Ezra Miller: A Harry Potter Fan Starring in a Harry Potter Film

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Nov 08, 2016

Posted by: Catherine | Comments

Exclusives, HP Cast, Interviews, Movies, News

Ezra Miller seemed relieved, the most energetic of all the talent that had come through the room! He could finally discuss some aspects of his character. Until this point we knew very little of Credence. Of course, we can’t give away everything–that would ruin the film. However, we talked to Ezra about his character–an abused child, easily manipulated–and how he felt about playing a dark souled character as an avid Gryffindor.

The round table interview opened up with a little playful banter–as is easy to do with Ezra!

 

Everyone: Good Afternoon!

Ezra: To you all.

Leaky/Catherine: We heard that you took the glowing wand from the Hot Topic display upstairs.

Ezra: No.

Leaky/Catherine: The lit wand, we heard that you took that one.

Ezra: That’s a bold faced lie. (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: Who told you that?

MuggleNet/Kat: Katie.

Ezra looks behind him at a woman sitting in a chair. She raises her hands in innocence.

MuggleNet/Kat: A different Katie.

Ezra: The other Katie. Okay, I’m on to her. It’s not true. I took a hat. I took one of Queenie’s jackets, because that jacket is just slaying.

Interviewer: It has one pocket as well-

Ezra: Yeah, the one pocket is very important.

Leaky/Catherine: I’m sure pink looks good on you.

Ezra: You need that… It does, it actually really is a good color on me. I don’t know if that was facetious, maybe, but…

Leaky/Catherine (laughing): No.

(Everyone laughs)

Ezra: Yeah, what else did I get? I got a niffler toy. Anything I can get niffler related, I want it, that’s I told them from the start: I want all your niffler merchandise. I also got a very soft blanket.

Everyone: Awe!

Ezra: But, I didn’t take a wand. My wands- I like them made out of wood- some real wood. (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: Works better.

Getting down to business, we started off with a question about Ezra’s character Credence. Credence is an a bused young man, who is physically punished by his step-mother Mary Lou. Ezra carries himself hunched over in the films.

Other Interviewer: Your character physically was very….I should say, cut off or balled in.

Ezra: Those are good ways to say it.

Other Interviewer: It looked painful, right?

Ezra: Yeah.

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Other Interviewer: I was wondering if the character was very physically hard for you to play.

Ezra: Yeah, it actually crept up on me. That’s a very observant question. Thank you.

Other Interviewer: You’re welcome. (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: It’s nice- commiseration is always welcome. (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: It crept up on me. I thought I had it under control, and then we took a little break around Christmas time, and I couldn’t let parts go. My shoulder was stuck. I couldn’t get my chest to open back up. And I noticed that when I…when my mind went adrift I would suddenly start feeling very sad. And that’s when I knew it was-yeah, it did, by the end especially some of the more demanding physical stuff, which we did. There are these moments where…don’t publish anything about the [NOTHING TO SEE HERE] before the movie comes out…

Everyone except Ezra: No, we won’t. We wouldn’t do that.

Ezra: …There are these moments where the entity is billowing forth, and maybe he’s making his last attempts to contain it. And in the film, that goes into a world of visual effects, but on the day I would just play those moments out, and would embody the [WAIT UNTIL THE MOVIE]. And even if just for the benefit of the other actors, or the background workers who had to run away from something scary. There’s a lot of times that I would just stand on the street, and take on this weird choreography, and yell. My voice was taking a toll by the end of it. My voice was going hoarse really quickly, when I would do this sort of guttural screaming. There’s some physical pains. Well worth it! I would do it again in a second.

Other Interviewer: Did you audition with that physicality, or was that something they developed after they brought you on?

