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Johnny Depp is opening up about playing Grindelwald in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts franchise and has addressed the controversy surrounding his casting for the first time.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Thursday, the actor - who stars in upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - said he had a lot of freedom in making the villainous wizard his own.
Image - Head - Guy - Star - Beauty
'I had this image in my head of the guy,' the 55-year-old star said. 'The beauty of J.K. [Rowling] and of [director David] Yates is they put trust in me to a degree. J.K. and I had some really nice talks and I had some ideas and she just said, "I can’t wait to see what you do with him."'
'It was beautifully left as this open gift,' he added.
Backlash - Depp - Year - Fans - Violence
Rowling faced backlash when she cast Depp last year, with fans questioning why domestic violence allegations made against the actor by ex-wife Amber Heard didn't preclude him from the project.
The British writer released a statement late last year, saying 'Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.'
Depp - EW - Rowling - Statement - Support
Depp told EW that he felt bad Rowling had to issue such a statement of support.
'I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy.
Pirates - Caribbean - Star - Allegations
The Pirates of the Caribbean star then addressed the allegations directly.
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