J.K. Rowling says Johnny Depp got his part as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with her “full blessing”.
Eyebrows have been raised about his part in the movie after a rocky period for the star, mainly centered around allegations of domestic abuse during his split from Amber Heard.
But J.K. Rowling agreed with Fantastic Beasts director David Yates that Depp had been cast purely based on his talent and suitability for the role.
And she says he has pulled it out the bag when it comes to his performance, which fans will finally get to see when the Harry Potter spin-off movie is released on November 18.
Rowling told E!: “I didn’t approach him—although he was approached with my full blessing, because I thought he’d be amazing in the part. I can’t say much, because there are surprises in the movie, but I’m really happy with his performance. And I think fans will be, too.”
Rowling also revealed that she had a specific actor in mind to play Dumbledore in the forthcoming sequel — but she refused to let slip who it is.
She said: “I do have a name. I do have someone in mind, but I can’t say it. Because if that person doesn’t get cast, then the person who does get cast will blame me forever for having said it, won’t they?”
Earlier this week director Yates said Depp was cast because their sole focus was to get the “best, most inspired” actor for the part.
He said of Depp: “He’s a really brilliant, brilliant actor and we were excited about seeing what he would do with this kind of character.”
Depp’s selection did not go down with some sections of the Harry Potter fandom due to the nature of the allegations against him.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them boasts a stellar cast alongside Depp, including Eddie Redmayne, Carmen Ejogo, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler and Jon Voight.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is released on November 18.