Dan the man

Daniel Radcliffe Chimes in on Johnny Depp Casting Controversy

Harry Potter actor and consistently good sport Daniel Radcliffe has spoken for the first time about the controversy surrounding the casting of Johnny Depp in the titular role of the new Harry Potter film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald


Allegations of domestic violence were made against Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Heard was awarded $5 million in her case against Depp, which she donated to various human rights charities. J. K. Rowling defended the decision to retain Depp in the role in a statement on her website, saying: 


The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  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.


When asked about the growing controversy, Radcliffe told Entertainment Weekly, “it’s a very hard thing for me.” The film’s producers “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job.” However, he went on:


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.


Radcliffe is referring to Vincent Crabbe actor Jamie Waylett, who was dropped for the final two Harry Potter films after he was arrested for growing ten marijuana plants in 2009. The fact that he was fired and Depp was not, despite Depp’s alleged actions seriously trumping Waylett’s in their severity, has frequently been cited by fans critical of the decision. 


Radcliffe’s response has been lauded on Twitter. Twitter user @hobbitlindsey, who was blocked by J.K. Rowling for similar comments, praised Radcliffe’s stance.





Featured Image Via Variety