Actor Colin Farrell, who plays the role of Percival Graves in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them says he loved being a part of JK Rowling’s wizarding universe.
The David Yates-directed movie, set in the 1926 New York, predates Potter’s story and revolves around Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). The film marks the screenwriting debut Rowling, whose Harry Potter books were adapted into a successful franchise.
Graves, Farrell’s character in the movie, is a high- ranking official at MACUSA, the Director of Magical Security whose job is to protect the population of wizards in North America.
Farrell says he did not need to prepare much to play Graves.
“It was all there on the page, and I spoke to David Yates in great detail about the character and what he felt the tone of Graves would be. So, it was just a case of undertaking what JK had written and running with it, which was an interesting adventure to go on.
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“He’s someone who spends time overseeing a really big group of fellow Aurors, or fellow investigators, and investigating anything that goes on within the wizarding world – crimes against wizards, or if wizards commit crimes against the world of No-Majs (American term for Muggle).”
Farrell says he had not read the books but was familiar with the universe through the seven movies.
“I have such appreciation for the importance of cinema, and of films that provoke and have a social conscience or awareness; I also have a great appreciation for films that are true escapism. That’s not to sell short what the Harry Potter series reached for as well, to encapsulate the importance of friendship, growth, and the turning in a life from a boy or a girl to a man or a woman.
“But the escapism that’s inherent and such a fundamental part of these films and the books, of course, was something that I was just so enamoured by from the first time I saw the first film all those years ago.”
Farrell says collaborating with Yates was a fulfilling experience as the director knew what he wanted from the story.
“He’s so emotionally articulate, so specific, and so detail-oriented – whether it’s to do with the design of the film aesthetically or the characters’ journeys – how each character interacts and the relationships that grow or those that dissolve, whatever it may be. He’s just incredibly, incredibly astute, really clear and specific, and fun as well.”
When asked what he loved most on the film, Farrell said he enjoyed doing the action sequences.
“Oh, I loved some of the wand stuff, and the action sequences were great, but the character work is the most fun for me. It’s just hard to beat a well-written scene with just two actors facing each other, figuring out the scene and going off each other – one leading, one following, and that becomes inverted – it never gets more fun than that.”
The Warner Bros film is releasing across cinemas in India on November 18, 2016 in 3D and IMAX 3D in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.