‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Roundtable Interviews: Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol

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Nov 16, 2018

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Actor Interviews, Fantastic Beasts Movie, Fogler, HP Cast, Interviews, Movies, Sudol

Leaky recently had the chance to speak to the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at roundtable interviews in L.A., and we’re bringing you the interviews today – the official release date of the film – to peruse at will!

Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler | Ezra Miller and Claudia Kim | Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston | David Heyman and Callum Turner  |  Review: Crimes of Grindelwald   | Paris World Premiere Report  |  London Premiere Report  |   Set Visit Reports
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD. You may want to return when you’ve seen the movie, if you’re avoiding spoilers! If you have seen the film, remember: PROTECT THE SECRETS.

Dan and Alison were our first interviews of the day, and given their arc in this film, I was particularly excited to ask them about a couple of key moments. Each actor has such an intense understanding of their character, and you feel that in particular from Alison Sudol, who had to go through quite the twist with Queenie. Her relationship with Jacob is at the core of this film, and interviewers on the roundtable with Leaky were keen to get some answers about their scenes together:

Q: What was it like to film the love potion scenes?

Dan: “Yeah, I was drunk with love!”

Q: “An easy task, with this one! [gesturing to Alison Sudol]”
Alison: “Well, he had some help… there was some help – it wasn’t just-!”
Dan: “What?!” [laughs] “The arc of the scene was that we’d kind of laid out that [the love potion] was how [Queenie] got [Jacob] there, to Europe. Jacob’s very practical, like ‘There’s no way we’re going to Europe – let’s live in secrecy, let’s not rock the boat!’, so [Queenie’s] like, ‘BOOP! Okay, now you’re under my spell — we’re going to Europe, and we’re going to get married.’

“Over the course of that scene… [Queenie] gets [Jacob] all the way to Europe and I think it’s fine, but once Newt comes into the picture, I think she’s gotta juggle a little bit more, and the spell starts to unravel, and as you see – I start to become very weird and start to get more drunk over the course of [the scene], and it was a lot of fun to play. 

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“There was a lot of stuff – a lot of Chaplain-y bits – that I added to it. [To Alison] Remember the pile of salt? There was a bit where I get obsessed with a salt shaker, and I’m like ‘Look at this salt!’, suddenly ‘cause it’s magic salt there’s this pile of salt. It went on forever, but that’ll be in the DVD extras! [laughs]

“There was one thing that David Yates said – he really wanted this moment where I was holding onto [Alison] and looking at her and I was like ‘Okay I’ll just make this work!’, I thought I’d act like my daughter, who is two, and at the end of the night it goes from ‘Come here! Stay in one place!’ to  when you get her on one shoulder, and she just looks up you like she’s spacing out. I was like, ‘I’m gonna be like that!’”

Alison: “It was so strange! Such an odd dynamic – like this huge baby hanging onto me!”

It sounds like there are hopefully some great DVD extras to expect for this film! There are so many brilliant moments where Jacob is – like Ron – the comic relief, and we hope that continues into the films as they get progressively darker.

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The next few questions focused on Queenie, and a scene where Alison actually managed to injure herself on set whilst in-character as a flustered Queenie:

Q: What was the feeling like for you when you cracked open the script and saw that ‘Oh good, we’ve got a really great relationship to get into’?

Alison: “Well, I knew it was coming – I’d been told ahead of time what the overarching arc was, and my reaction to it was really like “Ahhh *pained noise*, ow!” , you know, like, “No, ugh!”

“My biggest fear, really, was that because we don’t have a lot of time, there are a lot of storylines in this film and there’s a lot to convey, and this is a very big journey, that you would stay with Queenie and understand why she’s making all the decisions that she’s making, so that when she makes a particular decision, that it hurts, but it doesn’t feel like she’s not who you thought she was. That was my biggest concern. I talked extensively to David Yates about it, and Jo [Rowling], and Jo’s advice about it was really, ‘Trust your instincts’.

“So we worked a lot on [Queenie’s journey], just to make it feel grounded. You know, it was a painful thing to go through, I’m not gonna lie. The first one was way more fun! The first one I was just running around with my friends, and in the second one I’m alone and I’m getting rained on, and I’m abused by a teapot!”

Dan: “You really hurt yourself, too!” 

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Alison: “Oh I did, I fell quite hard, as well, in that scene.”

Dan: “Yeah, all that rain, and your heels and the cobblestones!” 

Leaky: “I was wondering if that scene was all ‘real’ water!“

Alison: “Oh yeah, it was real rain – I was running quite fast, and there were two pair of shoes – one that had grips, and one that didn’t. The pair that had grips were so soaking that I couldn’t put them on, so I put on the other pair, ran and just fell completely flat on my suitcase! Lucky I fell on my suitcase, otherwise it would’ve been face-first, but it was quite a lot of — I felt like the tin man the next day, I could barely walk!”

Q: “Your characters are quite focused on relationships – it’s emotional, it’s family-related. Do you feel like your characters relate to the fact that now families are being divided by politics, just like in the movie?’

