Daniel Radcliffe felt awkward inviting people to his home when he had a pile of Nazi books to research his role in film Imperium.
The Harry Potter star appears in the thriller as an undercover FBI agent who gets involved in white-supremacist groups importing an illegal radioactive compound. To help understand their perspective, director Daniel Ragussis sent him a “horrifying pile” of literature on such matters, which the actor kept in his house.
“I would have people round to hang out and would suddenly become aware that... they’ve probably seen my pile of Nazi books,” he recalled to The Big Issue magazine. “Should I explain to them... but they might not have seen it – they haven’t mentioned it... but what if they have seen it and are just not mentioning it?”
After reading through the books and getting fully immersed in the lifestyle while filming the movie, Daniel can understand what attracts people to these particular groups, no matter how extreme they may seem.
“Imagine if you’ve lost your job, your wife has left you and somebody comes up to you and says: ‘Actually you didn’t lose your job because you’re crap and your wife didn’t leave you because she doesn’t love you any more – it’s all a gigantic conspiracy against us as white people,’” he explained. “Their worldview becomes incredibly simple and nothing is complicated anymore.”
The 27-year-old is aware of these issues present in today’s world too, especially how certain people in America and the U.K. are convinced that terrorism comes from overseas from specific people, which he insists simply "isn't true", noting domestic extremists provide just as much of a threat.
"No matter how many times there will be wonderfully articulate Muslim scholars on TV talking about the fact that they are obviously not represented by (terrorists), there are groups of people who are trying to make terrorism and Islam synonymous," he sighed.