Las week, Movie Pilot sent me out to New York City to attend the worldwide press conference for the upcoming blockbuster Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. After seeing the film with an array of other journalists, we all entered this press conference with a ton of questions on our minds, and we received more insight on the characters, some big reveals, and overall funny moments.
Discussing The New Characters
The first part of the press conference was centered around the fact that these characters are all brand-new. With the Harry Potter movies, all of the characters were already well-known because of the books and we knew what was in store for them. As for Fantastic Beasts, most of them are brand new characters and the story they are involved in is not based off of any source material.
At the press conference, the actors gave some insight to what their characters are all about. However, the most interesting insight was given by the two protagonists of the movie: Newt and Tina.
- Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne)
Eddie Redmayne got to speak about his character a little bit. He gave the press information that most of us already knew and then dived into some interesting points about the character. He said that Newt is not very good with human beings and doesn't feel the need for other people. People do not really like him that much; he connects with animals and creatures over people.
Those unique character traits really set Newt Scamander apart from protagonist Harry Potter. It will be interesting to see how Newt progresses as a character throughout the five part movie series. While the movie isn't based off the books, we do know that Newt does end up marrying Porpentina and have children, so we know that Newt will eventually become fond of humans.
- Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterson)
Katherine Waterson also gave us her own personal description of the character she potrays in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Waterson talked about how her character took an adult position she wasn't ready for but is very confident and dedicated to what she does, even though she may not always know what she is doing.
Originally an Auror, she stood up for somebody who her superiors did not approve of and was demoted to the position of Federal Wand Permit Officer. After the demotion, she was trying to stabilize her life. Katherine Waterson continued to talk about how no one understands how capable her character is since she is not great at selling herself. At the end of the movie, we see her character getting her groove back.
Dumbledore Will Be Openly Gay In The Fantastic Beasts Series
It had been a very popular theory for many years that Albus Dumbledore was indeed gay. J.K. Rowling confirmed that this was true a few years ago, yet the Harry Potter movies never focused on Dumbledore's sexuality. However, Rowling revealed that this would not be the case after being asked about Dumbledore's presence as a gay wizard in the upcoming movies.
“I can’t tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there’s lots to unpack in that relationship. You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn’t always the sage. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. "
Obviously, Rowling didn't want to give too much away as it is pretty clear that this franchise will heavily focus on Dumbledore's sexuality and the relationship between him and Grindelwald. When she was answering this question, chuckles in the crowd indicated that this was an uncomfortable question, which lead to her stating that there was nothing uncomfortable about the subject matter and she went on answering the question very confidently. This is an indication that the Fantastic Beasts series will dive into some deep topics such as different sexualities.
Read up on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:
- Just Ask Hermione: Ezra Miller Sought Advice From Emma Watson Before Joining Fantastic Beasts
- Five Fantastic Beasts Movies: What Does This Mean For The Future Of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World?
- Harry Potter Fans Want The Original Dumbledore's Son To Play Him in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!
J.K. Rowling Does Not Want To Talk Politics
The last couple of days in the United States have been divided, tense, and controversial due to the outcome of the presidential election. J.K. Rowling has clearly expressed on Twitter that she is not a fan of Donald Trump and was truly disappointed that he has become the President of United States.
Before the conference began, me and a couple of other writers were discussing how there is a line to what questions you can ask at a professional setting such as the worldwide press conference. Ironically enough, one journalist decided to ask J.K. Rowling to expand her statement on how she feels about the results of the 2016 presidential election. J.K. Rowling was not pleased to hear this question and responded:
"I think today is a day to focus on some good things and putting some good things out into the world hopefully. If you have read the Potter books, you'll know this period of history threatened to become very dystopian. You were looking at the rise of a very dark force. I conceived of this story a few years ago. It was partly informed by what I see as a rise of populism around the world."
Rowling was for sure in a bubbly mood considering her disappointment with the election and she revealed what made her feel better about it:
"Last night I was in a kind of a bleak mood boarding the plane and I thought I need to work. I got out the second screen play and worked on that and it made me feel a whole lot better."
It appears to be that Rowling works on her screenplay whenever she is feeling upset. Everyone has something to do or someone to talk to that brings them back to a happy and positive state of mind. For Rowling, working on the story for these movies removes her from the real and harsh world and places herself in the fantasy wizarding world — which is really nice to hear. After hearing this, it made us more connected to the author as she revealed a very passionate reason to why she loves writing about the wizarding world of Harry Potter.
An equally funny moment was when Rowling was going to her seat on stage, she clumsily tripped over one of the chairs and played it off so well. Not only did it make the audience laugh but it already showed us the goofiness and sweetness of J.K. Rowling before they even started speaking.
The Cast Of Fantastic Beasts Had A Blast On Set
A journalist asked the panel how much fun it was working on set in "this multi-dimension world where one second you're in 1920s New York and the next second you're inside a suitcase." Eddie Redmayne was the first cast member to answer this question and responded:
"There were cars all over from that period, there was smoke rising from the streets. That was a sensory overload but then beyond that, working with the creatures. They gave us the freedom to play in rehearsal and work on what we needed, so sometimes we had some puppeteers would work on the woolhorse, creating a huge 3-man puppet... and I loved every single moment of it."
Dan Fogler continued to share the on-set experience with the audience by saying:
Clearly, Dan Fogler was very grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the Harry Potter movies. Fogler is most known for his voice work in the Kung Fu Panda movies and Horton Hears a Who while also starring in some comedies such as Balls of Fury and Fanboys. His comedic background definitely carries over into Fantastic Beasts as his character is almost the comic relief as he represents one of us if we were to be introduced to the world of magic. I got a chance to meet him at the press conference and he is a really chilled-out person with a good sense of humor.
What do you guys think of this information that was revealed? Are you excited for the movie? Tell me below!