Daniel Radcliffe Breaks Silence on Fantastic Beasts’ Johnny Depp Controversy
Daniel Radcliffe discusses the backlash against Johnny Depp's 'Fantastic Beasts' casting.
After Depp was revealed to be playing the title character in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, fans began asking Warner Bros. to remove the actor from the important role. Depp was accused of domestic abuse by Amber Heard mere months earlier, and the Harry Potter fandom had already seen its share of abusers outed and ousted.
Actor Daniel Radcliffe, most famous for portraying the titular boy wizard through eight Harry Potter films, has spoken up about the decision to keep Johnny Depp on as Gillert Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Radcliffe says he understands the frustration many have with Johnny Depp being involved in the franchise and notes that, while filming the Harry Potter movies, actor Jamie Waylett was fired from the Deathly Hallows adaptations for growing weed plants. Here's what he had to say about it.
"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."
Fantastic Beasts director David Yates and producer David Heyman (who produced the Harry Potter films) put out a statement in November addressing Depp's casting in light of Heard's allegations.
"None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations," their statement said. "We recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties.
"We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films," the statement added.
J.K. Rowling weighed in with a defense of keeping Depp on the film, writing, “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.”
Studio 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 Nov. 16.