J.K. Rowling and the Cast of “Crimes of Grindelwald” Give First Full-Length Interview

We woke up yesterday morning to two of the greatest surprises: a brand-new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and a long interview with Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), and J.K. Rowling herself! The cast and creator sat down with the hosts of Today to discuss the upcoming film.

The interview began with plenty of laughs, with Miller and Sudol telling stories and Waterston commenting on the natural chemistry the cast shares:

I think it’s a sort of prerequisite we didn’t realize that David [Yates] had when he was casting us all. He had the long-game vision that we’re all going to be together for a long time and that it was crucial that we had an inherent chemistry. I think we sort of just happily discovered it as we went along.

Rowling also revealed that she had a part in creating that chemistry since director David Yates had allowed her a seat at the table during the casting process:

There was no question in my mind that these were the people [whom] we had to have. Ezra […] was just absolutely perfect. And Dan was hard. We couldn’t find Jacob. For some reason, Jacob, who[m] we’d all thought would be the easiest to cast, was really hard. And then David Yates called me and said, ‘I found him,’ and he sent me some stuff he’d done and I said, ‘Yeah, you found him. Thank God.’

The conversation then shifted to Rowling’s life before and during the creation of the first book and how her support system of close friends and family got her through the hardest times:

That period of time in my life is my touchstone. And for all that it was really tough, I feel privileged. I knew who my real friends were. […] The crazy thing that happened to me subsequently was sometimes scary, but the fact that I had a certain kind of bedrock there, of real friendships and relationships that had lasted through very tough times… So there was a lot to be thankful for.

That was over 20 years ago, so one would think Rowling would be sick of the wizarding world by now. She assured us that she won’t ever run out of ideas and that being surrounded by magic again is a dream come true:

Those books had been my constant for 17 years, and I’d been able to escape into them as well, and they’d seen me through some very difficult times. […] I’m back in the world, and I’m dealing with some of my favorite characters. It’s been a gorgeous experience.

This experience was different for Rowling, for whom writing screenplays is fairly new:

Although I am a born novelist, and I’m quite comfortable with that kind of solitary existence, it is fun to collaborate. It’s a really nice change of pace, and movies do have this kind of magic. To walk onto one of Stuart Craig’s sets… He made New York stunning, but I think with Paris, […] we’re actually on the next level.

Miller and Fogler took an opportunity to tease the darker, more twisted direction the wizarding world has taken in this film, with Fogler comparing it to The Empire Strikes Back and Miller barely containing his excitement:

We start to get so much deeper into the connections of the fabric that binds us to the stories that we know and love from Harry Potter but with these characters that we now know and love from Fantastic Beasts. […] I would say that it gets really deep and really dark really fast.

The interview couldn’t end without driving us just a little crazy, with Rowling hinting at a shocking twist even more remarkable than the one we saw in the trailer:

There’s a big reveal that we definitely shouldn’t reveal because it’s not in the trailer.

She just had to torture us with that little tidbit! There’s just an agonizing 51-day wait until Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters, so join us as we theorize and debate our way to the end. Watch the full interview below, watch the final trailer again, and we’ll see you on November 16!


Gayané Kaligian

Gayane has been writing about Harry Potter since the fourth grade, when she wrote her first five-paragraph essay on why Percy Weasley’s buffoonery could have led to Voldemort winning. These days, she’s still talking about the Weasley brothers, but it’s mostly about how overlooked Charlie is. In her free time, you can find her researching stunt choreography and geeking out over theater.