Claudia Kim Addresses Controversy Surrounding Her Character in “Crimes of Grindelwald”
SPOILERS AHEAD: PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Since the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped one of the biggest spoilers of the series, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Claudia Kim’s character. Having already spoken about how she got the role, Kim has now addressed the controversy surrounding her character in an interview with Allkpop.
Despite confirming a major fan theory, many people were disappointed when it was revealed in the final Crimes of Grindelwald trailer that Kim’s Maledictus character was, in fact, Voldemort’s snake, Nagini. The controversy has since been addressed by Kim’s c-star Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone) and series creator J.K. Rowling, both of whom were quick to shut down any concerns.
Kim, however, has only recently addressed the reaction of fans toward her character, which appears to have come as a bit of a shock to the actress:
It was unexpected. When I found out that I’m playing Nagini, I thought it was meaningful because it’s an important character in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. ‘Harry Potter’ is a franchise film with many caucasian actors, so I thought many Korean viewers would be happy.
While it’s true that the Potter films don’t have the best record for representation, the chance to increase the diversity on-screen wasn’t the only reason for Kim’s positivity about the role. Speaking about the choice to cast an Asian woman in the role of Nagini, Kim addressed the origins of the character itself:
I think Nagini should’ve been played by an Asian. Scriptwriter JK Rowling probably searched for an Asian actress because she researched the origin of Nagini. I’m not sure if it’s just my pride, but I think I was able to bring out a different vibe as a Korean in Hollywood where there are many Korean Americans.
The origin of Nagini was something that Jo addressed herself on Twitter shortly after the trailer was released, which is discussed further in this editorial.
The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 26, 2018
Like many other tantalizing details hinted at in the trailer, such as Credence’s identity and why Dumbledore can’t move against Grindelwald, fans will have to wait to see the movie to find out the whole story. This is something Kim (who has seen Crimes of Grindelwald in its entirety) is looking forward to. She believes that overall, fans will be satisfied with the character of Nagini:
I’m looking forward to viewers being satisfied and the controversy fading away once the film premieres. I don’t perceive such controversy solely in a negative way. I believe changes can be made by giving attention to an Asian’s promotions (like this) and through the people [who] look into such issues.
Are you excited to meet this new side to Nagini in Crimes of Grindelwald? Do you still have concerns about Kim’s character?