By Sugandha Rawal
Los Angeles, Nov 16 (IANS) Katherine Waterston gets scared when she sees leaders around the world manipulating people to create a divide. The “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” actress says US President Donald Trump is inspiring hate, and so are a lot of other leaders globally.
The actress feels her new film might be set in the 1920s, but it is rooted in today’s reality.
“The most important and disturbing issue that the film explores is the dangers of charismatic, manipulative leadership that aims to divide people. I haven’t talked to J.K. Rowling about this. But I figured that this particular period of the film ties very neatly with the events of those years in Europe leading to World War II,” Waterston told IANS in an exclusive sit-down interview here.
“You can see the parallels of a leadership that encourages people to blame others in the community for their own frustrations, joblessness and the difficulties that they are having. We know where that led in Germany. That is the parallel with Grindelwald,” she added of Rowling’s prequel to the “Harry Potter” series.
With some hints of his past, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” explores the story of Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), showing his power to influence people to embrace the dark world.
“He is not a scary old bad person who convinces people that they should turn against one another. It is someone who presents ideas in a way that can seem logical to people and there outrage encourages there worst impulsive.
“And we see this happening globally. And it is something to fear,” said the actress, who essays role of auror Tina Goldstein in the franchise.
As for the descriptions reminding one of Trump, she said: “Yes. He is inspiring hate. And that is exactly the opposite of what most of us expect from our leaders and hope from them. It is worrying.”
“But it is not just him. It is happening in many countries all around the world and it is a kind of contingent that we would like to stop.”
Set in 1927, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is set 70 years before the “Harry Potter” franchise. It is the second in the planned five movies spin-off franchise from the “Harry Potter” films.
The Warner Bros Pictures project explores the fight between good and evil, the right and wrong with a focus on belief, tolerance and acceptance. The film opened in India on Friday.
Asked if she was hesitant about picking the role with a thought that she will be pigeonholed, she said: “No. I am pretty lucky that way that people have given me a chance to play lots of different characters. I probably should have worried about that. But I didn’t.”
The actress has also featured in “The Babysitters”, “Steve Jobs”, “Alien: Covenant” and “Logan Lucky”.
She has no master plan to proceed in the business.
“I just look for parts which interest me,” she said, adding that she follows her own curiosity while picking projects.
“I want to find characters who seem like people that are being put in interesting circumstances. Because that is just more fun to play. You can also argue that it is kind of feminist pursuit because I don’t want to play one-dimensional character or underwritten women or a woman who doesn’t have a voice or much interesting things to do in the film.
“But most actors feel that way — men and women alike. They want to play surprising, interesting, challenging role,” she said.
(Sugandha Rawal was in Los Angeles at the invitation of Warner Bros. Pictures. She can be contacted at [email protected])