Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler “Crimes of Grindelwald” Roundtable Interview

Transcribed by Sacha Huynen and Eric Rakestraw



What are Queenie and Jacob up to in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald? We spoke with Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler to find out. They discussed how their characters have changed since the first film, Queenie and Jacob’s evolving relationship, and more.

Full Transcript with Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler, Saturday, November 3, 2018

Alison Sudol: It was a sweet return. It was lovely to come back and be around with our now old friends, and a lot of the crew was the same crew that we worked with before, and obviously, David Yates. And just coming back into the environment and seeing the sets and getting into that world again was really wonderful. It was really sweet to be a part of it again. I missed it.

Dan Fogler: Yeah. The first movie was a lot of pressure to get things right. I mean, it was a lot of fun and it was such an amazing experience, but there was a lot of pressure to see if it even worked. And then it was successful, and coming back this time was like being a sophomore in college. That's what I felt like. You kind of know the ropes and you got your friends and everything, but it's still fresh and new and exciting, you know?

Catherine Horvath: Alison, can you give us any insight into what Queenie was thinking or feeling - more insight than what is portrayed in the film - during her character development, during her change?

Alison: Yeah. At which point do you mean?

Catherine: Well, when we first see her in your freshman film, she's so giddy, she's so loving, [and] she's so caring. Overly so. She's such a bright ray of sunshine. And then we come to this film and she's darker. Her coat is less pink and more of a dark grayish pink; the colors that she wears are darker. And then it just seems like she made this sudden change into someone who yells at Jacob to "Walk with me!"

Alison: [laughs] Right. Well, a lot happens in between. You know, I think it's interesting... I didn't take that her coat being dark and her clothes being darker as she's becoming darker, as much as she's getting a bit more sophisticated. She's in love. They're going to London, and I don't know about you, but I have friends where they go to a place... they go to Paris and they wear a striped shirt. So she went to England and she wore tweed and plaid and tartan, and her hair is much in a bit... You know, all she really wants is what everyone else gets to have, sort of a normal life, and to be able to love and get married and have children. That's kind of what she wants, and in that desire is sort of a negating of this huge gift that she has which unfortunately annoys everybody. This is the sign of a great witch or wizard, this Legilimency, but what she's met with all of the time is "Stop reading my mind." So there's starting to be a bit of a friction, I guess, within her, but she's trying very hard not to have that happen. She's got such optimism and love to give, and that optimism and love is what takes her, ultimately, on this journey. They have a fight but it's not really supposed to be a thing. They walk off and the fight accepted just goes and gets out of control.

Dan: There is a moment in the middle where we're in Paris and you hear me, and I feel like if it was Sliding Doors or whatever...

Alison: If we had just met up...

Dan: ... just in one corner, everything would have been okay. Even in - like you were saying - that first tiff, there's hope in there. Everything's going to be okay, which makes it feel really real.

Press: One of the things we just heard was that you guys don't really know where your characters are going from movie to movie until they actually get the script and get started. So were you both surprised at anything that happened in number two [of] this five-part series?

Alison: Of course. [laughs]

Press: Things you didn't expect?

Dan: Yeah. You mean, sitting down at the first read-through?

Press: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, it's all very new and exciting. That's the first time we were really given any material. I had a sense of what this last one was going to be like, but yeah. It's a huge ensemble, and we are just these spokes in this massive wheel. So I saw the movie twice, and there's 50% of the movie that I wasn't even on set for.

[Everyone laughs]

Dan: Yeah. So it's always very exciting. You don't really know, even when you're there trying to imagine the physics of the Zohu, the lion/dragon. There's no way that you can fully imagine what it's going to be like in the finished product, once all the departments have put their finishing touches on it. Yeah. It's all very surprising. I'll keep going back and watching it and keep getting surprises. I mean, that's totally unexpected, isn't it? Wasn't it the last thing you would have ever imagined?

Alison: Yeah. Coming out of the last film, I was not expecting this journey at all. And when I was told - David Yates told me quite a bit before the next script came, and he told me sort of very broad strokes of what happened - I didn't really wrap my head around it. I was like, "How? How is that going to happen? How is that going to feel real, and isn't that going to really upset people quite a lot?" And even when I read the script, I was still quite worried about that and people not understanding. I didn't even fully understand it, so I dug in a lot with David and David with Jo and we all sort of coordinated, trying to find a way to make this feel as rooted as possible. And she is very innocent. She is unprotected. She is heartbroken. She's been abandoned. I mean, think about where is Tina in all of this? Tina was the one who was looking out for her, and she wants change. The system that is currently in place is the system that is keeping her from being able to love the person she loves. So there are things that add up, and then there are things that just happened in the moment, really, with a human being who's not totally in their most grounded state, somebody who's in pain, and it's a crazy time. So yeah, I hope that it comes through what was behind all of this.

Press: If I could ask, it's a really beautiful scene where you say, "Walk with me," and you're crazy. It's gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching, everything like that. Not having read the scripts for the next movie, when you're playing out that scene and putting the emotion into it, are you thinking through your head that your characters are officially done, or do you think that there's still hope?

Dan: Well...

[Everyone laughs]

Dan: That became a thing, the whole crazy thing. When we were putting together, what is our backstory? What is the hot topic that gets all of our [attention]? It's the classic thing that, in a relationship, what sets you guys up.

Alison: Yes, don't say that thing. Don't. You do not say that thing.

