Daniel Radcliffe Speaks Out About Johnny Depp’s Fantastic Beasts Casting

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Johnny Depp is playing Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald movie, a very controversial decision seeing as he was accused of abusing ex-wife Amber Heard. Both Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and Fantastic Beasts director David Yates defended the decision to have the actor star in the film, but HP star Daniel Radcliffe has slightly different feelings.

The 28-year-old said talking about the casting is “a very hard thing for [him]” because he doesn’t want to disrespect the producers who “gave [him] a great start in life and an amazing job,” but at the same time can understand where the criticism is coming from.

He continued, “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.”

Actor Jamie Waylett, who played Vincent Crabbe in the first six Harry Potter films, was dropped from the series after he was arrested for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009. The situation is slightly different, however, because Johnny never got arrested or pleaded guilty to domestic battery, despite the fact that his ex-wife got a domestic violence restraining order against him shortly after she filed for divorce in 2016. Amber submitted a photo as evidence that showed her right eye bruised, allegedly by Johnny.