Vital Thrills recently got a chance to chat with Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan, the stars of the TBS’ Miracle Workers: End Times. The fourth season of the anthology series is set in a post-apocalyptic future and will premiere on July 10, 2023.
In Miracle Workers: End Times, a wasteland warrior (Daniel Radcliffe) and a ruthless warlord (Geraldine Viswanathan) face the most dystopian nightmare of all: settling down in the suburbs. Together they navigate the existential horrors of married life and small-town living, all under the dubious guidance of a wealthy junk trader (Steve Buscemi).
Miracle Workers: End Times also stars Jon Bass as the couple’s faithful war dog and Karan Soni as a kill-bot who loves to party.
The guest stars this season include Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary), Garcelle Beauvais (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live), Ego Nwodim (Saturday Night Live), Lolly Adefope (Shrill), Paul F. Tompkins (HouseBroken), and Lisa Loeb (Robot Chicken).
Vital Thrills: I’ve seen the first three episodes and they’re hysterical. For viewers, can you tell us who you’re playing this time around?
Daniel Radcliffe: Yes, I am playing a character called Sid, who has kind of lived the first decades of his life as a sort of nomadic Road Warrior/Mad Max type character. And then, in the first moments of the season, I meet Geraldine’s character. We go from fighting to falling in love very quickly.
And then the series as a whole is about us sort of being in a relationship and sort of navigating life in like, you know, the stage of life where you’ve decided to settle down and maybe think about having kids or what that means, but set against the background of dystopian hellscape.
VT: It’s really great. There are a ton of post-apocalyptic influences in the three episodes that I’ve seen, like “Mad Max” and “Dune” and “Matrix” and what other ones might we be seeing things from?
Radcliffe: Well, Karan [Soni] is essentially a Terminator… There’s definitely a few things there’s like, there’s one episode… that takes the piss out of a trope that is in movies like “Divergent” and “Maze Runner” and I also will have to admit “Harry Potter.” There’s the idea of kind of organizing kids by trait in one episode, which I got to the set the morning of when I was filming it and I was like, “Guys, are we making an intentional ‘Harry Potter’ reference?”
And I found out that no, just neither of our co-creators, I don’t think, have ever seen “Harry Potter.” I think Robert and Dan have never seen it. When these things came on that were very “Harry Potter,” I was like, “Oh, okay, well, that’s part of the set.” So yeah, you’re gonna look out for that and whatever episode that is.
VT: You guys have both done some crazy things throughout all these different very different seasons. And I don’t want to give away Episode 3 because that is brilliant. But can you tease a little bit of what we’re gonna see from each of your characters?
Geraldine Viswanathan: I was just gonna say we there is one episode in particular that’s kind of Shakespeare in the Park riff, but our Shakespeare — Jim Carrey is our lasting artist, so there an episode where we’re doing, I’m doing an “Ace Ventura” play that feels… Yeah, that one comes to mind.
Radcliffe: It’s awesome. What was the craziest stuff that I got to do? I mean, there’s definitely – as my character goes real wild towards the end of the season, the last two episodes, I’m running around in not a ton of clothes a lot of the time. It’s very hard to like, tease what we do in Episode 3 in a way without ever saying what happens between me and that rock.
[Interviewer note: Do not miss Episode 3] So I don’t know if I can say anything more than that. But it’s that guy. That was definitely a moment when it was difficult to keep it together on set.
VT: That episode was mind-blowing. I laughed the cat off my lap. I love that that Freya Exaltada [Viswanathan] is willing to look at her her suburban life as her next big battle or like the HOA [Home Owners’ Association] or date night. So anything else that you can tell us about her adventures with the HOA?
Viswanathan: What else happens with that HOA? I haven’t seen it. Right? They come back… Linda Sherman [HOA President] is back. Linda Sherman has a big place in Freya’s heart and she does come back.
VT: Oh, that is awesome. One of the things that I love about this show is that high concept stuff can feel distant sometimes. But there’s so much heart in this show. And as absurd as it gets, it’s so sweet. So can you talk about that side of the series?
Radcliffe: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s what I’ve always loved about the series is the ability for very dark and weird or just plain stupid and wonderful jokes to sit alongside like a real kind of earnestness. And I think ultimately, we blew past the source material after the first season and then we have been making something that loosely tied together by the words “Miracle Workers.”
But I think if there is a theme, it is just people trying to be good in hard situations. And there’s a huge amount of faith in human kindness that is often the thing that we sort of keep coming back to again and again in the series. So it’s nice to do something that is so weird, but also that has like, as you say, a very, very sweet part.
VT: You know, there are some really cute moments just like [Freya] reading the toothpaste box [in bed] because that’s what there is to read. There’s so many fun little things in each season. Are there specific moments or little touches that you really want people to notice this season?
Viswanathan: Yeah, all of the set deck stuff, I think. Just the detail and the set production is kind of insane.
Radcliffe: And Steve [Buscemi] living in a perfectly-preserved 1990s McDonald’s is a really great detail and it was really like you did walk onto that assembly line. It was great… I feel like you’re right. It’s been a while since I made this series.
I’m trying I’m struggling to remember specific instances like the toothpaste thing, but there’s a lot of really nice clever touches that the writers found in terms of what from the past has made it to the future, or how we are doing you know, things we do now… they’re very, very clever. Inventive guys. So they kind of they found every job they could out of this out of this world.
VT: You guys have a “pet” in this this season. And I would just love some sort of a discussion of your pet your dog and and sort of how he figures into the family.
Viswanathan: So we have a dog – a human dog played by John Bass and yeah, it’s tricky … it’s like, how much human how much dog, but he was our …
Radcliffe: Did you catch him at some point? I feel like he was a conquest of yours at some point when you were a Warlord… He’s really accepted and loves his new life as our animal/human friend.
Viswanathan: Yes, exactly. Yeah. Sort of taking on the traits of a dog .
Radcliffe: Yeah, it’s really hard to describe, but when you see it, you know, it makes sense. It somehow makes sense when you watch John do it.