Ezra: I’d be so interested to see my audition, because I don’t entirely remember what I did, which is usually a good sign in an audition. I’m sure there were some elements, because the- I guess for me there are some physical cues when I think about someone who carries trauma in their body. I think there are certain physical symptoms. I know- I talked to some people who work as professionals responding to cases of domestic abuse and child abuse, and they say that there is a common physicality. So I think probably, instinctually his shoulders were collapsed onto his chest. But, I don’t know. I would have to go back and watch it. It’s an interesting question. But, a lot of the choreography developed in pre-production, and it was really codified in this work I did with the choreographer, Wayne McGregor, who is an incredible dance and movement choreographer who choreographs a lot of ballet and opera for the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera in London. He’s also done Radiohead videos. He’s this amazing guy, and he gives David his time, and I think he choreographed some Veela dances at one point in the Goblet of Fire and he has been involved. He worked, I think, with some of the various actors. I think he worked with Ralph Fiennes on developing Voldemort’s wand, language.

Other Interviewer: Did he choreograph the mating dance? (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: He did, he did, 100%. Wayne McGregor did choreograph the Erumpent mating dance. A golden moment in the film where Eddie drops it so well to the floor. (Everyone laughs)

Ezra: Instant classic cinema moment. [laughs] Eddie Redmayne was shaking it. Fantastic.

 

Pottermore released an interview today, focusing on Ezra’s Harry Potter love. We had no doubt of it as he skipped into the room wearing black and white sneakers with “Dumbledore’s Army” and a Deathly Hallows sign written on them in gold sharpie. With references to Barty Crouch Jr., there is no doubt Ezra is a Potter fan.

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Ezra’s character Credence is a dark soul. An adopted son of Mary Lou, he bares the brunt of a lot of child abuse. Because of this, Credence is easily manipulated–seeking a paternal figure in Graves who is using him. Credence is a character to sympathize for, but also a bit more Slytherin than Hufflepuff. I asked Ezra if, as a Potter fan, he would have liked the character of Credence if he just read him on the page, and–as a Potter fan–if this is a kind of role that fulfilled his dreams of being in a Potter film.

Leaky/Catherine: The Harry Potter world to you is really important because you are a fan, a die-hard fan.

Ezra: That is true.

Leaky/Catherine: How do you feel about your character becoming a dark character in the Harry Potter world? Is it a character that you would have wanted [to play] if you had a choice or you just so wanted to be a part of [these films] that it does not really matter?

Ezra: As much as I can be a non-biased party, which is not much, I think that it is fantastic to have this character who is almost a step further in J.K. Rowling’s confrontation of the pandemic of abuse in the world.

Leaky/Catherine: So you would have loved that character?

Ezra: Yes, yes because I think there is something about it that is very much an extension of a lot of the most serious themes in the Harry Potter series so I think for anyone who is really reveling in the thematic chore of that material, I think they will understand the way this is a natural extension.

 

Much of Ezra’s darkness stems from the abuse he endures. However, he is also protective of his other adoptive siblings–bearing abuse for Mary Lou’s other adopted children as well. Even though he is protective of his adopted sister, Modesty, he also almost betrays her to Graves.

 

Leaky/Catherine: You have an interesting relationship, obviously, with your adoptive mother, but what about your adoptive sister? You seem to be protective of her, but your character also seems to be seeking to turn her in at the same time. So could you take about Modesty, and Credence’s relationship with her? I want to know the answer to that one.

Ezra: Yeah. First of all, I just have to shout-out to my scene partner, Faith, who is just an incredible young talent, and who is– I’m almost a little scared of Faith because she is–you know when you meet a child, and they are overdeveloped and they are just really smart, funny people? You’re like, “Whoah, whoah, whoah, slow down.” [everyone laughs] She is one of those. And so that was one of my favorite relationships to find the dynamic of, in the movie.

And I think they are protective of each other, which I think is really sweet. I think we see even a couple moments where she is really protective of him too, because he bears the brunt of a lot of Mary Lou’s anger and her overzealous behavior. And yeah, the betrayal of her, that he is willing to give her up if she should turn out to be the person that Graves is looking for demonstrates, I think, the desperation that Credence has to escape his reality and to find something that can solve the problems that I think he feels are going to destroy him if they are not sorted out.

SPOILER ALERT (skip past the part in blue if you don’t want to be spoiled): A key component of Credence’s darkness, is the emotional abuse and manipulation he receives from Graves. MuggleNet and Leaky had been brainstorming about the Grindelwald-Graves situation. In the trailers, Graves gives a Deathly Hallows sign to Credence, the sign of Grindelwald. We brought our discussion to Ezra to see if he could give us any insight. His Harry Potter knowledge made his input into the discussion a delight.

