WWD: Daniel Radcliffe, a First-time Tony Nominee, Suits Up in Bespoke Look for the Awards Ceremony

By: Kristen Tauer | Link to article

Nominated for his role in the hit Broadway musical “Merrily We Roll Along,” the star will be wearing a suit designed by a favorite New York designer, Todd Snyder.

“Somebody might have briefed you on this,” begins Daniel Radcliffe. “I’m in many ways the worst person to talk about fashion.”

The actor is en route to the Hudson Theatre on Wednesday afternoon, shortly before the call time for that evening’s performance of “Merrily We Roll Along.” But before stepping into the first of his two costumes in the show, Radcliffe will first slip into the bespoke Todd Snyder suit that he’ll wear to this weekend’s 77th Tony Awards ceremony. The actor is nominated for best supporting actor, his first Tony nomination, for his role in the Stephen Sondheim musical revival.

“The way I am in my day-to-day life is very jeans and a T-shirt,” he says. “It’s more about not standing out — looking fine, but not doing anything that would draw the eye. On a night like the Tonys, it’s a nice night to not worry about that, and actually embrace dressing up and looking better than I normally do.”

A tailor is waiting in Radcliffe’s theater dressing room to make final adjustments to the amethyst suit before its debut on the “Merrily” stage ahead of the Tonys.

“I feel really good in it,” says Radcliffe. “I’m always about trying to find things that are simple and well fitted and pretty straightforward, but with some sort of expression of personality.”

Radcliffe, who’s been firmly rooted in the public eye since he was a kid thanks to the iconic “Harry Potter” franchise, has had a trusted partner in helping him define his style for pivotal career moments: longtime stylist Sam Spector. “If you look at some of the pictures of me from when I was a teenager, you will see that I needed somebody to style me,” says Radcliffe. The pair have been working together for around 13 years, starting when Radcliffe was moving on from the final “Harry Potter” films into the next stage of his career. Like many distant memories, the exact details have been compressed with the passing of time and prone to different storytelling — but the emotional recollection of those early days is consistent.

“We immediately got on,” says Radcliffe. “I’ve always been about, I don’t really wanna work with or spend time with people where I don’t enjoy their company. So that was the first thing about Sam.” Working together, the pair have honed his sense of personal style throughout the years. “Which I would find very hard to define for you, but Sam definitely knows what it is.”

“His style is very classic menswear,” says Spector. “With this look we went a little more colorful than we normally do. The show’s all about friends, and we wanted it to keep it light. And summer in New York is the perfect time to do color. Also, with menswear right now, everyone’s taking risks. And so I wanted to push the boundaries and do something that was a little more eclectic, but still classic.”

Spector (who’s currently styling Alan Cumming in theatrical regalia for the third season of murder-mystery reality series “The Traitors”) began working with Radcliffe on the final two “Harry Potter” films, followed shortly by his first film post-franchise, “The Woman in Black.”

“We did a full worldwide press tour together and traveled with him, and we went everywhere,” says Spector, who was joined by Radcliffe’s longtime groomer, Tanya Pacht. “It was his first movie outside of ‘Harry Potter,’ and we really wanted it to work out right,” he adds. “It’s been amazing to see him grow up. He was a baby, and I was starting my career, so we both sort of developed together. It’s really cool to see his career and what amazing choices he’s made with coming out of that franchise.”

Spector, like much of Radcliffe’s team, has been along for the journey. At the theater, everyone in the vicinity seems to have known Radcliffe for at least a decade (his publicist and styling team), are nearing that milestone (his personal security), or — in the case of his show castmates — will land there soon enough. And although the actor was meeting Snyder in person for the first time at the theater, Radcliffe has been a longtime fan of his clothing. So when it came time to sort out an outfit to wear to the Tony Awards for Radcliffe’s first nomination, Spector naturally turned the spotlight onto Snyder.

“He’s a New York based designer, and the Tonys is a real New York moment,” says Radcliffe. “Sam suggested him for this, and I was obviously very excited to have that happen.”

Unsurprisingly, the feeling was mutual. “I jumped at the chance,” says Snyder, backstage at the theater shortly before hopping on a plane that evening to head to Italy to debut his new collection for Woolrich Black Label. “I moved here [New York] 30 years ago, and used to live in Hell’s Kitchen. The thing about Broadway is, these things come and go so fast,” he says. “You see these flashes of brilliance, and it’s magical. And so for me, just to be a part of it, it’s like — oh, my god, are you kidding?”

The designer began working on the suit in early May, a completely bespoke design down to the style of the silk satin lapel, color, and accompanying bowtie. The suit is a ​​British mohair blend, and manufactured in upstate New York at Rochester Tailored Clothing (formerly Hickey Freeman), who make all of Snyder’s made-to-measure designs. “I wanted to make sure it complimented him and his personal style,” adds Snyder. “He’s always had a very great, classic sartorial style, but done with just a little bit of a twist.”

Radcliffe is a couple of performances away from Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony, where the show is a frontrunner for many of its seven nominations, which include best revival of a musical.

“It’s incredibly exciting. It’s a weird, hard-to-define feeling of stress, because we’re still going out and doing the show every night,” says Radcliffe of the days leading up to the ceremony. “That’s our main job, and hopefully people are enjoying it as much as they have been for the whole run.”

Radcliffe and his costars — Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez, both nominated — have been with the production since its New York Theater Workshop run in 2022, which was followed by its Broadway transfer last fall. The show, which infamously closed shortly after its first Broadway staging in 1981, is consistently sold out. “A lot of people talk about the show as being about the sort of battle between art and commerce and selling out and not selling out,” says Radcliffe, who saw the West End staging of their current production in 2013. “Maria, our director, really cut to the heart of the show and it being about three people trying to stay friends across the course of 20 years and how hard that is.”

The show’s initial limited run was extended twice, and the final performance is slated for July 7. This time, the show will be closing on a high note.

“It feels like a really dreamy ending to what has already been a kind of incredible working experience,” says Radcliffe of the show’s celebratory conclusion. “I will say that if you come and see us in the last week, we might just be crying the whole time.”

While the closure will be an emotional moment, there are upsides. “First of all, I’m very excited to take a break and be a dad and do that for a bit,” says Radcliffe, who became a father last year. “The [Broadway] schedule is great in some ways because you get a lot of time off during the day, so you get to spend that time with your family,” he adds. “I go away for a two-show day and I feel like I come back to an entirely different human now because he’s growing up at a very, very quick rate. So I’m looking forward to just hanging out with him for a bit.” 

But until then, you can find Radcliffe where he has been for the last 10 months: onstage. 

“This is a job that goes beyond being a great job,” says Radcliffe, whose friendship with his costars has been well-documented; last month, he and Groff were part of Mendez’s wedding ceremony.  “I’ve made friends here that I think are going to affect the rest of my life, and I’m going to know forever. And that’s a really special thing,” he adds. “So to be able to go through all of this awards time craziness with Jonathan and Lindsay is really special. And then whatever happens on Sunday, we’re gonna enjoy the hell out of the last three weeks of the show, because we are very, very nearly done.”