By Ethan Alter
We can’t help you when it comes to locating fantastic beasts, but if you’re looking for a group of fantastic actors, we know exactly where to find them. The cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — including Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol and Callum Turner — recently stopped by our partners at Tumblr for a Video Answer Time session, and Yahoo Entertainment listened in on the conversation.
Here are four things we learned about the second chapter in the Harry Potter prequel series, which apparates into theatres everywhere on Friday. (Watch the full conversation on Tumblr.)
We want to see these fantastic crossovers
While the first Fantastic Beasts mostly shied away from accessing Rowling’s vast library of Harry Potter characters, The Crimes of Grindelwald recruits young Albus Dumbledore (in the form of Jude Law) to join the fight against Johnny Depp’s titular villain.
So how would these characters get along with other Potter favourites? “I would love to see what Newt and Hagrid would have to say to each other,” Redmayne hypothesises of a face-to-face encounter between the two magical creature enthusiasts.
Waterston says that her no-nonsense Auror, Tina Goldstein, would probably get along with Harry’s similarly no-nonsense friend. “I feel like Hermione and Tina would understand each other,” the actress notes. “But I would like to hang around with Dobby!”
Queenie is the new Newt
Asked which character they’d love to play in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World apart from their own, Sudol made it clear that she’s gunning for Redmayne’s job as the franchise’s resident magizoologist, Newt Scamander (That’s wizard speak for, “person who really likes fantastic beasts and knows where to find them.”).
“It would be really fun to play Newt,” says Sudol, who otherwise holds down a more deskbound job as Wand Permit Office employee, Queenie Goldstein. “I’d love to learn all of the animal communication methods.” Miller, meanwhile, would happily trade one tragic character for another. In the Fantastic Beasts universe, he plays ill-treated orphan Credence Barebone, whose Obscurus power almost destroyed the Big Apple in the previous movie. Given the choice, he’d shrink down to portray the equally ill-treated house elf-turned-free elf Dobby.
Asked for their favourite lines from Grindelwald, the actors managed to pick dialogue that provided a peek at their characters’ personalities without revealing any big spoilers. Turner, for example, reveals that he relished saying, “I hate Paris,” which provides the setting for the sequel.
That’s not the actor’s real opinion of the City of Light, of course, but it’s in keeping with the stodgy attitude of his alter ego, Theseus Scamander, Newt’s older brother and a veteran of World War I. For his part, Miller appreciates what he characterises as a little “anarchist messaging” that Credence sneaks into the movie. “You do not seek power or popularity, you simply ask,” he says, quoting his conflicted character. “That one’s cool.”
The power of puppetry
Obviously, bringing the Wizarding World to life on the big screen requires more digital magic than actual magic. But Waterston reveals that a lot of practical-effects magic goes into these movies as well. “I don’t know if a lot of people realise, but we often are working with something practical when maybe the audience assumes it’s CGI,” she explains.
“There’s this team of incredible puppeteers that man the creatures before they’ve been [animated], and it’s so much better than staring at an X on a stick and trying to have an interesting reaction. Eddie has scenes where they lift him around and play with him. They always give us a lot to work with.”
Redmayne adds that the preferred outfit for these puppeteers are full-length green bodysuits. “It never gets boring,” he marvels. “Is it just my experience or are the puppeteers inarguably cooler than all of us?” Miller chimes in. “It’s like when you’re in the Netherlands and you’re like, ‘Everyone here is cooler than the most cool person I’ve ever met.’ That’s how I feel about the puppeteers.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in cinemas Friday.