Dan: “Oh man, yeah. Yeah! It’s a huge message – what’s the scariest part of that is that it’s supposed to parallel the rise of Hitler, and Nazi Germany – the silver tongue of Grindelwald is an echo of that Führer, of making an enemy of the other, and saying that there’s a superior race that should be in charge. So the ultimate scary thing is that people are listening, and people are listening and will connect with it and see that this is what’s happening now.

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We had the chance to ask Dan about Jacob’s history with War, and what we see coming in the wizard and No-Maj world. We know WWII is just around the corner, and Grindelwald is on the rise, so how does he think Jacob will come into this?

Leaky: “A key moment in this film is when Jacob is listening to Grindelwald – the only part he really listens to is the prospect of there being another World War. Do you think he’d get involved in a muggle war again, because obviously we know another war is coming?”

Dan: “So Jacob was involved in World War One, and that was supposed to be the last one. Then for him to see another one coming, he’s like, ‘What the hell was all that for?’. That is just so devastating to him. So yeah, he’s on someone’s list to get pulled back in if it happens again. As an actor I’m really excited for any flashbacks and flash forwards to WWI and WWII or whatever — Jacob gets to do everything! It’s awesome.

“Just the idea of running through a battle field to get to this one [gestures to Alison], that’s a juicy part, man!”

Leaky: “Do you think he’s still pursuing Queenie, then? Does he fear her at all after this movie?“

Dan: “That last moment – at least in my head – that last moment of the first movie ends where [Jacob] turns around, and there she is, right? In this movie, he’s looking for her on the horizon, hoping she’s gonna come back. The door’s still wide open!”

Obviously this got a collective ‘aw!’ from the room. Dan sounds almost pained at the arc Jacob and Queenie are going through – we’re sure it’s demanded a lot of them as actors! Alison had such a beautiful, compassionate answer as to how she came to terms with Queenie’s decision:

Q: {To Alison} “So you understand [Queenie’s] decision?”

Alison: “Yeah, I mean, I had to do a lot of work to understand the decision, and I had to ask a lot of questions, and David and Jo worked with me a lot behind the scenes on subtle levels – subtle things to just push her. That’s what it is, she’s just being pushed, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed – until she’s pushed too far. 

“So yes, I do. I do understand, given the state that she’s in, given how unprotected she is. I just keep coming back to that. She’s just not protected, and she’s an empath. She has literally no armour at all. Especially with the gift that she has [of being a Legillimens], she needs people protecting her, who have her best interests at heart, and Jacob is not there, Tina is not there, and Newt was the one that ‘outed’ her, so it’s like, where is that [protection]? 

“She will have to develop that skill for herself, and I hope that she does over the next few films.”

Dan: “Then she’ll be a force to be reckoned with! Oh boy!” 

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Alison: “Yes, yeah! You know, I really look forward to that, for her, if that is the road that she goes down. But yeah, I had to find it within myself to have compassion for her, and not be angry. But then again, I’ve had things happen to me in my life where I’ve made decisions, or pushed in a way where I think that I’m making a decision, but I’m not really making the decision, and that took me down a very rough road for some time. But now that I’m older I’m so grateful for those experiences. It dug a deep well within my soul and taught me to have compassion, to relate to other people — to relate to this woman. So, you know. You can’t really begrudge someone their journey just because it gets messy.”

Q: “As a followup to that, it’s really through Queenie that the audience maybe even begins to understand why people would follow the antagonist, and why good people might do bad things. What did you both want to show about the relationship prior to that? To make sure that we were on board, knowing that she was coming from a good place?”

Alison: “It’s this ‘You’re crazy’, ‘You’re a coward’ thing. You can’t call [Queenie] crazy, it hurts to her, and you can’t call [Jacob] a coward — it’s the same pain. They both did it to each other, and that skews you out of thinking in your normal rationale. It’s a hard one to come back from when you’re so triggered.

“So these two people who really love each other are not able to see straight, because their wound has been pressed, hard. I think that that really informed a lot of what happened after that. It happens twice – in two key moments.” 

Finally, one outlet wanted to know what it was like to film scenes with Johnny Depp, an actor with a huge history in filmmaking, and several controversies to his name (including allegations of domestic abuse and workplace violence):

Q: “What was it like working with Johnny Depp?”

Alison: “He was a really great scene partner. He understood that I was nervous working with him. I didn’t know him, I’d never met him, and he’s obviously a legendary actor. He immediately put me at ease, he was making jokes, very respectful in the work environment, very supportive of every take that I did, and he was very gentle on set. I really appreciated that, because we were in some difficult scenes together. So he was a really wonderful person to act with.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is officially released TODAY, November 16th! Check out our interviews with David Heyman and Callum Turner, Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston, and Ezra Miller and Claudia Kim, and be sure to let us know what you thought of the film! Remember to #ProtectTheSecrets!

Read more from Alison and Dan from their panel at LeakyCon this year, and some truly enlightening thoughts from Alison at her panel, and thoughts on Jacob, acting and more from Dan at his panel!





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