Daniel Radcliffe has shared his opinion on the controversial casting of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, admitting that the issue is “a very hard thing” for him to comment on.
Anger over Depp’s casting in the forthcoming sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them dominated much of the talk surrounding the upcoming film late last year, with some fans threatening to boycott the movie entirely.
Depp was previously accused of assaulting his ex-wife, Amber Heard. As the pair battled for divorce in court, Heard alleged that Depp had been physically abusive during their relationship. Depp denied all claims of domestic violence and the pair later settled their divorce and the domestic abuse case.
Depp’s casting as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald – who was introduced at the end of the first film and will play a more central role in The Crimes of Grindelwald – was defended by both the upcoming film’s director David Yates and the author of the series, JK Rowling, following the backlash.
Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe has now had his say on the controversy, telling Entertainment Weekly that the issue was “a very hard thing” for him to speak publicly about.
“I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that,” he said. “I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behaviour that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players.
“I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
Radcliffe was referring to Vincent Crabbe actor Jamie Waylett, who appeared in six Harry Potter films before being dropped from the two-part adaptation of the final book The Deathly Hallows after being arrested for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009.