Eddie Redmayne Talks Fantastic Beasts


The Wall Street Journal recently interview Eddie Redmayne while promoting his new film The Danish Girl, and was briefly asked about Fantastic Beasts:

Is “Fantastic Beasts” easier to play, without all the physical changes?

I think it may just be my personality, but I always find a reason to worry. So with Stephen Hawking it was about letting down Stephen. With Lili’s story it’s about letting down the trans community. And with “Fantastic Beasts” it’s wanting to do justice to an extraordinary world that J.K. Rowling has created.

Do you have to deal with any live animals or just imaginary creatures?

There are some live animals. Dan Fogler [who plays Newt’s nonwizard friend] and I had to negotiate quite some epically-sized snakes the other day. We went, “Wait a second, can’t we CGI those in?”

Newt and Jacob battling snakes? Could these be the ashwinders we know are going to make an appearance? How will the no-maj, Jacob, handle a magical beast? Let us know your thoughts and theories on Twitter!

Posted on November 24, 2015

Hair and Make-up in Fantastic Beasts


The Pottermore Correspondent has released a new interview with Fae Hammond, head of hair and make-up on the set of Fantastic Beasts:

Fae’s sitting across from me in a fold-out chair in the Fantastic Beasts make-up tent. She’s cradling a cup of hot Earl Grey tea in both hands, beaming with a sort of motherly pride at her artists wandering around. Her silver-grey hair has been cut into a bob since I last saw her, which may have a little something to do with making endless 1920s-inspired mood boards like these.

‘It’s a really delicate, sensitive job, make-up. My team are handpicked by me and I have to choose them for their sensitivities, for their ability to know how to make an actor feel safe. Some days an actor will want to talk and joke, others they’ll not want to say a thing.

‘I need my team to sense that, to work around any nerves, to know when to be quiet,’ she says. ‘We’re the last people they see before they turn their faces and go on camera. Sometimes they need to see you out of the corner of their eye before they can go on.’

Later that day, on an enormous, exquisite indoor set, I can see she’s absolutely right. The last person actress Alison Sudol (who plays Queenie) sees before she runs across slick marble floors in character is her make-up artist, Rachel.

There are easily more than 100 people on that set, running and whispering and doing their jobs, but in those last moments before the camera starts rolling, she just breathes and looks into Rachel’s face as she gets a touch-up. There’s an extraordinary level of trust there.

‘Rachel’s used to working with leading ladies; she’s great fun and she’s loyal,’ says Fae, who chose her very deliberately to look after Alison. ‘They struck up a fantastic relationship straight away really, they’re about the same age, they like the same music, they get on. They’ve got the right energy together. I can’t tell you how important that is.

‘When I meet an actor, I know straight away what they’ll be like, what their nerves will be like, what they need. I’ve been doing this a long time so I trust my instinct to put the right artist with the right actor.’

Fae started in make-up at 21 and she’s now nearly 60. You can tell almost immediately what makes her a legend: it’s kindness. Fae doesn’t paint many faces or attach many wigs these days – her job is more about the overall vision. She carefully empowers each of her make-up artists to research, learn and be creative with their work, which explains why they look so thrilled to be there.

These make-up artists, most of them under 30, spend more than 12 hours a day at work. If they’re working with principle actors, they might get in at 6am, make sure it’s warm and tidy inside their truck, put the right music on and spend maybe 40 minutes on an actor’s face. If they’re doing extras’ make-up, they’ve got to get through as many faces as they can in time for crowd scenes. It’s a huge, high-pressure job. But they love it, they live it, they breathe it and they’re family.

‘A lot of people in the industry are frightened of young people,’ Fae says. ‘I’m not. I love young people, I love their joy and their energy. There’s nothing more wonderful than youth – they’ve got so much to give.’

That’s probably why, as Fae and I jump in a little buggy to travel across set, one of her young trainees grabs me by the elbow and says, ‘I love Fae like I love my own mother. She’s the best boss you could ever hope for and I feel so lucky.’

Working in hair and make-up design is so much more than lipstick and foundation. It’s more than maintaining the curls in a wig or layering the perfect scar onto a cheek with thick red make-up. It’s about humility, tact and instinct. And mood boards. So many mood boards.

So the question is, why was Queenie running across a “slick marble floor”? Running away from someone? Towards something? Let us know your thoughts!

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Pottermore Set Report #3


The newest Pottermore set report comes from the Liverpool set – where we saw this video being filmed at St. George’s Hall in the city. Here are some quotes:

It’s a huge operation, getting all the wigs, coats, stunt mattresses, posters, mannequins, sequined gowns, cameras, make-up tools, vintage cars, fake snow, tents and people to a new location. Huge.

It’s impossible to keep Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Jon Voight, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton and 535 other people a secret, so we don’t really try.

We all rub our hands together and watch as Jon Voight gets out of a stately black car and walks up the stairs of St. George’s Hall. He does it again and again, up snow-drizzled stairs, to get the shot perfect.

Alongside Jon and Ezra today there are 444 extras on set. 40 extra make-up artists, 37 fully-dressed dinner tables, two horses and one vintage Rolls-Royce.

