Daniel Radcliffe braves Lake Ontario (and the friend zone) for ‘The F Word’

Will Perkins

Between the pollution, toxic bacteria like E. coli, and the occasional dead body, swimming in Lake Ontario can be a dicey proposition even on a good day. But for former “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and the cast of Michael Dowse's new film “The F Word,” taking a dip in the Great Lake was all in a day’s work.

“It was very pleasant when we went in,” Radcliffe recalled at a press conference for the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival. “We were told it was going to be very, very cold.”

The new romantic comedy from the director of "Take Me Home Tonight" and "Goon" (as well as the Canuck classic "FUBAR") required Radcliffe, co-star Zoe Kazan, and several other cast members to brave the polluted Toronto waters – something that even most of the city’s residents won’t do.

“No one told us that we could get syphilis and gonorrhea from going into Lake Ontario!” Kazan exclaimed with a laugh. “I’m so glad I didn’t know before we went in.”

“In retrospect, I’m very angry,” Radcliffe joked about the experience.

But dirty water wasn’t the only thing the cast of “The F Word” had to navigate while filming the movie. Central to the film is the question: “Can guys and girls be friends?” The movie follows Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan), two friends whose relationship takes on a romantic dimension despite the fact that the latter is in a long term relationship. That is, Radcliffe's character has been put in the infamous "friend zone" (hence the film's title).

“Can guys and girls be friends?” Radcliffe repeated after being asked the same thing by a reporter. “Yes, absolutely! Do you have any female friends? The answer is yes. Have you slept with them all? The answer is no.”

After fielding a number of questions related to his “Harry Potter” days (Does he miss them? No. Has he seen Emma Watson lately? No), Radcliffe was asked about his strong and extremely diverse showing at TIFF 2013. The actor has three very different movies playing the festival this year – “The F Word,” the beat era murder mystery “Kill Your Darlings,” and the horror flick “Horns." Radcliffe, 24, told reporters that sometimes things just work out in interesting ways.

“It certainly wasn’t my strategy for it to all be at TIFF,” Radcliffe said with a chuckle. “I’m excited that people will finally get a chance to see me do some different stuff.”

“The F Word” premiered is set for release in 2014. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs until Sept. 15.

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