The Harry Potter star is now playing the Howl poet whose close friend committed murder

By Stephen M. Silverman
March 19, 2012 12:35 PM
Jason Winslow-Tom Meinelt/Splash News Online

The glasses aren’t new, but the curly hair sure is.

In a bit of casting against type, Daniel Radcliffe is playing Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg in a movie now shooting in Brooklyn Kill Your Darlings – and this is among the very first looks of the Harry Potter star in character.

The independent film tells the real-life story of the young Ginsberg’s meeting fellow Beat legends Jack Kerouac (On the Road) and Lucien Carr in 1944 and of the murder of Carr’s former English teacher, David Kammerer, which resulted in a sensational trial and Carr’s imprisonment.

“I’m very, very enthused for that script and that young director” John Krokidas, Radcliffe, 22, told MTV last January.

In his freshman college year, Ginsberg (1926-97) met Carr when they lived in the same Columbia University dorm. Carr, in turn introduced him to Kerouac and other future Beat writers, including William S. Burroughs.

Though Jewish, Ginsberg was an adherent to mysticism, as well as anti-materialism and anti-military. He was also gay, and his 1957 poem “Howl,” with its strong sexual content, outraged society at large. Quite a stretch for the former wizard.