Golden Globe Best Actor winner Colin Farrell (“In Bruges”) and fast-rising star Ezra Miller (upcoming “Justice League”) play pivotal characters in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” which takes us to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
Farrell stars as Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), while Millers plays the painfully withdrawn Credence Barebone who is not only a complete outsider to the wizarding community, but is the adopted son of the founder of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (NSPS), a vehemently anti-magic organization that is an enemy to MACUSA.
Defining his role, Farrell says, “Graves is very high up on the chain of command in MACUSA. He is basically the head Auror, whose job is to uphold the safety and security of the magical world and to contain anything that could potentially be detrimental to wizardkind. He is very powerful and incredibly driven and highly skilled with a wand.”
MACUSA is intent on the protection of the North American wizarding world, which they believe is dependent upon the enforcement of the Statute of Secrecy. “Graves has his own ideology about the segregation between wizards and No-Majs,” Farrell shares. “The fact that wizards have been repressed and forced to live in the shadows eats away at him. To him, it’s an injustice. Even those at MACUSA don’t know much about Graves, and I enjoyed the degree of mystery about the character.”
The actor says he was drawn to “Fantastic Beasts” from his first reading of J.K. Rowling’s screenplay. “It was just so imaginative and provocative; there was a kind of poetry and symmetry to everything. And while the story is fantastical and set in the 1920s, it is also grounded in a truth that is very relevant today. So on the one hand, the film is a huge departure from reality, but there are also significant human themes explored in it. First and foremost though, it was total blast for me.”
One of the intrigues surrounding the prominent wizard Percival Graves is why he has taken such a keen interest in Credence Barebone. Farrell observes, “Credence is someone who seems lost and always on the outside looking in and that makes him especially vulnerable to Graves, who obviously believes Credence has some insight or information he needs. He gives Credence a sense of belonging that is lacking in his life, but his motives are questionable at best.”
Cast as Credence, Ezra Miller adds, “Their relationship in the film becomes quite disturbing because it has an element of manipulation that is tangible. It’s an interesting dynamic because there is a certain amount of ambiguity about who is good and who is bad and you won’t really know until all the chips have fallen. That is one of the amazing dimensions of J.K. Rowling’s writing—the understanding that all of the dualities of good and evil don’t necessarily exist apart from one another. There are many sides to every person. I think fans will be extremely tickled to discover some of the familiar threads that run through this film, but it’s its own entity and very much its own story.”
Miller, it turns out, is in an excellent position to comment on his fellow fans. “I have been obsessed with J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World since I was seven years old,” he reveals, “so I am very well-versed. Getting to actually step into this universe was the fulfillment of my dreams more than anyone can imagine.”
“Ezra is a big fan of Jo’s world and was determined to be part of this journey and this film,” director David Yates recalls. “As an actor, he’s fearless, curious and open, and brought a lot to the process as well as to the set in terms of energy and ambition. He captured Credence in a way that was both haunting and moving.”
Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne stars in the central role of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.
The film opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident … were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens across the Philippines on Nov. 17 in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX, and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.