‘The Niffler is back… and might have babies’ - interview with the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald cast

The Pottermore News Team

Photo of Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski on the streets of Paris
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

What can we expect from The Crimes of Grindelwald? Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz and Jude Law explain all at Comic-Con 2018.

With a new Fantastic Beasts film coming to cinemas this November, the cast waxed lyrical about the new film – including insights into their characters, the reaction to the new trailer, meeting J.K. Rowling and beyond.

Ezra Miller, returning as Credence in this film, summed up the excitement of the second film quite astutely:

‘When we made the first one – I thought I’d reached a life pinnacle. I was like – that’s it. I’ve peaked. And then this movie came along, and I feel like the number of connections between this and Harry Potter – it multiplies.’

The Fantastic Beasts cast assemble for their Comic-Con panel. Image Warner Bros.
The Fantastic Beasts cast assemble for their Comic-Con panel. Image Warner Bros.

‘There’s just nothing more joyous than arriving on these sets,’ Eddie Redmayne concurred. ‘It feels like imagination on steroids.’

Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston spoke of their characters, sisters Queenie and Tina Goldstein, and teased a little of how they evolve in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

‘I really love that [J.K. Rowling] writes such rich and complex characters,’ Katherine said. ‘And I really love that Tina, in the second film, maintains her duality while she resolves some of her issues. She’s got her groove back at work, but she’s still not confident in all areas in her life.’

Tina Goldstein and Newt Scamander
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

On Queenie, Alison said, ‘She goes through a very different storyline this time which obviously I can’t say anything about, but just how to maintain the excellence of her and also let her grow was a challenge. But it was also really interesting, as an actor, to explore that.’

Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob, the only non-magical member of the group, was thrilled to be returning, and apparently will be boasting a more fashionable look.

‘I love playing Jacob, he’s very close to my heart,’ Dan said. ‘And I’ve never been in a sequel before so that’s really cool. And his clothes are nicer now!’

As for the newcomers, Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander), Claudia Kim (The Maledictus), Zoë Kravitz (Leta Lestrange) and Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore) – the fresh blood spoke about being welcomed by the old hands, and the joy of exploring their own characters.

‘I was really nervous to join a big franchise as I’d never done anything like this before,’ Callum admitted. ‘But after the second day I felt like I’d done the first one and felt like I was coming back from it. It’s such a joy and everyone is at the top of their game. And to explore this relationship as an older brother of Newt was exciting for me.’

As for when they felt they had officially joined the Wizarding World family, Zoë said it only took one important thing.

‘When they handed me a wand. That’s a big moment,’ she said, ‘They give you a wand and you go, “Oh okay, this is real!”’

‘I’d say the first time I met J.K. Rowling,’ Claudia added. ‘Just being in her presence.’

In turn, Jude Law praised J.K. Rowling’s storytelling abilities, as well as the opportunity to explore the depths of these complex characters – including his own interpretation of Dumbledore.

Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law behind the scenes of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘I had the slightly unique opportunity of knowing what happens to Albus as we’ve joined him in the present day in the Harry Potter stories,’ Jude said. ‘But still there are secrets and aspects to his personality that are hinted at in the Harry Potter stories, and that are hinted at in this story.’

‘What J.K. Rowling always does with all of the characters is… they’re multi-faceted,’ he added. ‘They’ve all got dark sides and bright sides, and she never judges.’

Eddie, a fan of Jude’s work, was excited to explore the ‘master and apprentice’ relationship Dumbledore and Newt have in the new film, while Jude compared their friendship to the one Harry had with his headmaster.

‘To me, I think there are similarities with Dumbledore’s relationship with Newt now to his future relationship with Harry. I think Dumbledore trusts people who always make the right choice.’

‘One of the things that I adore about Newt is that he’s entirely his own person,’ Eddie added. ‘And being taught by Dumbledore as a kid, Dumbledore was really respected and part of this film is that master and apprentice thing.’

As well as having to take on Gellert Grindelwald, Newt will still have his horde of magical creatures to handle, with Eddie revealing a particularly exciting piece of information concerning a certain Niffler.

‘The Niffler is back as you saw in the trailer and… the Niffler may have babies’, Eddie said after a dramatic pause.

Contain your excitement, if you can.

The Niffler
The Niffler in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Along with the Niffler’s welcome return, the trailer also brought us some other familiar Harry Potter elements, such as Hogwarts castle, the Mirror of Erised and a Boggart lesson. The cast mused on some of their own fears, aka what the Boggart would turn into for them. For Newt Scamander, it was working in the office. As for the cast…

‘My Boggart would be a cage,’ Ezra said enigmatically, while Alison Sudol confessed hers would simply be Portaloos. Eddie revealed his would be... a rubbish truck. Terrifying stuff all round.

And in terms of returning to Hogwarts, with Jude getting to spend the most time there, it’s fair to say some of the other members of the cast were a little bit jealous.

‘It's kind of extraordinary when you have a relationship with a set and a place and you find yourself in it and it has a history – a personal relationship with your youth. And you know, what was wonderful for me, was the children there in the castle playing some of the students in the class. They were calmer than me, actually. But it was just the excitement, the adrenaline – for these children stepping into the actual classroom, dressed in their Hogwarts robes...'

Young Albus Dumbledore
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘Just so you know, this is a touchy subject. Not all of us got to go to Hogwarts.’ Ezra said to the laughter of the group.

‘Katherine and I weren’t invited to Hogwarts, so we smuggled ourselves on set,’ Eddie added.

Visits to Hogwarts or not, the cast were certainly united in their love for this new film, and there’s no one quite like Ezra Miller to sum up how important it is to be both a fan and as an actor working inside the Wizarding World.

‘I think that part of the magic, the very specific magic, that only so many of us of a certain generation will really know is growing up with J.K. Rowling’s material – and what’s beautiful is how it matured with us,’ he said.

‘She continues to challenge our perceptions. And this [film] goes even further, I think than ever before, into terrifying worlds – akin to the world we live in.’

We can’t wait to see exactly what this entails...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to cinemas 16 November.