Rolling the dice in their quest for truth
The latest installment in the “Fantastic Beasts” film franchise, “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” may be anchored on the tricky situations Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) find themselves in. But their individual stories wouldn’t feel as complete without the challenges faced by the Wizarding World’s other similarly fascinating characters.
At the recent press con for the film, which has since become the sixth highest-grossing film so far this year, we also heard Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Jessica Williams (Lally Hicks), William Nadylam (Yusuf Kama) and Victoria Yeates (Bunty Broadacre) talk about returning to the series and discuss what kept their characters busy this time around.
Glimmer of hope
Yes, we know how easy it is to “spoil” the story for viewers who have yet to watch it, but even the actors themselves were just as careful about disclosing parts of it without revealing too much.
For Dan and Jessica, who portray muggle baker Jacob and Charms teacher Lally, respectively, there are things in their characters’ individual journeys that are worth rolling the dice for.
“Jacob reflects the times in a lot of ways,” Dan mused. “At the start of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,’ it’s like we’re all heading into the Great Depression. He is extremely down on his luck. And it seems like he’s just in this constant state of loss.
“In a nutshell, Jacob is lost: He’s lost his love, Queenie. He’s lost his appetite. He’s losing his bakery. And it feels like he’s losing his mind! So he’s just very sad when you first see him, although he still holds that glimmer of hope that Queenie would somehow return to him.
“Then, Lally offers him a chance to come back and join the adventure again—and he does it all for love! That’s his whole motivation this time around.”
While we do meet Lally briefly in the second movie (‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’), the mysterious witch becomes a central character in “The Secrets of Dumbledore”—and she rolls the dice as eagerly as the rest of Albus’ beleaguered teammates to stop Gellert Grindelwald’s nefarious plans.
“Lally is a brilliant witch and a good teacher,” said Jessica when asked about her character’s expanded role in the third film. “She went to school at about the same time with Queenie and her sister Tina (Katherine Waterston), and she’s someone who’s really good at seeing into the heart of people. Not only that, Lally is really good at defensive magic.
“Dumbledore recruits her to help him deal with his bad ex (Grindelwald). She is someone that can be trusted, even though Lally doesn’t necessarily know how things are going to play out in the long run.”
Indeed, some risks are worth taking.
Take Queenie—the risks she took in the second film had only resulted in so much heartbreak, as much for her as Jacob.
“At the end of the previous movie, we see Queenie making a pretty shocking decision… it’s something that no one expected,” Alison noted. “But if you follow through the film, when you really think about it, Queenie was in one unfortunate circumstance after another because of the way the Wizarding World operates.
“But really, all she wants to do is to be with the person she loves. But the narrow-mindedness of the world she lives in puts her into a really vulnerable position, where somebody who’s really manipulative can tell her what she wants to hear. And that’s going to have an impact on her.
“So, at the start of this film, we find Queenie in a world that is very different from any world she’s ever been before. She’s being utilized for her tremendous power… and she’s either had to hide in the past or been made to feel guilty about it.
“And I think, a lot of young women can relate to that. She’s in a tricky position. We don’t really know where she’s going or how she’s going to move forward because she’s at a point in her life where she has only two ways to go.
“There’s not much that I can say about this without spoiling the story, but it’s pretty creepy. So, maybe Queenie won’t be able to get away—or maybe she will (laughs). That’s what her journey is all about now.”