The boy who lived is finally weighing in on the controversy surrounding the casting of Johnny Depp in the spin-off film ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.’
‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe was asked in a recent interview about the uproar over Depp playing the infamous wizard Gillert Grindelwald in the upcoming film after the abuse allegations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard. The film’s writer J.K. Rowling, director David Yates, and studio Warner Bros. have all issued statements defending the casting. Some fans have been supportive of Depp’s involvement, while others are rather outraged.
“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe said, explaining that he wants to be supportive of the film’s producers who “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job.”
However, the actor added:
“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 behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original ‘Potter’] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
Radcliffe is referring to actor Jamie Waylett, who played bully Vincent Crabbe in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. After appearing in six of the films, Waylett was dropped from the two-part adaptation of ‘Deathly Hallows’ after being arrested for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009. Waylett being dropped for his pot offense is sometimes referenced by fans who protest Depp’s casting. Waylett was later arrested for packing a homemade bomb during the 2011 London riots.
Depp’s casting in ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ has been a hot button issues due to Heard’s claims that the actor emotionally and physically abused her during their marriage. The couple released a joint statement after their divorce was finalized in 2016, saying:
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.”
Rowling defended the decision to keep Depp on the film, saying:
“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.”
Warner Bros. also released a statement, noting:
“We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved. This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said ‘there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.’ Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films.”
‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ will be released November 16, 2018.