New Ezra Miller “Fantastic Beasts” Interview

Transcribed by Sacha Huynen, Jennifer Rasnovski, and Juliana Small

Ezra Miller: Good afternoon to you all.

Female interviewer 1: We heard that you took the glowing wand from Hot Topic, the Noble Collection, that was in the props for the films.

Ezra: No.

Kat Miller: Yeah, the lit wand.

Female interviewer 1: We heard that you took that one. You stole it.

Ezra: That’s a bold-faced lie.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Who told you that?

Kat: Katie. A different Katie.

Ezra: [laughs] The other Katie. Okay, I’m on to her. It’s not true. I took a hat, I took one of Queenie’s jackets… because that jacket is just slaying.

Female interviewer 2: It has one pocket as well-

Ezra: Yeah, the one pocket is very important. You need that.

Female interviewer 1: I’m sure pink looks good on you.

Ezra: It does. It actually really is a good color on me. I don’t know if that was facetious, maybe, but…

Female interviewer 1: No.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Yeah, what else did I get? Oh, I got a Niffler toy. Anything I can get Niffler related, I want it. That’s I told them from the start: I want all your Niffler merchandise. I also got a very soft blanket. But I didn’t take a wand. My wands… I like them made out of some real wood.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Works better.

Female interviewer 3: Your character physically was very, I should say, cut off or walled in. Very…

Ezra: Those are good ways to say it.

Female interviewer 3: It looked painful, right?

Ezra: Yeah.

Female interviewer 3: And I was wondering if the character was very physically hard for you to play.

Ezra: Yeah, it actually crept up on me. That’s a very observant question. Thank you.

Female interviewer 3: You’re welcome.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: It’s nice… commiseration is always welcome.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Yeah. It crept up on me. I thought I had it under control, and then we took a little break around Christmas time, and I couldn’t let parts go. My shoulder was stuck. I couldn’t get my chest to open back up. And I noticed that when I… when my mind went adrift, I would suddenly start feeling very sad. And that’s when I knew it was… yeah, it did. By the end, especially some of the more demanding physical stuff, which we did… don’t publish anything about the obscurus before the movie comes out.

Female interviewer 3: No, we won’t..

Ezra: There are these moments where the entity is billowing forth, and maybe he’s making his last attempts to contain it. And in the film, that goes into a world of visual effects, but on the day, I would just play those moments out and would embody the obscurus. And even if just for the benefit of the other actors or the background workers who had to run away from something scary, there’[re] a lot of times that I would just stand on the street and take on this weird choreography and yell. And yeah, my voice was taking a toll. By the end of it, it was taking a toll on my voice. My voice was going hoarse really quickly, when I would do this sort of guttural screaming, and yeah, there’re some physical pains. Well worth it! I would do it again in a second.

Female interviewer 4: Did you audition with that physicality or was that something they developed after they brought you on?

Ezra: I’d be so interested to see my audition because I don’t entirely remember what I did, which is usually a good sign in an audition. I’m sure there were some elements, because the… I guess for me there are some physical cues when I think about someone who carries trauma in their body, and I think there are certain physical symptoms. I know I talked to some people who work as professionals responding to cases of domestic abuse and child abuse, and they say that there is a common physicality. And so I think probably instinctually his shoulders were collapsed on his chest. But I don’t know, I’d have to go back and watch it. It’s an interesting question. But a lot of the choreography developed in pre-production, and it was really codified in this work I did with the choreographer, Wayne McGregor, who is an incredible dance and movement choreographer who choreographs a lot of ballet and opera for the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera in London. He’s also done Radiohead videos. He’s this amazing guy, and he gives David his time. And I think he choreographed some Veela dances at one point in Goblet of Fire, and he’s been involved. He’s worked, I think, with some of the various actors. I think he worked with Ralph Fiennes on developing Voldemort’s wand, language.

Female interviewer 5: Did he choreograph the mating dance?

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: He did, he did, he did, 100%. Wayne McGregor did choreograph the Erumpent mating dance. A golden moment in the film where Eddie drops it so well before…

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Instant classic cinema moment. [laughs] Eddie Redmayne was shaking it. Fantastic.

Female interviewer 6: So the Harry Potter world to you is really important because you’re a fan, a die-hard fan.

Ezra: That’s true.

Female interviewer 6: So how do you feel about your character becoming a dark character in a Harry Potter world film? Is it a character that you would have wanted if you had a choice or you’re just so overjoyed to be a part of it that it does not really matter? I mean, you’re a Gryffindor.

