Dan Fogler on Growing Up and His Journey into Acting

Fantastic Beasts‘ Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) was interviewed by AskMen, talking about growing up and his journey to becoming a performer.

Fogler admitted that if he hadn’t gotten into acting, he might have tried to become a sculptor due to his love of making comic book characters out of clay from a young age. After then getting into reading and comic books, Fogler started creating his own characters and making home movies with friends, feeling it was “inevitable” that he would eventually go into a similar field in his adult life.

Fogler “loved getting laughs on stage [sic] and stealing shows” (something he does all too well as Jacob Kowalski), and after finishing a school play, he was given confidence by his art teacher to look into acting colleges. After college, though, the road toward acting became tougher.

After college, I was knocking on doors, doing all sorts of things before landing a ‘real’ gig. I was doing stand-up comedy, and I was doing improv and was taking gigs as long as there was some kind of acting involved. It was tough, but I think it’s really cool that the thing I was able to knock down the door and get into — this big aquarium that we call ‘The Biz’ or whatever — I was able to get in because of something I created with my friends. I think that’s cool. Like, I created my character from the Spelling Bee show with my friends, and that took us to Broadway and accolades, and then that really opened a lot of doors to movies and television. So I’m very proud of that.

Fogler described acting as “basically playing outside with a bigger budget.”

It’s literally the same thing as ‘Oh man, we’ve gotta get from this couch to that couch, but there’s lava and crocodiles!’ I’m literally doing the same thing in Fantastic Beasts. I have to imagine there are creatures there; I have to jump from one thing to the other. It’s like we’re getting paid to play, which is why it’s really hard to complain. We’re just so lucky to get to do what we were doing as kids — now, for a living.


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He also spoke about what it is like being a fan of something that he is now working within and how his two kids are now getting into reading thanks to Harry Potter.

I’ve got my daughters — 10 and 6 — reading it for the first time and watching the movies. I just watched the last film of the series where everyone dies; it’s heart[-]wrenching, and you find out everything about Harry’s past, Snape, and then you see at the end, it’s David Yates and all the guys who are working on Fantastic Beasts now, and I sit there, and I’m like, ‘Man, this is some beautiful stuff.’ Just sharing it with my kids, I’m very proud to be part of the universe.

[…] To see my kids reading great in kindergarten and stuff like that — and that they’re getting into it because of Harry Potter — it really warms my heart.

We are so pleased to hear that Fogler’s teacher encouraged him to pursue acting because Fantastic Beasts wouldn’t be the same without him.


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Grace Hurley

I'm an animal-loving Ravenclaw with a Masters Degree in Writing and a passion for the Harry Potter universe since the age of five.