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Other Interviewer: A big part of Credence’s character is his relationship with Graves, can you talk a little bit about that? How you felt that would–uh–can you let us know if you knew who he really was?

Ezra: I did. I did know because that was always in the script. Working with Colin was an amazing experience. One thing that was really great about this production was that we had some time to rehearse, which is rare. So we had these couple of days of rehearsal with just David, Colin and I in a room going through these scenes and unnerving the story. A fascinating dynamic, the dynamic even when we first started scene work, it was already so powerfully, creepy and . We would get out of the room and go ‘ugh’, you know what I mean? Trying to shake off that creepiness.

I am fascinated by that dynamic. I had a lot of fun exploring these two characters who want things from each other but are questioning whether or not they can get it. And Credence, maybe want is not a sufficient word for him because he is really seeking all of this stuff that he desperately needs. So a lot of people knew they do not get love and affection and attention and just physical contact. And Graves is dispensing those things to keep Credence in his trap because Graves wants something from Credence. And there is the wonderful escalation of conflict when they start to realize they are not going to get what they want from each other or at least Graves thinks he is not and Credence realizes that Graves is not going to be the paternal figure or the partner or the friend that he is looking for. That is when, really, things go south.[Everyone laughing]

MuggleNet/Kat: We were talking about this before just amongst ourselves, is Grindelwald Graves the entire movie or is there a point where he becomes him?

Ezra: That is a fascinating question. I do not know. I do not know that. It was not scripted. If there is a transitional point we were never told about it but that does not mean that it did not happen because we were not told about a lot of things. [laughs]

MuggleNet/Kat: Do you know where the real graves is? I know you probably cannot tell us if you know but do you know where he is?

Ezra: No but if this is a Barty Crouch Junior situation he is probably at the bottom of one of those trunks.[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: [laughs] Poor guy! Probably skinny, looking pretty gaunt. Having a rough time, somewhere.

 

 

As the Davids (Yates and Heyman) revealed earlier in the day (read Leaky’s David^2 report here), Ezra’s character, Credence, becomes a very pivotal character in future Fantastic Beasts films. When I asked him about this, Ezra was shocked. He had no idea, and could not have been happier to hear the news.

Leaky/Catherine: The Davids said that Credence becomes a really pivotal character. Do we know how many movies, or can you tell us how many movies you’re signed on for?

Ezra: Wow, he said that?

MuggleNet/Kat: He did.

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Sweet!

[Everyone laughs]

Leaky/Catherine: We can play it back for you.

Ezra: That is awesome. Yeah, that’d be good. This isn’t some sort of police interrogation tactic, where you’re like, “Well, the guy in the next room told us you did it!”

[Everyone laughs]

Ezra: Where you draw out the confession? [laughs]

Leaky/Catherine and other interviewers: We have 30 recorders right here. We can play it back for you. It’s recorded here.

Ezra: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Other Interviewer: There is a little glimmer, right? We can’t talk about it until after the movie? But there is a little bit of glimmer. And it is very fast, a lot of things happen.

Ezra: Yeah, I don’t think I even saw that in the cut I saw, so this is hopeful news to me.

Leaky/Catherine and other interviewers: Yeah, Eddie Redmayne sees it. And it is very clear he is the only one who notices.

Ezra: Wow, oh!

Leaky/Catherine: It is just a little piece.

Ezra: They must have put that in really… they must have added that towards the end of the editing process, because the sort of earlier cut that I saw, I don’t think that moment was there.

Other Interviewer: Hmm. So we just told you you got a new job.

[Everyone laugh]

Ezra: Yes! We got some champagne in here, or what? This is huge! Oh gosh, I hope so. I hope that is true. I mean, it would be the great honor of my life to…

Other Interviewer: Keep going?

Ezra: Yeah, I mean, every second I get, you know, participating in this work of creation is a big blessing.