Dan: Don't say, "Are you crazy?" Don't say, "You're crazy." Don't say he's a coward.

Alison: Don't say that he's a coward. We did that.

Dan: Just don't say it. Then, what happens if you think it and she still hears it? That gets really tricky. She can't help having the emotions that she has. Maybe that is something at the heart of all this, where she has been fighting with herself. "Am I crazy? He's fighting with himself." "Am I a coward?" for whatever he didn't do.

Alison: And for not being willing to take the risk to be with her.

Dan: There's a lot of reasons. [laughs]

Alison: Yes. Still a sore subject. We haven't worked it out yet.

Dan: It's so natural for relationships, which is why people, I think, can relate to it and it's heart-wrenching. So when you get to that moment at the end in the amphitheater, where he says it out loud, "You are crazy," I think that's like that moment in a relationship where you're like, "You're not the person I thought you were. How can you vote for that guy?" Then it becomes, "I have to go and reflect and think about this. I love this person very much," but I think it's really shocking for Jacob, for the both of them. I think the strain of going to the Dark side is really hard on both of them, her going to the Dark side.

Alison: I think if you've been in a committed relationship, there's something there that is glue, that is binding, that you can say, "I'm done. I'm done." You don't really fully think you're done. I think with these two people, yes, they're done in that moment. They're incredibly angry. But also, the only thing that is putting Queenie into that position - the only thing that drives her forward - is making this happen. Otherwise, she would just go with her sister. I think that's an active weird backward hope.

Dan: It is hopeful.

Alison: It's hopeful, even though it seems...

Dan: Jacob walks away from that moment going, "If she does this, then I'll forgive her." It's a classic. The last moment in the movie, everyone is looking toward Hogwarts, and you look at Jacob and he's looking off toward the horizon that maybe she's coming, maybe she's going to have a change of heart. There's still that hope there.

Alison: That's what we like to hang onto with these two; it's not what they're going through but what is in them that's indestructible.

Dan: Indestructible.

Press: How have your guys' lives changed since the first movie? Where's the weirdest place you've been recognized or your funniest fan?

Alison: I had a funny one.

Dan: What was it?

Alison: I was at this hair store place that's called Ricky's in New York. It's not fancy or whatever. I just needed to get some hair ties or something. The girl behind the counter did not give me the time of day. She was just checking myself out and then she just looks at me and she's like, "You look like an actress."

[Everyone laughs]

Alison: I was like, "Oh, yeah?" And she's like, "Yeah, you look like an actress I know." I'm like, "I am an actress." She's like, "Oh yeah, what from?" And I'm like, "What do you think you might have seen?" I'm really feeling quite uncomfortable. She's very intense about it. She's like, "I don't remember. That's why I'm asking you." I said, "Have you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?" And she goes, "Okay." By this point, I had paid. She goes, "Okay, you'd better get out the door right now because I'm a huge Potterhead and I am going to lose my cool. I can't handle it."

[Everyone laughs]

Alison: She's like, "I love you. You've got to go. You've got to go right now."

[Everybody laughs]

Press: You got kicked out of Ricky's?

Alison: Yeah, I got kicked out of Ricky's. She was like, "Go, go. Go! Go!" And I sort of walked out and looked back and she's like, "Go."

Press: That's amazing.

Press: Last question.

Felicia Grady: What parts from the first film did Queenie have to catch Jacob up on? Did Jacob remember the Erumpent incident?

Alison: That's a good question.

Felicia: Because he forgot all the bad memories.

Dan: Yeah, I think he remembered a lot of it.

Alison: Weren't there Erumpent puffs?

Dan: Erumpent puffs, Niffler muffins... It's like Midsummer Night's Dream. Have you ever seen Midsummer Night's Dream, where Bottom wakes up and he's like, "I think I had a dream," but he's not sure? That's what I think happens to him. You guys all saw it. The poison, the Thunderbird shower, the Obliviation spell... It erases bad memories and he didn't have any bad memories.

Felicia: Even the Erumpent was a good memory?

Dan: Even the Erumpent was a good memory, yes.

Alison: She was good. She liked you so much.

Dan: Exactly. He may not remember the scary parts of it, but he definitely remembers being in the case. And looking over it and he just being like, "Hey?" It became familiar. So he retains it. Puts it in his heart. It seeps into his art form with the muffins and everything. And he had his Titania, his dream girl, and then she walks into the bakery. I think he's got the scar in his neck. I think that's the one thing where it's like, "Where the hell did I get that crazy scar in my neck?" Then it all comes flooding back when she's smiling at him. Or a lot of it.

Press: Could you quickly talk about the IUCN? You are an ambassador. Could you talk about that a little bit? Are you doing activities?

Alison: Yes, I work with the IUCN. I also work with Greenpeace. I went to the Antarctic with Greenpeace, actually, earlier this year. I also work with Synchronicity Earth in the UK.

Press: Yes, why are you doing that?

Alison: Why am I doing it? It's pretty much the most important thing I could be doing. Our planet does not have time for us to not do everything we can to help. I have this platform. If I can help draw people toward whatever cause they care about and help them pair them up with somebody that might need their help, then that's what I'm going to do. I have a lot of connections in the conservation world and that's part of my thing. What do you care about? Do you care about trees? Do you care about animals? Do you care about the ocean? Do you care about climate change? And then helping people find resources. It just feels like a responsibility that I'm honored to have.