One such nerd is actor Daniel Radcliffe, who will play Yankovic in the upcoming absurdist biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.” In a recent interview with EW, Radcliffe said that after learning to play the accordion for the role, he fully intends to stick with it.
Radcliffe caught the attention of comic music fans when, on a 2010 episode of “The Graham Norton Show,” he gleefully burst into an a cappella version of Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements,” a list song all known chemical elements on the periodic. table set to the tune of “The Major General Song” from “The Pirates of Penzance”. Radcliffe credited this performance as the main reason he was even considered for the role of “Weird Al” Yankovic in “Weird”.
Once cast, Radcliffe threw himself into the role, sure to learn the finery and weaknesses of Yankovic’s instrument of choice. Radcliffe found the accordion to be an extremely difficult instrument to play, and although he had taken many lessons and practiced extensively, he was still only a novice when filming was completed. He finds that with a few more years of dedication, he could actually become a step above a novice:
“I’m not good at the accordion, but I’ve improved so much from the nothing I started that it seems silly to stop playing altogether. I think I’m going to continue very gradually over the years, and maybe one day I can play a song with both hands at the same time.”
The accordion, for noobs, requires constant bellows pressure, while one hand plays a keyboard and the other manipulates the Stradella bass chord buttons.