Daniel Radcliffe is the latest major figure from the Harry Potter franchise to address the controversy over Johnny Depp’s casting in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
There have been calls to drop Depp from the pivotal role of dark wizard Grindelwald in the second Fantastic Beasts movie ever since accusations of domestic violence were made against him by ex-wife Amber Heard during their divorce proceedings.
Depp has strenuously denied any and all allegations of domestic violence, and his friends and family all publicly showed their support to the actor. Depp and Heard ultimately reached a divorce settlement.
Warner Bros, JK Rowling and David Yates have since chosen to publicly stand behind Depp, in spite of the outcry from a subsection of Potter fans.
The conflict was brought up by Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview with the franchise’s former leading man Daniel Radcliffe, who admitted that it was a “very hard thing” for him to take any position opposite to Rowling.
“I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that… I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behaviour that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players,” Radcliffe argued.
“I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [prior Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
Radcliffe is referring to Vincent Crabbe actor Jamie Waylett, who has had some previously-documented run-ins with the law following his early acting success.
When Rowling addressed the situation in December, the author acknowledged thinking long and hard about the “legitimate questions and concerns about [her] choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role”.
“The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected,” she wrote.
“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens in cinemas on November 16, 2018.
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