There's been so much talk about Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," but surprisingly little -- to none -- of that talk has been from Depp himself.
Depp just had a Q&A with Entertainment Weekly about the upcoming "Fantastic Beasts" sequel. He discussed Grindelwald's sexuality, his "intense" relationship with Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), his jealousy of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), and his defense of Grindelwald as "an oddly likable character." (As opposed to Donald Trump -- Depp doesn't agree with comparisions between Grindelwald and Trump.)
He also explained his process of finding the character, and said giving Grindelwald two very different eyes was his idea:
EW: "He now has, as one of your costars referred to, a “Scary Eye,” one eye rather different from the other. Does that have a backstory, is that just creepy?"
Johnny Depp: "It’s a character choice. I saw Grindelwald as more than one, if you know what I mean. I almost felt like he’s maybe two people. He’s twins in one body. So a gamey eye is more like the other side of him. Sort of like a brain for each eye, an albino twin, and he’s somewhere in the middle."
And of course there's the controversy over casting Johnny Depp at all. Some "Fantastic Beast" fans were thrilled to see Depp. Others were disappointed, after having Colin Farrell in the first film. And still more were upset at J.K. Rowling for casting Depp after allegations that he abused his now ex-wife Amber Heard. Rowling issued a statement supporting Depp.
EW asked Depp if there was anything he'd say to fans on the fence about seeing the film:
"I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. [Depp's attorney said his "evidence" will be presented in court in the defamation case against The Sun.] J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it."
Not that Rowling was part of Depp's marriage. None of us were there. Depp also shared a message to the many loyal "Harry Potter" fans:
"I feel like the main thing as an actor is your loyalty. It’s my job to enforce the author’s vision and also be true to the director’s vision. And then there’s being true to my vision. It’s a major responsibility, being handed the keys to this car. My intense loyalty is to not just J.K. and David Yates but to the people who go and see the films as well, the people who have invested their lives into this magnificent, incredible world J.K. has created. I went full tilt and headfirst into the character knowing the responsibility that I had. It’s good to take the audience on a ride they’re not necessarily expecting, yet with great respect to the world they’ve come to understand and know. The Potter fans are like scholars of this stuff which I find incredibly impressive. They know that world inside and out. I hope to give them something they haven’t seen before."
It'll take seeing this movie (and maybe the next one, and the next one?) to really judge Depp's performance as the infamous dark wizard. Fans and non-fans have already taken sides on Depp's relationship with Heard, and that may continue through the next films as well.
The "Fantastic Beasts" series is meant to include five films, all written by "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling herself. "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," is the second movie in the series and it opens in theaters November 16.
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In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world. Read More