Things got Weird as the clock struck midnight at the end of the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as Al Yankovic, Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood and Eric Appel were met with massive laughs and rousing applause at the premiere of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
In a packed theatre with people in attendance wearing Weird Al's iconic Hawaiian shirts, the parody biopic of the iconic musician's life had its first crowd completely hooked and eating up every second, from Radcliffe's endearing impression of Weird Al, playing the accordion, to the comedic "origin stories" of hit songs like "Eat It," "My Bologna" and "Amish Paradise."
At the Q&A following the screening, Radcliffe stressed that there was "very little convincing" to get him to portray Yankovic in this film, but he did admit that learning how to play the accordion is quite difficult, with his preparation also including sending videos back-and-forth with Yankovic.
"I did what I could, it is a very hard instrument, he makes it look very easy," the actor said. "It was probably roughly about a month between me learning the verse of 'My Bologna' and the chorus."
Wood joked that she "luckily" got to be in the trailer next to Radcliffe as he practiced.
The crowd went crazy! “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” is a blast to watch. Here’s Daniel Radcliffe talking about learning how to play the accordion. #TIFF22 #WEIRDTheAlYankovicStory #ReleaseTheYankovicCut pic.twitter.com/Aj4wBjTdi3
— Elisabetta (@Elisabetta_B) September 9, 2022
For Wood, to play Madonna, she indicated that she has loved the singer since she was a kid and revealed there are home movies of her dressed like the "material girl," but when Wood got the role she spent hours watching videos of Madonna, particularly interviews from the '80s.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is one of the most appealing films you'll see and the concept of a parody biopic is expertly executed under the guidance of Yankovic himself. It's also co-written and directed by Appel, who developed a biopic spoof of the music artist back in 2010.
A highlight is one particularly hysterical scene with a bunch of celebrity cameos that can't be missed. We won't completely spoil the surprise but we will say that Jack Black is involved and Conan O’Brien transforms into Andy Warhol.
Appel revealed that there were some moments that were left on the cutting room floor, starting the #ReleaseTheYankovicCut trend, with Yankovic adding that a second film to follow seems like a good transition. Frankly, we agree.