In the Harry Potter books, people who graduate from a magic school like Hogwarts tend to get fantastical jobs like dragon breeder, wand salesperson, or customer service warlock, but it seems like they rarely get the sort of “real” jobs that us normal people get. Recently, though, Daniel Radcliffe decided to change that by seeing what life is like for the muggles who work in the fact-checking department at The New Yorker. Alright, he was technically just doing research for a role in The Lifespan Of A Fact on Broadway (because Radcliffe is an actor and not a wizard), but The New Yorker got a fun story out of it either way.
Radcliffe plays real-life fact-checker Jim Fingal in the play, and he arrived at The New Yorker to fact-check his own depiction of fact-checking. For starters, he questioned whether it made sense for his character to have “no ability to differentiate between the things that matter and the things that don’t,” which New Yorker fact-checker Peter Canby said was “spot-on,” adding that the process is “not really a science.”
From there, Radcliffe had to fact-check a review of a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, which involved doing some easy research on its website and then sealing himself up in a “windowless fact-checking library” so he could call the restaurant’s chef. Radcliffe seems like he was very nervous about the call, and the transcription of it is very entertaining if you picture Harry Potter asking a chef if his restaurant really has brunch every day and if it has a “very light, sort of California feel inside.”
The piece ends with Radcliffe exclaiming “I just fact-checked a fucking article,” and there’s a really good meta-gag about the article itself being fact-checked by The New Yorker and getting some details wrong. Being an actor/wizard is probably great, but Radcliffe definitely missed his true calling.