Daniel Radcliffe weighs in on Johnny Depp casting in Fantastic Beasts 2

'I can see why people are frustrated'

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Saturday 13 January 2018 09:29
Fantastic Beasts 2 faces backlash after Johnny Depp casting

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has given his thoughts on the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in the spin-off film series Fantastic Beasts.

Depp was cast as early as 2016 in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and made a brief appearance as the character in the debut film: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

News of his role as the villainous wizard caused immediate controversy, as Depp had been accused of being physically abusive by his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, just months earlier, a claim which he denied.

Johnny Depp in a still from the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel

When their divorce was finalised in 2016 they released a joint statement which read: “Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.

"Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity."

Director David Yates and writer JK Rowling have both defended Depp's casting in statements which have done little to assure fans, who have called for the character of Grindelwald to be recast.

“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe told Entertainment Weekly, expressing thanks to the team who “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job".

“I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given," he continued, "...this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behaviour that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players.“

He explained that he was referring to Jamie Waylett, the actor who played Crabbe in the first six Potter films but was fired after being charged for possession of cannabis in 2009.

“I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film,” Radcliffe said, referring to Waylett. “Obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”

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