Ezra: Yeah, as much as I can be a non-biased party, which isn’t much, I think that it’s fantastic to have this character who is almost a step further in J.K. Rowling’s confrontation of the pandemic of abuse in the world.

Female interviewer 6: So you would have loved that character if he were written on the page?

Ezra: Yeah, yeah, because I think there’s something about it that’s very much an extension of a lot of the most serious themes in the Harry Potter series, so I think for anyone who’s really reveling in the thematic core of that material, I think they will understand the way this is a natural extension.

SPOILER

Female interviewer 7: A big part of Credence’s character is his relationship with Graves. Can you talk a little bit about that? How you built it with Colin Farrell, and can you let us know if you knew who he really was?

Ezra: I did. I did know because that was always in the script. Working with Colin was an amazing experience. I mean, one thing that was really great about this production was that we had some time to rehearse, which is rare. And so we had these couple of days of rehearsal with just David, Colin, and [me] in a room going through these scenes and finding this story. A fascinating dynamic. I mean, the dynamic… even when we first started scene work, it was already so powerfully creepy and unnerving. And we would get out of the room and go “ugh,” trying to shake off all of that creepiness. I’m fascinated by that dynamic. I had a lot of fun exploring these two characters who want things from each other but are questioning whether or not they can get it. And Credence… maybe “want” isn’t a sufficient word for him because he’s really seeking all of this stuff that he desperately needs. Stuff that a lot of people needed; they don’t get love and affection and attention and just physical contact. And Graves is dispensing those things to keep Credence in his trap because Graves wants something from Credence. And there’s the wonderful escalation of conflict when they start to realize that they’re not going to get what they want from each other, or at least Graves thinks he isn’t, and Credence realizes that Graves is not going to be the paternal figure or the partner or the friend that he is looking for. And that’s when, really, things go south.

[Everyone laughs]

Kat: We were talking about this before just among ourselves, is Grindelwald Graves the entire movie, or is there a point where he becomes him?

Ezra: That’s a fascinating question. I do not know. Yeah, I don’t know that. It wasn’t scripted. If there’s a transitional point, we were never told about it, but that does not mean that it didn’t happen because we were not told about a lot of things. [laughs]

Kat: Do you know where the real Graves is? I know you probably can’t tell us if you know, but do you know where he is?

Ezra: No, but if this is a Barty Crouch, Jr. situation, he is probably at the bottom of one of those trunks.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: [laughs] Poor guy! Probably skinny, looking pretty gaunt. Having a rough time somewhere.

Female interviewer 8: You have an interesting relationship, obviously, with your adoptive mother, but what about your adoptive sister? You seem to be protective of her, but your character also seems to be seeking to turn her in at the same time. So could you talk about Modesty, and Credence’s relationship with her? I want to know the answer to that one.

Ezra: Yeah. First of all, I just have to shout out to my scene partner, Faith, who is just an incredible young talent and is… I’m almost a little scared of Faith because she is… you know when you meet a child and they’re overdeveloped and they’re just really smart, funny people? And you’re like, “Woah, woah, woah, slow down.” [laughs] She’s one of those. And so that was one of my favorite relationships to find the dynamic of in the movie. And I think they’re protective of each other, which I think is really sweet. I think we see even a couple moments where she’s really protective of him, too, because he bears the brunt of a lot of Mary Lou’s anger and her overzealous behavior. And yeah, the betrayal of her, that he is willing to give her up if she should turn out to be the person [who] Graves is looking for demonstrates, I think, the desperation that Credence has to escape his reality and to find something that can solve the problems that I think he feels are going to destroy him if they’re not sorted out.

Female interviewer 9: In watching the whole movie, what surprised you the most as a fan? Just sitting in the seats, in the audience, what surprised you the most about this movie?

Ezra: Oh, I just could not have anticipated how sexy the dynamic is between Dan and Alison!

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: That was like, “Oh my gosh! I’m a little uncomfortable in this seat!”

[Everyone laughs]

Female interviewer 9: We’ll tell them that.

