The actor says his parents were the same way, and it's what made things work long term
Credit: Barcroft Media/Landov

Daniel Radcliffe‘s new romantic comedy, What If, explores what it’s like to fall hopelessly in love with your best friend. And the actor tells PEOPLE he knows exactly how that feels.

“I’m going out with my best friend at the moment. And that’s, I think, the way it should be,” Radcliffe, 25, says of current squeeze Erin Darke.

While Radcliffe and Darke became best friends only after they started dating, the actor says his own parents enjoyed a friendship that preceded their romance.

“My mom and dad were best friends before they started dating, and now they’ve been married for 30-something years,” says the former Harry Potter star. “So, I think it is a very natural thing. If you can get to a point where you’re dating or married to somebody you consider your best friend, that’s what will make it work.”

One downside, of course, is the possibility of losing your bestie should the relationship fizzle. “But love’s pretty good,” shrugs Radcliffe. “So it’s worth the risk.”

The feel-good rom-com proved to be a pleasant diversion for Radcliffe, whose next two films are considerably darker in tone, and required the application of grotesque prosthetics.

In Horns, opening on Halloween, Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, a man who sprouts hideous horns after the death of his girlfriend. Then, in 2015, he will be sporting a hump as Igor in the latest retelling of the classic horror tale Frankenstein.

“Igor was grueling,” admits Radcliffe, who also spent several months this year on stage playing a physically handicapped man in The Cripple of Inishmaan. “I had cracks in my neck I definitely didn’t have before. So I’m calling a moratorium on spinally different parts for the next year.”

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