A Frenchman in Harry Potter: William Nadylam tells us about his casting and the filming of…

Already starring in The Crimes of Grindelwald in 2018, William Nadylam is back in the third episode of Fantastic Beasts, The Secrets of Dumbledore. For AlloCiné, he returned to the start of this crazy adventure.

During our visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter Last month, we were able to ask a few questions to William Nadylam, the French interpreter of the wizard Yusuf Kama. Introduced in Fantastic Beasts 2, he was surprised to be called back for the sequel, Dumbledore’s Secrets, now in theaters.

How did you end up in Fantastic Beasts 2, did you have to go through a long casting process?

This thing was a little bit funny because, more and more, we audition remotely, so we register – at school I didn’t learn that, it was new – alone or with a partner and we send. An actor can do a lot! And more and more, when it’s studio films or big budget films, the script is very confidential so we sign a kind of confidentiality declaration.

What I did was I auditioned with Jo asking Jill about Jack. I had no idea who Jill was, her relationship to Jack, her brother, her lover…no idea! It was only a few weeks later that I was called to tell me: “We have to come and spend the second round in London”. Gradually, I discovered what I was doing so I had no pressure at all.

It was at the third meeting that I had the pressure because I knew that I was going to meet David Yates. So there you go, David Yates, we know who he is, we know what he does, so I started to get nervous. And then my agent called me, asked me if I was seated, I said to him: “If it pleases you, I can sit down”. And she announced to me that I had the part and that the next day, I had to take the plane to come and pass the costume tests.

For me, it was natural to watch Harry Potter.

What did the Harry Potter universe represent for you before being hired on this film and what does it represent now?

The Harry Potter universe is something that touched me a lot because of magic. Magic is something I grew up with: my father is African, from Cameroon, and my mother is Indian, from Reunion. So I grew up with these two cultures where magic is really central to life. (…) For me, it was natural to watch Harry Potter with this universe of magic.

A frenchman in harry potter: william nadylam tells us about his casting and the filming of...
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved / Jaap Buitendijk

What I discovered was that it was a global phenomenon. I discovered the fans, the impact it had on people. I discovered that it had been 20 years since there were people who were children when they discovered this world and who are now adults who have kept this magic and that is something that touches me a lot, when people are not afraid to keep their part of childhood (…).

My role has grown.

Have you had chopsticks lessons?

So, we have training for everything, if we ask for it. I didn’t have any specifics for the baguette, but I talked about it with the director, with the author. It happens that in theater, at the school of Rue Blanche [soit l’École nationale supérieure des arts et techniques du théâtre, ndlr], we had lessons in martial arts, epee, saber and foil. And I referred to that, to the martial art wielding of the wand.

Did you expect to return in a second episode?

Absolutely not, nothing is ever guaranteed. But everything always depends, I think, on how it goes, with the public, with the production. Unlike Harry Potter, we are not filming a work that is pre-written. Here, JK Rowling and his collaborators write for the cinema so the story is written at the same time and moreover for the previous one, when we started this story, the role that I play was modified during the shooting, it grew, which touched me a lot. So [question retour]nothing was guaranteed: I was surprised, happy, I hoped, but I didn’t say to myself “It’s good, I’m in the next one”.

Our interview with the rest of the cast:

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