Eddie Redmayne believes his co-star Dan Fogler is the ‘heart’ of Fantastic Beasts.
Speaking exclusively to Pottermore, Eddie said, ‘The brilliance is that Jacob is the heart of the film. The task he has in every single scene, having to react to something new, is a very delicate thing.’
Dan plays the film’s No-Maj character, Jacob Kowalski – an aspiring baker who gets mixed up in Newt Scamander’s adventures in 1926 New York.
Eddie even compared Jacob’s stunned reactions to the wizarding world with Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances as Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
‘I always say it’s like Leo DiCaprio in The Revenant. The amount of times that character has to wake up half-dead and then be able to make that continuously riveting even though he has to go through the same circumstances. I felt like it was exactly the same with Dan and Jacob’s reactions. He made it look so easy.’
The rest of the cast, along with director David Yates, also reminisced with Pottermore about the characters, in celebration of Fantastic Beasts release on DVD and Blu-ray today in the UK.
‘What I loved about the first script is the sort of whimsical innocence and charm of some of it,’ David mused. ‘I always felt like these characters were almost like grown-up children, in a way.’
Dan Fogler said it took him a while to get to grips with playing the No-Maj (Muggle) character Jacob and confessed he initially suffered from ‘wand envy’.
‘I had wand envy’, Dan said. ‘I’m a Star Wars fan and the philosophy I developed was that Han Solo wasn’t a Jedi and he was still pretty cool. So, I felt really great about being a No-Maj. Muggles get a bad rep but Jacob’s a really likeable, lovely, gregarious guy, and the part is just so fun.’
Alison Sudol, who played Queenie Goldstein, commended screenwriter J.K Rowling for also creating ‘inspiring’ female characters.
‘It was such a joy, because I had this base written and this character who has this depth to her because of her Legilimency,’ she said, referring to Queenie’s unique power to see into people’s minds.
‘I felt a huge responsibility to protect Queenie, because she has a combination of qualities that could very easily make her be viewed as weak, or as a bombshell. Or people could judge her on her physical appearance. I just thought about her all the time and found her really inspiring.’
Alison’s on-screen sister, Katherine Waterston, agreed. Waterston praised her character Tina’s ‘conflicting qualities’ and was keen to dispel the ‘strong woman’ trope so often used to describe nuanced women on screen.
Katherine said, ‘I was hearing a lot of talk about how strong women were, and I just thought, “I can’t remember the last time I heard a male character described as strong.”
‘I was so lucky to be able to contain those conflicting qualities in Tina. And I also love that the film didn’t really make a big deal about that – she just is. Sometimes she’s confident but it wasn’t like there was big violin music every time she was insecure. That’s one thing that’s amazing about Jo’s writing. She balances the fantastical element with characters that are very much grounded in reality.’