Wednesday 27th July 2016
The Pottermore Correspondent chats with Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler at the back of a bus at San Diego Comic-Con.
'Katherine, come on! We’re doing an interview with Pottermore,’ calls Eddie Redmayne, from the very back seat of the bus.
‘Have you got biscuits back there?’ comes Katherine Waterston’s reply, like maybe she won’t cooperate without snacks.
‘No,’ I begin, ‘but I promise to bring some next time.’ And I will. This lot has been at press conferences, autograph signings and Facebook Q&As all day and it’s hungry work.
Katherine joins me, Eddie, Alison and Dan. We’re huddled in a little group in the back of a bus in transit between venues at San Diego Comic-Con. These four actors play the main characters in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Newt Scamander, Tina and Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski. This is their first time at Comic-Con as a group, the mammoth fan convention in San Diego. What’s it been like?
‘I feel like what’s extraordinary about Comic-Con is that so much energy comes into the city for four days and you feed off that,’ says Eddie. ‘So, your adrenaline is pumping and pulsating through your body and you kind of feel elated. Slightly like you’re floating on a different planet. You almost can’t take it in; it’s too much visual stimulus.
'You see people everywhere dressed in costume – I saw a guy dressed as Newt Scamander. I was like “I love it!” And there’s this Funko toy… That’s kind of amazing, although I think I’m going to take mine home and put freckles on it.’
‘Just think of one Harry Potter fan you know and then consider that we’re in a room with thousands,’ adds Katherine. ‘I’ve had conversations where someone is shaking and sweating because they know I’m in Fantastic Beasts. So I keep thinking of those people I know who love it so much, when I’m looking at this sea of smiling faces.’
But it must be hard, I say, to speak about the movie without revealing too much. The cast have been sworn to secrecy on everything from beast names to plot twists.
‘It is tricky because you’re constantly ruling out things in your head,’ says Alison. ‘But there’s so much richness to the human elements of this story, the relationships and the characters. There’s so much to talk about, but it’s actually quite fun to keep the mystery because then you know that people are going to go into the film and actually feel surprised. It’s like Christmas and I got you the best gift!’
Speaking of surprises, Dan got an especially lovely one at San Diego Comic-Con last year. He’s the only one in this group who has been here before, and it wasn’t to promote a film.
‘Oh man, it’s surreal,’ he says. ‘Last year, I was dragging my comics around and that’s really why I was here – to try and hawk my comics. I was in the audition process for this movie. So when they called me and told me I had the part, I was totally unprepared.’
‘Wait, you were here when that happened?’ interjects Eddie, beaming in disbelief.
‘I was here! I was on the floor, in the throng of it, working my way up stream with all my books, I was just sweating…’ says Dan.
‘And you got the call? I’ve got goosebumps,’ says Eddie.
‘My agent said, “Hey, you know, next year’s going to be a lot different,” says Dan. ‘I was just all tears, like I’d got the Golden Ticket. And now, here we are!’
You can read about the rest of the cast’s day at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 here.