Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Ezra Miller Talk Changing Character Dynamics in New Interviews!

Jul 12, 2018

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

Actor Interviews, BigNews, Fandom, Fans, Fantastic Beasts, Fantastic Beasts Movie, Films, Interviews, J.K. Rowling, Miller, Movies, News, Potter News, Redmayne, Redmayne Interviews, Waterston

Much Muggle ink has been spilled, proverbially speaking, over the possible plot twists and turns in the highly-anticipated upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But, intricate theories aside, we wouldn’t be nearly as excited about where Rowling takes us in her latest entry into wizarding history if we hadn’t fallen in love with the characters who are taking us there.

We’ve seen teaser features, first-look images straight from the set and a full-length trailer, but now we’re finally getting to hear from the actors themselves, and hearing them talk about the evolution of their characters from the first film to the second may hint at some of the most interesting details we’ve heard yet!

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston sat down for an interview with Buzzfeed following the media outlet’s request for questions. Fans submitted a wide variety of queries, ranging from “nerdy” to insightfully serious, resulting in a fantastic interview with the duo–and the revelation that for our main characters, relationships in Crimes of Grindelwald get…complicated.

First, they began by confirming that Rowling has included numerous connections to the Harry Potter story. In Redmayne’s words, “There’s these sort of lines of connecting families and familiar people and names to the worlds of Beasts and Potter. Naturally, this refers to familiar names we’re already expecting, such as Lestrange, Travers, Rosier and Nicolas Flamel, but may also include other connections we haven’t yet guessed at!


Later in the interview, Redmayne and Waterston also confirmed the reuniting of our four main heroes from Fantastic Beasts: Tina, Queenie, Newt and Jacob. However, they suggest that the dynamic we enjoyed in the first film has now changed over time and distance.

Katherine Waterson: “As for this film… [thinks for a bit] Things have changed. With all the relationships in the group.”

Eddie Redmayne: “You said that really enigmatically, it was brilliant. The idea of the quartet… I think, momentarily, the band has been disbanded.”

Katherine Waterson: “But the concern and the bond and the intimacy is still there. These people are very important to one another.”

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As for the relationship we’re really interested in, they hint that Tina and Newt’s romance may be developing a good bit slower than fans had hoped–or than the optimistic ending of Fantastic Beasts suggested. The understanding between the two definitely hasn’t progressed since we last saw them. In fact, Waterston reveals the opposite, saying:

Katherine Waterston: “Progressed? Regressed, maybe.”

Eddie Redmayne: “There was so much hope at the end of the last film, but there’s miscommunication.”

Katherine Waterston: “Yeah. It’s a long-distance relationship!”

Eddie Redmayne: “It’s desperate because they’re sort of pining for each other, but things have gone awry. Part of this film is about them re-finding each other.”

Katherine Waterson: “Yeah, but you know, there’s a lot going on, so it’s hard to just have a cup of tea and catch up and sort things out.”

Undoubtedly, attempting to reconnect while also tracking down an escaped Dark Wizard and foil his plans of world domination and wizarding superiority complicates matters. The urgency of the intense situation will provide many opportunities for continued misunderstandings and frustration, but it will surely also provide many opportunities for them to lean on one another for support, appreciating each other’s talents and strengths as they once did.


Still, it’s not going to be an easy road, even if we already know where it ends. Asked whether the knowledge of marital success in the future affects their acting choices for portraying the relationship in the present, both responded thoughtfully.

Katherine Waterston: “I would say no, because we – within our series – don’t have any clue where it’s going. You know, Jo will occasionally give us a little hint about something, but unlike the Harry Potter series, we don’t have books to refer to, so it’s a lot more, in a sense, like real life. You know, events happen and we respond to them.”

Eddie Redmayne: “But it’s kind of wonderfully reassuring to know that we’re gonna end up together, right? Hopefully happily married.”

Katherine Waterson: “We still have to play it like we have no clue what’s happening, though. And isn’t that fun? That the audience is a step ahead of us? They can watch us fail and misunderstand each other and fail again and struggle to come together, and they can think, ‘Aw, these suckers. They don’t know it, but we know it. It’s going to work out.’ “


Of course, we’re well aware that part of what may be muddying the waters is the introduction of Newt’s brother, Theseus, and his new fiancé, Leta Lestrange, into the story. As we learned in Fantastic Beasts, Newt and Leta have a history, and the film hinted that it was not strictly platonic, though it remains to be seen if that was mutual or one-sided. So there’s a lot to navigate relationally in the midst of these dark times–Newt’s relationship with his brother, his relationship with Leta and his relationship with Tina. Waterston observed:

Katherine Waterston: “It’s interesting that you would ask me that. [laughs] I mean, this movie could be called Fantastic Beasts and…It’s Complicated. You know, all these relationships are really dynamic and rich.”

Eddie Redmayne: “It is really complicated. [Theseus] is an Auror, he’s very establishment, and Newt is kind of the antithesis of that. But what I loved, actually, was the way Jo had written their relationship. It was quite antagonistic to begin with, and it certainly is filled with complexities. I mean, his brother is engaged to this girl who he had a huge affection for growing up, so there’s obviously a real tension there. But one of the things I loved is, actually, Jo said to me seeing what Callum [Turner] was doing and how David was directing – there was a lot of love there – that she progressed the relationship as a consequence of that.”


