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Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple
"Okay, now move your chin up… just a bit, there"Courtesy of Lionsgate UK

Daniel Radcliffe's hellish transformation

Radcliffe and Juno Temple discuss upside-down smooches and how Megadeth got him ‘horny’

The darkly comic Horns (2014) opens with what can only described as the world's worst hangover: after being falsely accused of his girlfriend's murder, Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) wakes from a night of heavy drinking to find horns poking through his forehead. The protrusions, he soon discovers, bestow malevolent supernatural abilities, and so with few options and even fewer friends, Ig decides to use his nascent devilry to unmask the killer. Daniel and his Horns co-star Juno Temple sat down with us to talk about rampaging bears, upside-down kissing and Megadeth as an acting aid.

Ig's horns make everyone around him confess exactly what they think of him. If you had those horns, whose opinion you be most worried about hearing?

Daniel Radcliffe:
 That would be terrible! I honestly think most of my friends would retain their opinions about me. There are definitely certain friends I would be worried about, but just because of all the dark shit in their head that I wouldn't like to be privy to. To see what somebody’s truly thinking is the ability to feel someone’s pain, and nobody wants that. It would be an awful superpower.

Juno Temple: I wouldn't want the horns. I wouldn't want someone to know my inner secrets or for me to know other people's. There are things we should keep to ourselves, that we should only reveal if we choose. I think weirdly the horns are an evil blessing for Ig because they help him tackle the murder, but in real life they would be a burden. I wouldn't mind having some rocking ones occasionally as a fashion statement, but with that kind of power they'd be a heavy set of horns.

Early in the film there's a scene where you kiss upside-down. What's the trick to a doing an upside-down kiss?

Juno Temple: Just by going for it! If you're really passionate at any point in your life it's going to feel good even if you're in an uncomfortable position. It wasn't awkward to shoot. It's like that epic scene in Spider-Man, do you remember? I thought that was a dead sexy moment.

Daniel Radcliffe: I suppose you just have to line the parts of your face up where they fit together, like a jigsaw puzzle, because otherwise you end up doing a lot of chin-banging.

Was there much chin-banging?

Daniel Radcliffe: I think we got it fairly quickly. Who you should really ask is Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.

Do you think your kiss is going to trump their one at all?

Daniel Radcliffe: I don’t think so, because this was a lying down upside-down kiss. We don’t win that. It is lovely though.

Daniel, I heard you listened to Radiohead and Perfume Genius to get into character?

Daniel Radcliffe: I like Radiohead, and Perfume Genius have got this haunted quality I love. Megadeth was on my playlist too, and a band called A Place to Bury Strangers. They're hard to listen at times but were representative of what I felt the chaos inside Ig’s head sounded like. Music has always been important to me. It's sense memory, like a smell: if I hear a song I haven’t listened to for eight years I immediately return to the last time I heard it. Listening to music is definitely not the only thing I do. It used to be. I didn’t know what else to do, but I’ve now got a little bit more technique – just a little bit, not much mind you – so I have actual stuff to fall back on.

Horns was shot in remote parts of British Columbia, Canada. What was that like?

Juno Temple: It was a culture shock for me. I remember checking in at a hotel near the location. You know how they always have a leather-bound file with information about room service and the local area, that kind of thing? I opened it up and the first thing it said was what to do if you encounter a bear. I thought, "Oh, shit!" I grew up in England – the scariest thing you might encounter is an angry badger, or maybe a fox that's peckish, but a bear? That threw me for a loop. Apparently one came to craft service but I wasn't on set that day.

Horns is out 29 October