’s less clear how Rihanna felt about it.
The Harry Potter star visited The Tonight Show on Friday, where host Jimmy Fallon asked about Weird, the biopic for the Roku Channel in which the Lost City actor is set to star as the parody-song expert. Curious as to how the casting came about, Fallon asked if Radcliffe had previously met Yankovic, to which the guest said no.
“When I talked to Al for the first time, I was like, ‘I’m immensely flattered by the idea that you would pick me to play you, but like, why me? I’m mystified but excited,'” Radcliffe recalled.
He went on to explain that in November of 2010, he was on the Graham Norton Show and, by heart, recited every word of humorist Tom Lehrer’s novelty song “The Elements.” For those who aren’t familiar, the song lists all the elements of the periodic table in an order that rhymes and is sung to the tune of the “Major-General’s Song” from opera The Pirates of Penzance.
At the time, Radcliffe’s fellow Graham Norton guests, Colin Farrell and Rihanna, appeared to not quite know what to make of the feat.
“I sang ‘The Elements’ next to Colin Farrell and a very amused Rihanna,” said Radcliffe. The actor added that he sensed Rihanna “was like, ‘Who is this kid, and why is he singing all of the elements?'”
He continued, “I guess Al saw that and was like, ‘This guy maybe gets it.’ And so he picked me. So I’m very, very lucky, and now I’ve gotten to have accordion lessons with Al.”
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