Johnny Depp Breaks Silence on Fantastic Beasts Casting & Continues to be the Worst
Meanwhile Amber Heard stays classy.
Johnny Depp has so far been silent about the controversy surrounding his casting in the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts as the wizard terrorist-criminal Grindelwald. Some fans have considered Depp’s well-documented alleged violence towards his ex-wife Amber Heard to be antithetical to the values of the Harry Potter franchise. Not to mention, other cast members have been fired for less. Both J.K. Rowling and David Yates have defended Depp, but in an article with Entertainment Weekly, the actor finally speaks about his role in the film and the backlash against him.
EW spoke to the cast of Fantastic Beasts and several of Depp’s co-stars spoke highly of him although they are not named in the piece. “I was very curious how this guy was gonna be on set,” one costar said. “It was right in the middle of, you know … I only observed him just being totally sweet and professional.”
It was also mentioned that Depp helped design Grindelwald’s unique look as a pasty, pale-faced fascist, and “added his own improvisational touches while filming.”
“An example being when Johnny conducts a barrage of spells in one of the film’s climactic scenes like a conductor guiding an orchestra, except instead of creating the music he’s effectively creating fiery mayhem and death,” Yates is noted as mentioning.
During the interview, Depp is asked about the comparisons to Trump that have come up from his character (there are other fascists out there, people) and Depp called Grindelwald “almost childlike” and that “Grindelwald is an oddly likable character” because he is a dreamer with a vision for the wizarding world to stand tall and above the non-magical community after generations in the shadows.
Then we get to the issue that really matters, the fan backlash towards Depp being cast and the reaction to it:
Another controversy surrounded your participation in the film. The director, studio, and Rowling issued statements of support. What was that like for you, and is there anything you’d say to fans on the fence about seeing the film?
I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.
[Note: Depp’s attorney has claimed “evidence” will be presented during court proceedings in The Sun defamation case next month. When reached by EW, Heard’s attorney replied, “As the parties agreed in their divorce to resolve future disputes in confidential arbitration, that is the appropriate forum to address Mr. Depp’s public denials that he abused Ms. Heard.”]
I hope that Rowling is comfortable with Depp using her as his shield to declare that she has seen the evidence and knows at Amber Heard lied because it is disgusting for him to make that kind of statement.
This entire situation has tainted the series. The facts are that there are photos of Amber’s bruises, that Depp has shown himself to be violent against other crew members when drunk and his Rolling Stone piece let everyone see the serious delusions that he exists within now. I know many people have sympathy for Depp, and blame Heard for being too young, too wild, a golddigger and therefore have chosen to make her the willing instrument of his demise. Yet, he is not asked to take responsibility for his own actions and the person who has walked out of this with more harm is Amber Heard. People already mocked her before and now they see her as a golddigger and a liar.
Warner Bros. having both Depp and Heard on their payroll for two of their big blockbuster films is something that has always made me uncomfortable, like with the situation in Hall H during SDCC where they secretly brought out Depp for the Fantastic Beasts panel right after the Aquaman one. It is a reminder that Hollywood only cares about its bottom line and not so much the people making the money.
Amber Heard’s also made waves his week, however, when she read an open letter at the Incredible Women gala hosted by Porter Magazine on Tuesday night. She read aloud the open letter she wrote back in 2016 when she announced filing for divorce against Depp.
— Kirsten Chuba (@KirstenChuba) October 10, 2018
“Let’s start with the truth, the cold hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak about her suffering, about injustice, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame. Her motives will be questioned and her truth will be ignored. No matter how terrible or terrifying surviving trauma may be, truth is, it can pale in comparison to what happens after.”
“It’s no wonder that so many of us feel that we have to keep quiet, or keep our own safety to try to maintain our dignity by quietly enduring. The fear of being ostracized by your community is just about the most terrifying prospect there is. But I’m here to tell you there’s no need to make that terrible trade. It isn’t easy to raise your voice, to stand up for yourself and your truth and to do it alone, but our world is changing. Standing shoulder to shoulder as women, we comprise a vast army of voices and we can no longer accept silence.”
I’m so glad that Heard is still out there speaking up and doing so with grace and dignity. Despite the platform she has been given, her ex-husband has been given a bigger one. And as Fantastic Beasts is sure to make a lot of money, because people are gonna watch it regardless of Depp. As long as he can be part of bankable projects, he’ll continue to be hired. In the end, Warner Bros. wins.
(via Entertainment Weekly, image: John Phillips/Getty Images)
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