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To continue his role in a Potter series is a dream come true for him. The joy this brought Ezra was very evident on his smiling face. Ezra is so deeply entrenched in the films–from his love of Harry Potter to all of his hard work.  We asked him, as a fan and a cast member, what his favorite scene was in the Fantastic Beasts film, and what he’d like to do in future Fantastic Beasts films, now that he knew he had a future job. Of course, as a fan, working for J.K. Rowling is particularly exhilarating for Ezra. He told MuggleNet, when they asked him about fan-boying for Jo, that he fancied himself J.K. Rowling’s secret keeper!

 

Other Interviewer: Leading up to, and hopefully being in future movies, who would you like to work with more that you didn’t get to in this first one?

Ezra: I’d love with the foursome, of that quartet, because I was just so amazed by their performances. Love those characters. I’m sad that the Obscurists took out Mary Lou, because Samantha Morton is one of my favorite people. I love her so much, and developed a really good relationship with her and would have loved to work with her forever. But maybe there will be other opportunities for that. Her and her partner did produce some live acoustic videos that my band did, and Colleen Atwood actually did our costumes, with backlot 1920s wizarding clothes! But yeah, I would love to work with Eddie and Alison, Katherine and Dan more. Because I barely interact with them. Our story is separate.

MuggleNet/Kat: Have you had the chance to talk to Jo about Credence?

Ezra: Yeah, a little bit.

MuggleNet/Kat: Okay, can you tell us about that, please? Because all of us want to sit in a room with her.

Ezra: Yeah, that was me, a hundred percent. I mean, just the opportunity to be in her presence was sufficient for me.

MuggleNet/Kat: Did you fanboy a little?

Ezra: Yeah. I mean, I tried to stop it, but you can’t stop all of it. The filter can only be so foolproof, and then things start to bubble up. Yeah, you know, she sees it all. She knows everything. She is omnipotent, she is the god of this universe. It is incredible, I mean, the awareness of detail and of side-stories that we’ll never know about, you know what I mean, as the audience? There is too much for her to possibly tell us. And so just to sit next to her and absorb all this information that she has reaching out in every direction, regarding every character she has ever incorporated into this world, even this ones that she could tell you about, you know, Olive Hornby’s year at Hogwarts. It is so impressive. That is what she did, she gave me some secrets.

MuggleNet/Kat: Oh, some secrets!

Ezra: I’m her Secret Keeper.

 

Ezra was not going to break that Fidelius Charm, but we appreciated the Harry Potter reference. As we mentioned in our report on Dan and Alison yesterday, Queenie and Jacob’s relationship steals the show, and Ezra agreed. He was so excited about their on-screen relationship, and how powerful and well-fit the dynamic became.

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Other Interviewer: In watching the whole movie, what surprised you the most as a fan? Just sitting in the seats, in the audience, what surprised you the most about this movie?

Ezra: Oh, I just could not have anticipated how sexy the dynamic is between Dan and Alison! (laughter from all)

Ezra: That was like, “Oh my gosh! I’m uncomfortable in this seat!” (Everyone laughs)

Leaky/Catherine: (laughs) We won’t tell them.

Ezra: I just thought that that dynamic stole the show in such spectacular ways. Yeah, just in general, the performance… the idiosyncrasies of the four performances of the leading quartet, I just found to be beyond anything I could have anticipated or predicted. Even knowing these people, and knowing how amazing they are and how devoted to their work they are, I think the way that it came together is very unique and very successful. And so, yeah, I was very pleasantly surprised by how amazingly dynamic that quartet plays in the film. I think people will fall very deeply in love with those four people, and just want to stay with them, really. I think when Dan is leaving our world of magic to go back to the Muggle world, the No-Maj world, it is so heartbreaking! I really was crying quite a bit, and they are all crying. It is just… I think it really hits the mark. So I’m so excited for people to get that. I feel like it is such good medicine right now. That sort of simple love, you know? We need that.

 

The interview ended with one last question from another reporter about Ezra’s role in the Flash. Ezra expressed how much fun he had on the film, lamented that the director would be changing for the series, and put in a word for Warner Bros. on how much he trusted them with the material. As an important character in Fantastic Beasts, we will see more from Ezra soon!

Fantastic Beasts hits theaters Nov. 18!

 





The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.