Daniel Radcliffe on Johnny Depp’s Beast casting: ‘It’s a very hard thing for me’

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I feel about Fantastic Beasts the way I feel about the new Star Wars movies. Even though it was highly entertaining and true to the spirit of the central films, it’s not an original. I love going to the movies though and I’m happy that they’re making new films in the HP universe, although I would like them better if we had cameos from some of the main cast. It’s not possible with the timeline of Fantastic Beasts, so so they’re pulling in bigger names because some a-hole producers surely think they need to do that to draw more of an audience.

As you know Johnny Depp is playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, out this November. Given Johnny’s well documented domestic abuse, you would think that he would have been recast, however that wasn’t the case. J.K. Rowling issued a statement saying that they were “genuinely happy to have Johnny” in the role, stating that his abuse of his ex wife, Amber Heard, (my words) was a private matter and that “both [parties] have expressed a desire to get on with their lives.” Well Amber tweeted that her statement was taken out of context and advised other women to “stay strong” so we know how she feels about that.

While Rowling may have disappointed fans with her response to Johnny’s casting, we always have HP star Daniel Radcliffe (please Gods let us always have Daniel Radcliffe). He told EW that Depp in the role was “a very hard thing for me” and brought up that others have been fired from the franchise for much less.

“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe said, noting he wants to be supportive of the film’s producers who “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job.”

But, he added, “I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that … 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 behavior 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.”

[From EW]

EW reminds us that Radcliffe is “referring to actor Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe.” Waylett plead guilty in 2009 to growing pot in his mom’s basement and he got fired for it. Meanwhile, like NFL players, others are “accused” of domestic assault and horrific abuse. Perhaps because those cases are rarely prosecuted, and the perpetrators make a lot of money for people, they get a pass. I’m voting with my wallet though and am skipping this one. I’m sick of seeing Johnny Depp’s mug on the big screen too, so it won’t be too hard not to spend my money. Now what is Daniel Radcliffe in next – he’s promoting his upcoming TBS comedy, Miracle Workers, costarring Steve Buscemi. Buscemi plays God and Radcliffe is one of “low-level angels [who] must convince their boss to save humanity.” That looks good! He also has Beast of Burden out sometime this February. I’ll keep an eye out for that one.

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45 Responses to “Daniel Radcliffe on Johnny Depp’s Beast casting: ‘It’s a very hard thing for me’”

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  1. Hh says:

    I was never a big Depp fan. Not that I disliked him, but He just never did anything for me.

    Also, it’s weird that Depp is still getting cast as though he’s a box office draw. Haven’t the last few of his movies done poorly and/or not as well as expected?

    • Una says:

      That is the infuriating part. Johnny Depp as a box office draw? That has not been the case in a long fucking time. I wish they kept Colin Farrell, I like him.

    • Mia4s says:

      Depp is still a pretty good draw internationally and international distributors like that (Oscar or not, Eddie Redmayne’s name means nothing as a draw). Plus Depp still has powerful friends who are helping him financially stay afloat. They probably got him at a discount too as you will notice he’s entered the “Nicholas Cage I’m in debt so I’ll take every job” stage of his career…just with better options…so far.

      I really thought the first Fantastic Beasts was dull and pointless so it’s no great sacrifice for me not to see this. I’d love to see a hefty fall at the box office as schadenfreude, but it seems like there are enough Potter fans desperate for scraps that they will see this anyway.

    • marianne says:

      Johnny Depp is a still in a draw in China, thats why.

    • SallyS says:

      I think since POTC5 made something around 800 mln Depp is still considered bankable to a degree.

  2. LizLemonGotMarried says:


    Sorry. Hufflepuff fan girl moment. I love Dan Rad and that he’s such a genuinely good person.

    • Erinn says:

      Hahah, Hufflepuff is where it’s at, LLGM.

      I love Dan Rad too – he seems to be such a genuine person. He’s had his troubles with alcohol – but he’s always owned it and always has worked very hard on that. Just seems like a solid person, and I’m glad he commented on this.

      • Redgrl says:

        Me too @erin – Radcliffe seems level-headed and always struck me as a thoughtful young man. In terms of Depp, even before the domestic abuse, I was done with JD – always the same twee characters over & over – very one-trick pony. Now that his true colours are out there, I can’t fathom why he still gets hired…

    • Really says:

      DR holds the message of the books better than the author herself.
      I will not pay to watch this, I will not support the abuser

  3. Carol Hill says:

    I will give this a miss too. Fantastic Beasts was good, but not Harry Potter!!! I miss Harry so much. I can’t with Johnny Depp. I’m sorry the producers are tone deaf.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      “Fantastic Beasts was good, but not Harry Potter!”

