Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe and the Half-Blood Cover Photo

Well, the ol' tubes of the internets are buzzing with mostly complaints about gay lifestyle magazine Out's new cover featuring actor Daniel Radcliffe. (Do tubes buzz? We'll never know; Ted Stevens isn't around any longer to ask.) The image, as you can see, makes the handsome young actor look either crazy or strung out after a night of drugs.

The story inside the magazine is at least somewhat interesting; it's about Radcliffe's befriending of a transgendered musician. It also plays up the fact that Radcliffe has become a very public champion of equal rights for everybody, including the LGBT population. Gay magazines love to play up gay-friendly actors or other performers – especially if they're gifted in the looks department – because there's only so many times you can put Rupert Everett or Adam Lambert on the cover. And, let's face it, some folks love to fantasize about the gay-friendly-but-straight actors like Radcliffe. Hell, even Mel Gibson used to be a gay icon, and he's barking mad in his homophobia.

So I'm glad to see Radcliffe being unafraid to identify himself with gays, lesbians, and transgendered folks. He's proving himself to be a thoughtful person, one who is also a talented actor.

But what does this Out cover photo convey? That he needs to get out in the sun some more, despite his natural Britishness? That no one – no one – should ever wear a tank top? That you can make even Daniel Radcliffe look unattractive if you try hard enough?

In short, the photo is horrible. It was chosen, no doubt, to give some edge to an actor associated with a wholesome young-adults movie series, but it was still a bad choice. That's not to say that you can't dirty up Radcliffe. Esquire's UK edition did so a little while ago, and it looked fine. The cover photo showed the roughed-up actor in a way that supported the editorial content inside, and it didn't make you speculate about the magazine's professional judgement.

Another UK magazine, the gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, had Radcliffe on the cover and didn't think he needed to look vampiric. The American mag Details (and is there any gayer straight magazine?) had a very good-looking Radcliffe on the cover. And you certainly didn't think this blog in particular would publish a bunch of Daniel Radcliffe magazine covers and not include at least one Starlog cover, did you?

Of course, Dumbledore should have been getting this love from the gay publishing world, and maybe he would have, if that dastardly old Snape hadn't offed him ...

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