Finally, Redmayne divulged some clues as to what the relationship between Newt and Albus Dumbledore, his former professor and advocate, will look like, also expounding on Newt’s inner struggle against what he views as the “establishment” and what’s expected of him versus his responsibilities and obligations in light of what’s going on in the world. He said:

Eddie Redmayne: “A part of this story is about Newt’s call to action. One of the lovely things that I adore about Newt is that he’s just completely his own person – he doesn’t get pulled in to become a member of the tribe. People are always trying to recruit him, but he’s his own person. And yet, actually, the stakes get so high in this film that it’s really him questioning whether he can continue doing that or whether at some point you have to engage.

“As for Dumbledore, he and Newt have always had this kind of wonderful master/apprentice quality and there’s kind of a joy between them. But Dumbledore’s sly. Dumbledore’s been recruiting Newt a little bit, and he certainly does in this film. I suppose the reason he’s pulled to engage is because the stakes are so high. That Grindelwald dude is causing havoc.”

Pulling it all together, the two confirmed that the complex character development is driving a darker and more complex story. They noted:

Eddie Redmayne: “It’s so much darker than the last one. I think Jo loves that. In fact, I think she even said that to me on set. She was like, ‘I just love it when it gets darker.’ “

Katherine Waterston: “It’s more complex. I think it’ll be a really fun journey to revisit and look for clues and things you might have missed the first time. It’s really dense and full of interesting dynamics and relationships and wonderful wizarding lore.”

Eddie Redmayne: “I love that she has such an extraordinary imagination for plot. It’s so tightly wound, this story, that you have to pick apart each element of it. It feels like an extraordinary puzzle.”

Read the full Buzzfeed article here, and watch video of the interview with Redmayne and Waterston below!

The dynamic between Newt and Tina isn’t the only one which undergoes a major change, however. Speaking in an interview with Cinema Today, Ezra Miller revealed that Credence Barebone has also experienced a significant evolution since the first film.

Miller started off discussing where Credence is now in relation to where he was–and what that means for his own internal battle. He observed:

“I’m really enjoying tracking the changes – following Credence’s trajectory. It’s an interesting thing because certainly in this film he’s broken free of some of the restraints that we saw him in in the first film. So there’s this aspect of repression that’s cast off and he’s trying to learn to work with the power of the entity he possesses. So there’s liberation and there’s the confidence that comes with that, but then there’s also, I think, a massive sense of uncertainty and isolation that comes with casting off everything that’s made up who you are for the first part of your life. And so I think he’s also very confused and is really seeking his identity because everything he was taught, everything that he was raised with, was a lie that hurt him and held him back. So now having cast that off, he doesn’t have much to inform who he is or how he should behave in the world. And so I think it’s liberating but it’s also scary for Credence in this new chapter.”


Miller then went on to address how that inner conflict plays out externally, how it affects him physically as well as mentally to function as an Obscurus, commenting:

“It’s interesting. So what we explore a bit is the nature of an Obscurial and an Obscurus and how or when they can truly be killed or hurt. Credence is working with a magical, potentially terminal illness and he has to navigate that so I think it’s an element of time is running out and part of that is the need for him to figure out who he is, what he is and how to work with it otherwise, presumably, he will perish.”

He goes on to discuss the complexities of the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, considering the intensity and influential power of young love and the aftermath of once aligned paths diverging for important philosophical and ideological reasons. He does not address the possibility that Grindelwald may have, in some way, used his charisma to manipulate a more vulnerable, naïve and enthusiastic young Dumbledore, but hopefully we’ll learn more about the balance–or imbalance-of that dynamic in flashback sequences. Miller does, however, reflect on the way Grindelwald misused Credence, saying:

“I think the relationship between Credence and Graves, who we actually know now to have been Grindelwald throughout their relationship, is a complex one in which they both need and wants things from each other and Credence is really, ultimately, being exploited. In Grindelwald’s mind, he’s just using credence as a means to get to the power he’s seeking. He doesn’t realise that Credence is actually the one who holds that power. But Graves, who’s of course Grindelwald, actually is really taking advantage of Credence’s vulnerability, Credence’s need for love, and to be recognised and to be seen in the power of his differences from the rest of the people in his world and his life. Credence really needs those things. Grindelwald, who’s devious and very cunning when it comes to reading and manipulating people, he perceives all of this about Credence and he uses it.”


Miller takes the character analysis further, commenting on how Graves’ mistreatment continues to affect Credence. He said:

“I think it’s complicated because Credence is troubled and confused as to who actually has his best interests at heart. He’s been so betrayed so many different times in so many different ways that I think he has a difficult time trusting anyone’s intent. He doesn’t really know Newt. He knows that Newt was acting like he just wanted to help him, but then again, so was Grindelwald in the guise of Graves. Graves was the same way in promising Credence protection or safety or understanding or care. So I think Credence just has a hard time trusting anyone, really, and that certainly applies to people in the magical world who have hurt him immensely, who tried to kill him. He has no real reason to trust any wizard and, really, has had a terrible run with No-Majes as well in his life and growing up and the type of puritanical and repressive culture that he was raised in which caused such dysphoria and sickness in him. And having rebelled against that culture, and his truth having exploded outwards and made him an outcast and an exile from that world, he was also then met with hostility and animosity from the Wizarding World. So he doesn’t really mess with anyone. I don’t think he knows that there is a difference between Graves/Grindelwald and Newt. I think he sees them all as untrustworthy people who purely want something from him because otherwise why would they be there, what was their intent to begin with. I think he just distrust everyone.”

These are some very interesting, deep observations from Ezra Miller regarding where Credence Barebone is mentally and emotionally when our next film begins, which suggests that Newt may find it difficult to gain Barebone’s trust and secure him as an ally–or simply secure his safety–if he can find Credence at all!

Read a translated portion of the interview transcript at Fantastic Beasts Movie here, and view videos of the interview below!

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.