      This so much. It was a cute flick, but it lacked the charm and magic (not literally, of course) of the Potterverse.

      And I don’t want to see Depp in this either way. Not only because he needs to fade away for being an abuser, but also because he’s a sh!t actor. That’s so sad because he can be good if he wants to, but all producers want from him lately are these over-acted characters. Jack Sparrows everywhere.

      • Megan says:

        I did not know Depp was in Fantastic Beasts when I went to see it and was completely disappointed when his booze bloated face showed up on screen. No sequels for me.

      • Ana Maria says:

        @Megan: this is what bothers me about his casting, his bloated face! because, wasn’t Grindelwald supposed to be handsome and charismatic, according to the HP books?

  4. Ollie says:

    Has JK Rowling blocked him by now?
    She does it with everyone else.

  5. anna222 says:

    Men that have made a lot of money for studios can get away with pretty much anything and we’re seeing the impact of that kind of system with #metoo. I’m really glad Daniel is calling that out.
    I get really ranty about the fact that there are people in prison for victimless drug offenses, yet domestic violence and sexual offenders get given so many chances and such lenient sentences. Breaking: old white male judges don’t value minorities, women and children.

  6. SM says:

    He is awesome and a great example for much more powerful men i Hollywood who are cowards. I will see your next film Daniel, just not the one with Depp

  7. HadleyB says:

    This makes me miss my Harry Potter mania days so much!! Waiting for the books… going to the book store at 2am and mingling with all the other fans while we wait for our books..then the movies.. the excitement…it was such a great time to be alive.

    I will pass on this movie as well and it makes me sad …

  8. smcollins says:

    My only takeaway from this write up was the reference to his new show. Daniel Radcliffe AND Steve Buscemi, together, in the same show? I’m so there for it!

    • KiddV says:

      Right?! I love me some Steve Buscemi, I’ll watch anything with him in it.

      And Daniel’s reply was perfect. I don’t get to see many movies these days, so it’s not a big deal for me to skip Fantastic Beasts, but I wish it wasn’t an issue. Hopefully this will make studios think twice before hiring Depp for anything in the future.

    • swak says:

      I’ll seen it when I’m babysitting at my daughters (they have cable, I don’t). Love me some Steve Buscemi too! Sounds like a good combo!

  9. OSTONE says:

    Dan Rad is my Harry Potter! Such a genuine, nice guy! Will be supporting his projects, and as much as it hurts, as a Potterhead, will miss fantastic beasts because of Johnny Depp being cast.

  10. marianne says:

    As much as I believe Amber, I will say that that Jamie was actually arrested and convicted and Johnny has not. So it wasnt necessarily a similar comparison.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      I did a reading on Jamie.

      In 2006 he was accused of using cocaine (he was 17).
      In 2009 he was accused of growing cannabis. Got community service out of it.
      I guess that’s when he got fired. Why not already for the cocaine bit?
      Then in 2012, he was actually sentenced to 2 years in prison for participating in the England riots of 2011. Dude did some looting and was armed with Molotovs.

      Man, life does imitate arts. I hope he got out of this lifestyle since and is doing well.

      • Miss M says:

        I am not sure. But it seems that in 2006 he was a user. But in 2009 it seems he was convicted due to the amount that could be perceived as he was selling?
        In any case, I hope he has sorted his life by now.

  11. Lucy says:

    I’ve known this man for almost twenty years (not personally, of course) and he still hasn’t disappointed me, not once. May he always be on the Good Side <3

  12. Ally says:

    It’s also just old white dudes scratching each other’s backs to keep the old white dude tribe going. How many projects and businesses have to be damaged for the sake of protecting some useless creep, for everyone to stop pretending that casting a Johnny Depp or a Marky Mark, rather than a cheaper, better actor with no history of violence, has anything to do with merit.

    When you cast one of these jerks, it justifies someone like Weinstein running the company, and vice-versa. When NBC keeps giving Matt Lauer and Chris Matthews raises, it justifies similar behavior from the men in the executive suite. It produces crap work but it keeps the power concentrated and that’s the goal.

    Btw, here’s a brief round-up of sexist shizz Chris Matthews says:
    When a woman talks like this, she’s doing Fashion Police on E! When an old white man talks like this, NBC considers it political analysis.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Depp’s major draw is O. V. E. R. Just like Tom Cruise. Just like Matt Damon. Just like Ben Affleck. These ridiculous men, and so many others, add nothing but eyerolls, and the institutions continuing to hire them are delusional. To think that Fantastic Beasts wouldn’t have been a success without Depp is astounding. Does anyone, with kids or without, remember the meteoric rise of the Harry Potter books? Remember the global phenomenon of each movie? I mean, these weren’t simply successful. Fantastic Beasts would do much better without the superfluous drama that orbits Depp and others like him. Stick with what works and not any publicity is better than no publicity. Very disappointing.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      I think Depp, Damon, Cruise and Affleck actually still have a draw, only that it’s not as widespread and not as unconditional as before. But – related to another topic – who the hell goes to the cinema only because of Marky Mark? Give me a break.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Exactly. Draw. Not major draw. Rowling and producers should have capitalized on the major draw of such a spectacular franchise. They do a disservice to her works.

