As the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald cast continues its promo tour for the upcoming film, there’s one star who has kept a pretty low profile: Johnny Depp.
Although Depp, 55, attended the London premiere this week, he hasn’t been front and center on the interview circuit, which probably wouldn’t have been the case had the movie come out three years ago. (After all, his character’s name is in the film’s title.) The three-time Oscar nominee’s casting drew some outrage as production on the sequel began after he was accused of emotional and physical abuse by ex-wife Amber Heard. And it’s something his co-stars are clearly uncomfortable talking about.
Ezra Miller was asked about Depp’s casting in a recent interview with Playboy, and it was a topic that the author notes the usually chatty actor was “uncharacteristically stymied by.”
When asked if Rowling mentioned anything to him about Depp appearing in the film, he replied, “No, none of us were consulted. None of us knew.”
The 26-year-old actor gave a diplomatic — and slightly meandering — response when asked if he was fine sharing the screen with Depp.
“Look, I bring forth my work to this job, and I do the best that I can,” he replied. After a long pause, he continued, “I would say that literally every single aspect of my reality, inclusive of a lot of things that are not fine with me, are fine with me. It’s amazing how far the banner of all good can extend.” (For what it’s worth, Miller was enjoying some weed during the interview.)
Last year, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was forced to speak out in defense of Depp because of the uproar over his involvement in the project.
“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise,” she said, referring to his legal issues with Heard. (Depp has denied abuse allegations.)
Rowling revealed that she and director David Yates “naturally considered the possibility of recasting.” She continued, “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
In one of Depp’s only interviews promoting the movie, he told Entertainment Weekly that he “felt bad” that Rowling had “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,” he continued. “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.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on Friday.
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