Los Angeles, Nov 8 (IANS) Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, whose forthcoming film “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” courted controversy for allegedly “airbrushing” a key character’s sexuality, feels the world is changing for better for the LGBTQ community, but there are some prejudices that still prevail universally.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” stirred up a row when director David Yates mentioned that Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality would “not explicitly” be addressed in the film. It received backlash from the “Harry Potter” fans, saying the makers are trying to “airbrush” his sexuality.
Redmayne has now addressed the whole issue, saying the film is not trying to hide anything.
“The progress within the LGBTQ community internationally has been at different stages in different countries in different parts of the world,” Redmayne said here while addressing the controversy around it.
“And there is still quite a lot of prejudice against many people within that community all over the world, in this country and in my country (UK). But that is certainly not for J.K. Rowling,” added the actor during a roundtable discussion here while promoting the Warner Bros Pictures project, which will open in India on November 16.
Along with exploring a complex storyline and setting pace for the future, Redmayne’s film “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” will also go back in the past to tease Dumbledore’s sexuality.
The actor, who will be back as magizoologist Newt Scamander in the second part of the franchise, says the film will highlight “extraordinary intimacy” between Dumbledore, essayed by Jude Law, and Gellert Grindelwald.
“Rowling has said that Dumbledore is gay and that was controversy because David said that it will not be explicitly shown. You don’t see them kiss in the film. But it is very clear that they have… You see extraordinary intimacy and love in a brief moment.”
“We will see more of their relationship (in the future),” he added.
Redmayne, who was applauded from all quarters for telling the story of a Danish painter finding his sexual identity despite the strong social stigma in “The Danish Girl”, considers movies to be more than a medium to tell stories.
“Film is a way in which stories and people’s lives are communicated. I think it is important in that sense because in that people connect with the stories that they wouldn’t necessarily connect otherwise.”
At the moment, Redmayne is excited about “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, which is the second in the planned five movies spin-off franchise from the “Harry Potter” films. The first part “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” came out in 2016.
“The first film was really about finding the character. It was really a specific script (with details) about the way he moved, the way he walked, he wouldn’t look people in the eye and some of the things that he said what reminded me of someone with mild Asperger syndrome.
“So, I did a little research in that world, but I wasn’t told about it. Also the term Asperger was not there in 1920s. The other thing was that I met trackers — who follow creatures for a living. The way they move and the way they talk, that was kind of interesting.”
According to Redmayne, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory Of Everything”, the amazing thing that Rowling does is that she creates these fantastical worlds and characters “who are always so grounded in real(ity)”.
The film also features Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Claudia Kim, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, William Nadylam and Brontis Jodorowsky. It will release in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
(Sugandha Rawal was in Los Angeles at the invitation of Warner Bros. Pictures. She can be contacted at [email protected])