  14. Beluga says:

    It would have been so easy for Daniel Radcliffe to turn into a complete wanker. You’re thrust into the spotlight aged 11 as the main star of the biggest film franchise in the world at the time and that’s how you grow up. The fact that he’s grown into a genuinely lovely person is fantastic. I’m glad he’s not just toeing the party line here and is willing to voice his doubts on such a sensitive issue when he’ll have been so close to a lot of the people involved.

  15. Char says:

    You know what bugs me about Johnny Depp’s popularity? He doesn’t even have a wide range, really. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great with strange characters, I love Captain Jack Sparrow, but I can’t see him playing “normal.” And then you have Alan Rickman (2 years gone & wow, do I miss that voice!) who I think is greatly underrated, & by all acknowledgements a good man too, but Depp is the most popular (or maybe I should say most well known) of the 2. I’ll never understand that.

    But good to know Radcliffe is one of the good ones! I wonder how Rowling’s will react to this.

  16. Nicole says:

    This was a good statement and i thought he brought up good points. They fired a kid (or at least a young adult) for pot yet can’t seem to fire Depp for beating the crap out of his wife? And i doubt he’s sober at all these days so where’s the line?
    JK’s statement was infuriating and I won’t be supporting these movies in theaters. It sucks because the cast is delightful but I just cannot. I’m a lifelong potter fan but it stops here…i’ll always read the books and support that. But i’m not funneling any more money into HP.

  17. Clairej says:

    Daniel is awesome. Fantastic Beasts was a huge disappointment for me. Could have been so much more. Eddie was well cast, but otherwise a massive bore of a movie.

  18. Really says:

    Finally someone said something, love daniel rad.
    The double standards around this movie is way over the top, Depp is not worth it.

  19. Gemma13 says:

    I had a mini heart attack when I saw Daniel’s photo since we rarely talk about him. I thought, “nooooo, not him, not him, not him.” Thank GOD it wasn’t for something awful. I love that he spoke out against the casting. I love him and pray we don’t ever hear a bad word about him. I didn’t know he was going to have a show! I hope it does well.

    As someone mentioned above, I also didn’t know Depp was going to be in FB. I didn’t read anything before the movie since I wanted to go in with minimal expectations. I was loving the movie and having a great time, but as soon as I saw Depp’s face my heart sank. They should have re-cast and I am so disappointed in JK Rowling, the producers, and director for continuing with him. I will continue to love Harry Potter, but I have to sit out on this movie as well. Fantastic Beasts would have done just as well without him, imo. They didn’t need a “big name” to draw anyone in. The fact that the trailer was visually appealing, family-friendly, and set in the Harry Potter universe would have brought in what they needed. I’ll say it again, THEY DID NOT NEED DEPP. NO ONE NEEDS DEPP.

  20. Broken halo says:

    When Johnny Depp showed up in the first movie I was like, “Oh hell no!” What a horrible casting choice. He’s not 21 Jump Street anymore. He’s bloated, wife beater now. Disgusting.

  21. Jess says:

    Good for Daniel. The Johnny Depp casting in any movie is disgusting and how JK handled it was a real letdown.

  22. IMO says:

    I will not support a wife beater and the gang of apologists and victim blaming producers.
    Daniel rocks and his next movies sound good.

  23. Samantha says:

    I honsetly can’t believe how great his response is. I thought it’d be like Rowling or a complete sidestepping.

    • Right says:

      It is easy to portrait herself as activist but really hard to have real action to match the PR speech, kudos to Daniel to recognized the real issue without a excuse to victim blaming

  24. Bug says:

    Daniel is such a good guy.

  25. Other Renee says:

    I refuse to see any film with Johnnie Dope. I had to miss out on Murder on the Orient Express but that’s life.

  26. SallyS says:

    I really don’t want Depp in these movies for the simple reasons – he became an one-note actor. He now always plays Jack Sparrow over and over again. In every movie. I mean in his earlier days he was pretty great. He could play diversely. Idk what happened to his acting. And also I dislike the image they gave to his character, why on Earth they decided to give Grindelwald this bleached pineapple look? It looks fugly.

  27. Addison says:

    Kudos to Daniel for very well expressed views. More of Daniel and less of Depp!