There’s something so right about Eddie and Katherine. They’re absolutely perfect for this movie, and I cannot wait for you to see the scene they filmed today. It’s a dramatic one. Involved a lot of running…

So, what do we know so far about this scene?

We know there is a gala dinner that both Newt and Jon Voight’s character are attending – we speculate that Jon Voight plays the Senator Henry Shaw whose supporters were congregated outside the building. Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) is also outside the building, protesting witchcraft with her ‘Second Salem’ party, and likely her son Credence (Ezra Miller) is with her.

Another scene involved a lot of running – is this released image from that scene, perhaps? Are they running from the Second Salem’ers? Maybe from the Government.

Let us know your theories on twitter!

Posted on November 20, 2015

Fantastic Beasts Akin To Goblet Of Fire


EW have released another small interview snippet with Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman in which he relates the first Fantastic Beasts movie to the fourth in the Harry Potter series:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman notes that even though Goblet of Fire was directed by Mike Newell and the new film is from David Yates (who helmed the final four Harry Potter movies) it’s Newell’s entry that comes closest to Beasts.

”[Fantastic Beasts has] got the charm of the fourth,” Heyman told EW exclusively. “It’s like the fourth. Mike talked about the fourth as being like an Indian musical — and it’s not that, but it’s got the humor of that film. It has the romantic comedy, that fish-out-of-water humor, that very human, natural character comedy. And now David is always looking for truthful, human moments, it’s never just a gag, he’s grounding [the storytelling moments] in a reality. [Beasts] is very funny, it’s got a big heart, and there’s darkness too.”

What do you make of this news? At least we know something happens between Newt and Porpentina in this one! (or will it be Queenie and Jacob? Credence and Chastity, perhaps?) Let us know what you think!

Posted on November 19, 2015

Leavesden Set Damaged By Storm


Storm Barney hit the set of the first Fantastic Beasts movie in Leavesden last night, severely damaging some of the green screen areas.

Last night the storm – which is only the second UK storm strong enough to be named – led to 400 plus members of the crew and cast being evacuated from the site in Leavesden, Hertfordshire.

Images reveal the massive green screen was torn apart, leaving the multi-million pound setter in chaos. It is believed that filming has been able to continue today.

We’re glad no injuries occurred, but also hope the damage wasn’t extensive enough to push back the film’s release date which is currently set for November 18th 2016.

Posted on November 18, 2015

Ron Perlman To Play Speakeasy Gangster


Actor Ron Perlman recently spoke at Rhode Island Comic Con about his Fantastic Beasts ‘goblin’ character:

Although he has a confidentiality agreement, Perlman proved he wasn’t bounded by anything other than his artistic integrity. Filming the role on a week before his R.I. Comic Con appearance, Perlman revealed he plays a two-and-a-half-foot goblin in the eagerly anticipated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the upcoming film inspired by the book of the same name by “Harry Potter” scribe J.K. Rowling.

“The movie takes place in 1914 Manhattan with Newt Scamander, who’s this magician who comes to New York to buy the girl he’s trying to win over a little exotic gift, and he gets caught up with this thing and he comes to my nightclub,” Perlman said. “I’m a gangster who owns a speakeasy. He comes to my nightclub to get information and so I have this one scene in the movie with Newt and his friends. Newt is played by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, who was in “The Theory of Everything” … And I steal the movie. I’m like the Donald Trump of acting. My acting is so good. You’re not going to believe how good it is.”

While we know the movie is actually set in 1926, no 1914, it’s also of interest to note that he says Newt came to New York to win over Porpentina with an ‘exotic’ (animal) gift.

What are your thoughts on this quote? Do you think this is how Newt arrives in New York, or is it another mistake? Let us know on twitter!


Posted on November 13, 2015

Pottermore Set Report #2


While Pottermore‘s newest set report doesn’t outright tell us anything new about Fantastic Beasts, it does give some insight as to prop types and the building of a New York street in Leavesden Studios. Here are some quotes from the article:

I can see pretzels but I can’t smell them and I’m definitely not allowed to touch them.

I stand on a street corner, stroke a prop wheelbarrow…

We start on the Lower West Side where the bricks are filthy, the posters are peeling off the concrete walls and most things are light brown, dark brown or in-between brown. All the signs and posters were designed by extraordinary graphic design double-act Mina Lima.

Fantastic Beasts is set in the roaring twenties and every single detail of the set screams that era. Every shop sign, every newspaper headline, every restaurant menu, every window dressing, every wheel, every food cart, every streetlight.

There are several cobbled streets, and if you stand in the right spot you can see all the way from the Lower West Side to the Upper East Side.

You can see the outside of Tina and Queenie’s apartment, as well as restaurants, a church, and all manner of shops. As Anna tells me, they’ve had to take some of those shop facades down and dress them up as a completely different building very fast when they get a last-minute change in the filming schedule.

Lucky for me, we made it to the interior set of Tina and Queenie Goldstein’s apartment less than an hour before it was taken down. I sat on their beds, stroked their sofa, picked up their books and looked into their mirrors.

We’re guessing the Goldstein sisters’ apartment won’t be appearing in a Studio Tour Fantastic Beasts expansion in the future!

Posted on November 9, 2015