Dan Fogler Is Living “Fully in the Moment” as Jacob Kowalski
Dan Fogler is a man of many talents – from his multiple acting credits (The Goldbergs, The Walking Dead, Balls of Fury) to his popular podcast, DAN FOGLER’S 4d Xperience!, to his comic-book writing – but we know him best as Jacob Kowalski from the Fantastic Beasts film series.
MuggleNet had the chance to sit with Fogler at a roundtable during this year’s New York Comic Con to discuss his upcoming projects while also reflecting on his journey leading up to where he is today.
Fogler explained that while he loves playing fun, lovable characters like Marvin Goldberg and Jacob Kowalski, he has always been interested in darker characters and was very excited when The Walking Dead approached him to play a new character, Luke, in Season 9. When asked how long he’ll be committed to that role, he said it was up in the air depending on various filming schedules, but he’s hopeful that he’ll be with Luke for a while.
“I feel like I’m playing different relatives,” he contemplated when asked how he keeps the roles separate. “Luke is very close to [me]. It’s almost like me in a parallel universe if acting didn’t work out and I started to become a music teacher or something. […] Jacob is like playing an ancestor. Because my great-grandfather was a baker on the Lower East Side. […] Marvin, I mean, I had an uncle like that.”
He did admit that once he gets his mustache on, “Okay. I’m Jacob.”
When asked about what made Jacob so lovable, he said, “Muggles got a bad rep in the first movie, right? […] So I guess in this one, JK really wanted to have a Muggle/No-Maj [who] was likable. […] It gives you that warm feeling. It’s like you know the guy already, right?”
While discussing his other projects, we had one question on our mind, and when the moment came, we took it. Fans will know that Jacob was initially listed as a villain for this film series (which changed very quickly) and that during the first film’s production, Rowling sat with Fogler and laid out his character’s arc for the series.
“Oh my God, if he gets to do all that, I’m going to be so happy,” said Fogler.
When they started working on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Fogler decided to check in with Rowling and confirm if he was on the same path. Unfortunately, she had other plans.
“Oh, no, that’s all totally changed.” And then she walked away from him.
So now that everything has changed for Jacob, how has he adjusted his portrayal of the character?
I just have the philosophy now where I can’t get excited about anything she says because it may change tomorrow. So now I’m totally, fully in the moment as Jacob. […] You don’t know what happens tomorrow. […] He doesn’t know! […] We shouldn’t know our arcs. We should just be totally in the moment, take it step by step like they are.
When asked how Jacob finds himself back in the center of the action with Newt, Fogler admitted, “I’ve retained a lot of the memory. And you find out within the first, like, two seconds of seeing me in the film how that’s possible. Which is awesome.”
Fogler does admit he’s seen the film twice already and he’s very excited about it. Something he wasn’t excited about? Potentially being the “Jar Jar Binks” of the series. When shooting the first film, there was this air of just wanting to do a good job. It’s been a lot more “comfy” filming the second one.
The one fandom he hopes he can make his way into?
I’d love to be in one of these Star Wars spin-offs. […] I grew up on Star Wars.
November may be a month away but it’s still a month too far! Fantastic Beasts premieres November 16, 2018.
You can watch our full interview below: