Daniel Radcliffe plays a medieval prince in Season 2 of "Miracle Workers." File Photo by Bryan R. Smith/UPI | License Photo
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The fate of humanity is no longer at stake in TBS' comedy Miracle Workers. Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi return for Season 2, set in the medieval past where they find new laughs as entirely different characters.
Season 1 cast Buscemi as a disgruntled God who decides to end humanity. Radcliffe played an employee of heaven who convinced him not to do that by making two humans fall in love. Season 2 casts Radcliffe as a medieval prince.
"He doesn't have like the kind of tyrannical bloodlust of his father, but he is psychotically stupid and has a complete lack of empathy or self-awareness," Radcliffe said via satellite as part of a recent Television Critics Association panel.
"Geraldine [Viswanathan]'s character Alexandra, and Karan [Soni]'s character Lord Vexler, they sort of teach him to be, hopefully, slightly more human," he said.
A new character didn't prove as challenging to Radcliffe as his new costars. He has scenes involving ducks, who were less predictable than human actors. One duck went to the bathroom in Radcliffe's eye.
"Basically, the duck was on the ground," Radcliffe said. "All I saw was that it sort of ruffled its feathers, and then like a millisecond later, I felt something hit my eye, and I was like, "'Ah, that's definitely what that is.'"
Since he finished the eighth Harry Potter film in 2011, Radcliffe has explored comedy more. He did voices for The Simpsons, Bojack Horseman and Robot Chicken, starred in the romantic comedy What If and played a flatulent dead body in Swiss Army Man.
Miracle Workers asks Radcliffe to be funny every week, but to him acting is acting.
"Comedy is hard, but I think it's very hard for the writers," Radcliffe said. "We kind of get to all come in and reap the benefits of that. There's like timing and precision and all that stuff, and it's hard, but it's just acting. It's all fun at the end of the day."
Even though Miracle Workers creator Simon Rich rebooted the story for Season 2, performing it with the same cast kept a consistency.
"I think actually this is one of the lovely things about coming back and working with the same group of people again," Radcliffe said. "We get a chance to form those relationships and learn and enjoy kind of coming back to that chemistry for a second season."
Steve Buscemi plays a lowly peasant to Radcliffe's prince this time around, and is named Eddie [Expletive]shoveler. His job is to clean up the kingdom's excrement. Buscemi considered it a step up from playing God in Season 1.
"God was so isolated and depressed and confused and in his own world, and everybody had to kind of treat him with kid gloves," Buscemi said on the panel. "He just got in everybody's way, but Eddie, he's like a pillar of the community.
"People depend on him and he's proud of what he does. He's a laborer, and he's got a beautiful family that he loves, and he's got friends. People like him."
Playing an excrement shoveler made Buscemi appreciate the creature comforts of modern day life.
"What's weird was like doing a show like this and then being so grateful for what we have," Buscemi said. "Every morning, I would take a shower and go, 'Well, you couldn't do this then.' [Or] flush the toilet. It really does make you grateful for just like everyday things that you take for granted."
"Whenever somebody says 'I was born out of my time' or 'I wish I had been born in a different time' I say, 'No you don't. It was terrible.'"
Miracle Workers returns Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on TBS.