Ezra: I just thought that that dynamic stole the show in such spectacular ways. Yeah, just in general, the idiosyncrasies of the four performances of the leading quartet, I just found to be beyond anything I could’ve anticipated or predicted. Even knowing these people and knowing how amazing they are and how devoted to their work they are, I think the way that it came together is very unique and very successful. And so yeah, I was very pleasantly surprised by how amazingly dynamic that quartet plays in the film. I think people will fall very deeply in love with those four people and just want to stay with them, really, and I think when Dan is leaving our world of magic to go back to the Muggle world, the No-Maj world, it’s so heartbreaking! I really was crying quite a bit, and they’re all crying. It’s just… I think it really hits the mark. So I’m so excited for people to get that. I feel like it’s such good medicine right now. That sort of simple love. We need that.

Female interviewer 10: The Davids said that Credence becomes a really pivotal character, so do we know how many movies, or can you tell us how many movies you’re signed on for?

Ezra: [whispers] Wow, he said that?

Female interviewer 10: He did.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Sweet!

[Everyone laughs]

Female interviewer 10: We can play it back for you.

Ezra: That’s awesome. Yeah, that’d be good. This isn’t some sort of police interrogation tactic, where you’re like, “Well, the guy in the next room told us you did it!”

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Where you draw out the confession? [laughs]

Female interviewer 10: We have 30 recorders right here. We can play it back for you.

Female interviewer 11: There is a little glimmer, right? We can’t talk about it until after the movie, but there’s a little bit of glimmer. And it’s very fast. A lot of things happen.

Ezra: Yeah, I don’t think I even saw that in the cut I saw, so this is hopeful news to me.

Female interviewer 11: Yeah, Eddie Redmayne sees it. And it’s very clear he’s the only one who notices.

Ezra: Wow, oh!

Female interviewer 11: It’s just a little piece.

Ezra: They must have put that in really… they must have added that toward the end of the editing process, because the earlier cut that I saw, I don’t think that moment was there.

Female interviewer 11: Hmm. So we were just told you you got a new job.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Yes! We got some champagne in here or what? This is huge! Oh, gosh, I hope so. I hope that’s true. I mean, it would be the great honor of my life to…

Female interviewer 11: To keep going?

Ezra: Yeah, I mean, every second I get participating in this work of creation is a big blessing.

SPOILER

Female interviewer 12: Leading up to that, and hopefully being in future movies, who[m] would you like to work with more that you didn’t get to in this first one?

Ezra: I’d love to work with the foursome of that quartet because I was just so amazed by their performances, and [I] love those characters. I’m sad that the obscurus took out Mary Lou, because Samantha Morton is one of my favorite people. I love her so much and developed a really good relationship with her and would have loved to work with her forever, but maybe there will be other opportunities for that. [She] and her partner did produce some live acoustic videos that my band did, and Colleen Atwood actually did our costumes, with backlot 1920s wizarding clothes! But yeah, I would love to work with Eddie and Alison, Katherine and Dan more. Because I barely interact with them. Our story is so separate.

Kat: Have you had the chance to talk to Jo about Credence?

Ezra: Yeah, a little bit.

Kat: Okay, can you tell us about that, please? Because all of us want to sit in a room with her. Let’s be real.

Ezra: Yeah, that was me, 100%. I mean, just the opportunity to be in her presence was sufficient for me.

Kat: Did you fanboy a little?

Ezra: Yeah. I mean, I tried to stop it, but you can’t stop all of it. The filter can only be so foolproof, and then things start to bubble up. Yeah, she sees it all. She knows everything. She’s omnipotent. She is the god of this universe. It’s incredible. I mean, the awareness of detail and of side stories that we’ll never know about as the audience. There’s too much for her to possibly tell us. And so just to sit next to her and absorb all this information that she has reaching out in every direction regarding every character she’s ever incorporated into this world. Even ones that… she could tell you about Olive Hornby’s year at Hogwarts. And it’s so impressive. That’s what she did. She gave me some secrets.

Kat: Oh, some secrets!

Moderator: We probably have time for one more question.

Ezra: I’m her Secret Keeper.

Male interviewer: Before you leave, I have to ask a Flash question. When do you start production on that, and do you think you know who the director is going to be?

Ezra: Yes, we don’t know right now. But I think we’ll start this year. I think it’s coming up pretty quick. It’s deeply unfortunate. I’m very sad that things didn’t work out with Rick, but I also understand that these processes are complicated and really involve a lot of different factors, and I trust in the process, and I really trust Warner Bros with this property, and I’m really excited to do it, however it happens.

Male interviewer: How much fun did you have on Justice League?

Ezra: Oh, yeah. An immense amount of fun. Really, too much fun. There should be laws.

Moderator: Thank you guys so much.

Interviewers: Thank you!