Whoa! Daniel Radcliffe is finally weighing in on the controversy of Johnny Deep continuing with the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise — and he’s going against ‘Harry Potter’ creator J.K. Rowling!
In so many ways, Daniel Radcliffe has put his Potter past behind him. However, during an interview discussing his upcoming TBS anthology series Miracle Workers, DanRad was asked about the decision producers made that let Johnny Depp continue with the Harry Potter spin-off movie series Fantastic Beasts as villain Grindelwald, after he was publicly accused of abusing his new ex-wife Amber Heard while they were married. Many fans were hoping to see the role recast for the upcoming sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, while others stood with creator J.K. Rowling, who recently defended the move to keep Johnny in the role. It sounds like, however, Dan stands with fans who would’ve liked to have seen a change.
“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Dan told Entertainment Weekly. “I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that … I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and 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 behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
Indeed he has. But that particular analogy carries more weight than perhaps some people realize. For Potter fans, however, it’s famously know that actor Jamie Waylett, who played Draco Malfoy’s Slytherin lackey Vincent Crabbe in the original franchise, was fired from the final installment, Deathly Hallows Part 2 after being arrested for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009. Of course, the obvious retort here is that while Jamie was actually convicted of a crime prior to being dropped, Johnny has never been arrested based on the accusations.
What’s striking people the most is the fact that Dan isn’t falling directly in line with the statement put out by J.K., who back in December, defend the decision to keep Johnny in the role of Grindlewald. “When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise,” Rowling wrote in a statement on her website. “Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.”
However,” she added, “the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
HollywoodLifers, where do you stand on this? Do you think Johnny should’ve gone or is it fine for him to stick with the role?