Porpentina Esther Goldstein, or Tina for short, works in the Ward Permit Office of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, having recently been demoted from her position as an Auror in the Investigations Department for an infraction that resulted in her exposure as a witch to No-Majs.
‘She broke the rules in order to protect someone who was in trouble,’ explains actress Katherine Waterston of Tina, who also has to wear an Admonitor bracelet as a result of her recklessness. ‘Though she’s really proud to be a part of MACUSA and dreams of succeeding there, when push comes to shove she will abandon the rule book. I found it really touching. She loves the rules, but if someone’s in trouble, she can’t help herself.
‘That’s why we find her stamping permits in the basement [of MACUSA].’
‘She is a bit of a loner, and is underappreciated,’ says producer David Heyman. ‘She is really good at her job but has been demoted. Ultimately though, her instincts are proved right.’
When Tina first meets Newt in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, their interaction couldn’t be any less romantic: she arrests him in an alleyway outside Steen National Bank and brings him to MACUSA for processing. ‘My general sense of who he is at the beginning is he’s dangerous and untrustworthy, and probably kind of cute,’ laughs Waterston. ‘Part of what I love about Tina is she’s flawed and often doesn’t achieve what she is pursuing or things don’t always work out for her [like] she hopes. But she is good at her job and the moment she sees Newt she knows something is going on, even though she doesn’t exactly know what. And that, to me, was the first clue that she’s not a total disaster. She has good instincts. She knows she has a lot of potential, but can’t seem to convince people of it.
‘I think Newt sees that potential in her,’ she continues. ‘That’s a lot of what falling in love is, you feel someone else recognising what you have to offer. As their relationship evolves, she sees what’s motivating him, and then you start to notice they are both very passionate about what they do, they are both a little stunted, not very good at expressing themselves, and you start to see the reasons why they have become that way. He’s very isolated in his work. She is taking care of her sister because they lost their parents when they were young. They’re two people who really haven’t had too much time to have a good time. In contrast to Jacob and Queenie who are much freer.’
Read more behind-the-scenes facts in The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, from HarperCollins.