When it was announced Johnny Depp would keep his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, outrage was spread across social media. Depp was accused by ex-wife Amber Heard of physical abuse in 2016, which she backed up with images of her bruised face.
J.K. Rowling has defended the choice to keep Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2, citing Depp and Heard’s agreement to move on from their divorce and with their lives. The accusations arose about Depp’s violent behavior during the filming of the original Fantastic Beasts, and Rowling admittedly had concerns, according to Entertainment Weekly. However, she, along with the producers and director, David Yates, have stood by their decision to leave Depp in the film.
Now, the biggest star to come out of the Harry Potter franchise is speaking out on the matter.
Daniel Radcliffe doesn’t appear to share the same sentiments as Rowling regarding Depp’s casting but was careful when addressing the issue.
In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Radcliffe admitted he understands why so many were outraged that Depp was not removed from the upcoming film. He used an interesting analogy comparing Depp to NFL players. Radcliffe believes many players in the NFL are unfairly suspended for using marijuana, while others who have committed serious crimes are given a slap on the wrist and allowed to play because of their talent or famous names.
Radcliffe noted one of his co-stars was fired after appearing in six Harry Potter films for growing marijuana. Jamie Waylett, who played Draco Malfoy’s buddy Vincent Crabbe, was unable to appear in the Deathly Hallows films after being busted for the somewhat minor crime.
“I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
The Harry Potter star made a strong argument, but also made a point of supporting the Fantastic Beasts producers who served on his eight films in the franchise. He noted the producers gave him “a great start in life,” by casting him in one of the biggest roles in Hollywood history.
Time will tell if Depp’s role in the Fantastic Beasts sequel puts a damper on ticket sales, as many are boycotting the film over his appearance.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16.