Ever since the first Fantastic Beasts film, there has been some controversy surrounding the casting of Johnny Depp as the villain Grindewald. His casting was revealed in the film itself, when at the end Colin Farrell’s character reveals himself to actually be Grindewald played by Depp himself.
Some fans have been very much against his casting because of the pretty recent assault allegations by ex-wife Amber Heard. Six months before the release of Fantastic Beasts, Heard filed for divorce from Depp, claiming he had physically and verbally abused her. That didn’t stop his casting or his career in Hollywood, as he was then cast in the Harry Potter universe.
Now the film’s director, David Yates, was interviewed recently by EW where he defended the addition of Depp to the cast. He referenced his experience with actor as one of his main points.
“Honestly there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”
Although it’s nice to hear Depp is decent and kind on set, discrediting the person who claimed that he did awful things to them is worrying part. Yates then goes on to specifically explain why he feel what he feels about the actor.
“By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know. It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”
To a lot of fans, this isn’t a “dead issue”. He mentions that many of Depp’s exes, including Winona Ryder, have come forward after the allegations to defend him. His opinion on the matter is based on his own experience, so it’s understandable (not excusable) that he would defend Depp in this form.
Besides the allegations against Johnny Depp, fans have also pointed out their disliking of the casting choice due to his fit for the role. Personally, I thought he was okay in the first Fantastic Beasts, but he felt very out of place in the film. It’s interesting that Yates only defended him from the allegation against him, instead of also explaining why he chose him for the role. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters next year.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16, 2018.