Jessica Williams Messaged J.K. Rowling on Twitter; Rowling Offered Her a Role in “Crimes of Grindelwald”
Mary H.K. Choi of fashion blog the Cut sat down with Jessica Williams for an interview to discuss her family, her career, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. We still know very little about Williams’ character, Professor Eulalie (Lally) Hicks of Ilvermorny, or her role in the upcoming movie, but her discussion with Choi yielded a wealth of information about her relationship with Jo, her character’s appearance, and her own excitement to be filming a wizarding world movie.
Williams and Rowling became friends through Twitter. Williams messaged Rowling about RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Jo replied, “Hey, I’ve been working on this character for Fantastic Beasts. What’s your email? I want to send you this character description and see what you think.”
Williams was surprised, to say the least.
I read it and was just crying — it was unreal.
After a tour of the Leavesden Studio in London, Williams was cast. Her reaction to Leavesden shows she’s definitely a Potter fan.
I was just shaking. Just to be where they shot Harry Potter…to see hair and makeup and renderings and how much thought and detail goes into creating and living in the Potter universe.
While filming the movie, Rowling made sure Williams was comfortable with her character’s appearance, even flying to set to make sure Williams was happy and heard.
She wanted to give me autonomy as a woman and also as a black woman. That’s incredible on such a massive production. She wanted my character to look the way that I felt like this character should look… [In any production,] I will always try and push to make sure that the character makes sense and that actually, physically, the character looks the way that she wants to look.
Jo also went to great lengths to provide Williams with details about her character. Rowling sent Williams a nine-page document the night before Williams began filming.
It was this very thorough background on my character. I didn’t really need it, but she spent so much of her personal time writing it for me. A lot of the lore of my character ties to my personal history. She gave me all this cool information and did it just because she wanted to. That to me is so representative of her heart. I could have never imagined at nine years old that I would be able to get this document from her. It’s part of lore, it’s canon. It feels like I got a custom tarot reading or I got my custom charts made. It’s mine. And it feels like mine.
Hopefully, some of this personal history will be revealed in Crimes of Grindelwald. Williams sounds like she’s as excited to be in this movie as we are to see it!
What kind of role do we think Williams’ professor will play in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald? Are you excited to see someone from Ilvermorny? Are you still just picturing Jo playing RollerCoaster Tycoon for hours? Let us know in the comments!