While the Harry Potter franchise destroyed the box-office year after year with incredibly successful (with both critics and fans) films, it also became quite notable for adding top notch acting talents. Names like Maggie Smith, Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman (to just name a few) were all featured throughout the franchise, marking their place in the Harry Potter universe forever. Now, with the wizarding world’s spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ready to take its place in the universe, it really isn’t all that surprising to see an actor like Colin Farrell take his place on that list.
Farrell plays a mysterious character by the name of Percival Graves. He serves as the Chief Security Officer for the Protection of Wizards at MACUSA, which is basically the Ministry of Magic in America. From what we know, Graves’ role in the story is to investigate Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, who is gallivanting around New York City causing all kinds of mess for the wizarding world after his magical briefcase full of fantastic creatures pops open.
For Farrell, who just recently starred in The Lobster, a film of this type isn’t usually one that goes on his filmography. But when the calls comes to not just join the Harry Potter universe, but one that was written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, who is known for his work on the final four Harry Potter films, the decision wasn’t hard to make.
During an interview with Collider last year during a visit to the set of Fantastic Beasts, Colin Farrell sat down for some very lengthy and detailed questioning, where he revealed how he got involved in the highly anticipated spinoff:
“I got a call about a call. I got a call about a call with David Yates. And myself and David got on the phone, first, I think. I don’t know if I read the script and then talked to David or I talked to David and then read the script. But whatever it was we spoke and exchanged thoughts on the character and the script and that was it, really. We spoke a good bit actually. I think we spoke two or three or four times or so. And he’s wonderful and obviously he has an incredibly comprehensive and insightful knowledge of this whole universe and this world and its philosophies and ideologies and behaviors and so, he was and has been since then just a wealth of information and a stalwart for references that are really helpful. So, that was it really and as I said I’ve seen the first eight Harry Potter films and loved them all. And so it’s a very cool thing to be a part of. It’s fun.”
Like I said above, the decision was in no way, shape or form a hard one for Farrell to make. Once he got the call, it was pretty much made for him. And just from those comments above, he seems very excited to be a part of this universe.
But if that isn’t enough, the following comment from a later part of the interview solidifies just how excited he is and how much fun he had filming this movie:
“I mean its enormous amounts of fun. I have a fuckin’ wand. I mean seriously, seriously, I’m not even joking, you know, and I’ve done plenty of things that have been you know, (sighs) more that have had a strain of despondency or pain or loss or violence and all that. So, this feels very different from anything I’ve done. And it’s kind of nice that I’ve done something that my boys could actually see. I mean they may not want to right now or like it. And that’s fine also, but J.K’s imagination is obviously just an extraordinary, extraordinary thing. You know, the energy that that one woman has put out into the world. The moods she has affected, the parents that she’s created moments for, for fathers and mothers reading books to their children or children recounting to their parents. I mean it’s amazing what she’s put out into the world. So, on reading the script I got caught up in that energy.”
While he’s been around Hollywood for a long time, I believe Colin Farrell is one of the more underrated actors in the business. And I think that’s mainly due to a string of bad movies a few years back. While he has never been the problem, he just unfortunately hasn’t always picked the right projects. But luckily, the may all be changing, as a role in a universe like Fantastic Beasts could take his career into a whole new direction. David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18th, 2016 and stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Ron Perlman, and Jon Voight.