Thursday 15th Sept 2016
You’re going to love Queenie Goldstein. She’s brave, wild and unusually perceptive. Which could have a little something to do with her ability to peer into your soul.
Acting is just like Legilimency, when you think about it. It requires the same heightened empathy, the same ability to understand a person completely. Alison Sudol, who plays Queenie in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has an especially lovely knack for it.
‘The longer I play her, the more I delve into Queenie’s powers,’ Alison says. ‘It really informs who she is, because she sees into people. She’s not just reading what you’re currently thinking, she’s reading you. Being a Legilimens means she’s reading your whole story, she’s seeing all of your truths. If she peers in far enough, she can go all the way down.’
All the way down, that is, to your memories, your fiercely guarded secrets, your hopes and desires. That level of insight and power could be dangerous, if a Dark witch or wizard exploited it. But what would a kind-hearted person do with that ability? And how does being a Legilimens affect Queenie’s relationships?
Alison purses her lips thoughtfully, and a slight frown appears on her porcelain face. She’s thought about this a lot.
‘It can make you feel quite lonely, to have something that differentiates you from people like that,’ she says, softly. ‘Obviously, it deepens the connection between Tina and Queenie because she knows so much about her sister without having to ask. That helps her help Tina. But she also has to protect herself and be aware of how [being a Legilimens] affects her. Tina’s the safest person for Queenie to be around.’
Thanks to Alison, I started to think about the everyday implications of Queenie's situation.
‘Imagine, you go to a party and you think you’re the only one that feels awkward or out of place,' muses Alison. 'If you could hear what everyone else was thinking, and knew they felt the same, you’d feel a real connection to people.
‘By the same token though, as a woman, the attention from men could be quite difficult. Queenie’s not ashamed of her body or self-conscious. Except that, well, she can hear exactly what a man is thinking about her. She knows what everyone is thinking about her. That would be so uncomfortable, right?
‘Sometimes it might seem like Queenie’s distracted or even looking a bit ditzy, but it’s just that there’s so much information coming into her mind all the time,’ she tells me. 'It’s a lot to take on, this power.’
Let me tell you now, don’t let the head-to-toe pink fool you because Queenie Goldstein is anything but ditzy.