Harry Potter: the new Grindelwald, the gay relationship, the return to Hogwarts… The director…

Director inseparable from the Harry Potter franchise, David Yates answered AlloCiné’s questions about Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets, released in French theaters yesterday.

We owe him all the Harry Potter films from The Order of the Phoenix as well as the two previous adventures of Norbert Dragonneau (Eddie Redmayne) and it is still him who we find behind the camera of Fantastic Beasts 3: his name is David Yates.

During a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, we were able to talk to the filmmaker, still as passionate about the universe created by JK Rowling, which he necessarily knows inside out.

AlloCiné: This is your 7th film in the Harry Potter universe, how do you always manage to come up with new ideas after all this time?

David Yates: The story takes us to new places in each film. For this one, in Bhutan and Berlin, and there are also new characters like Eulalie Hicks. Each film, in a way, is also a series of small films. Here there is a horror story in the prison of Erkstag with this big creature called a Manticore and then there is a tender story full of emotions between Grindelwald and Dumbledore who stop loving each other. So it’s not hard to find a lot of things in those scripts that continue to interest and excite me. It is a very rich source of inspiration.

How did you work with Mads Mikkelsen for the role of Grindelwald?

We wanted Mads to play a Grindelwald that felt really real, very down to earth. We didn’t want him to be a villain in the traditional sense. We wanted us to be able to feel emotionally connected to him. There’s a very interesting scene at the beginning of the movie where he’s in front of this Qilin – the Qilin bow to you if you’re worthy and good – and he doesn’t bow to him. It was an important moment to capture for us, for me, for Mads: this feeling of rejection that he feels, of not being good enough.

Harry potter: the new grindelwald, the gay relationship, the return to hogwarts… the director...
Warner Bros. France

And there are two or three moments in the film where we wanted to show his vulnerability and his isolation. That part of him that wasn’t the bad guy so to speak. Mads, as an actor, is really authentic, naturalistic. He does not play characters, he seeks the truth, always. That’s exciting. (…) The key was to stay realistic and human: even if it’s in this crazy magical world, it’s real.

Was it important for you to include the past relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the film?

Yes, it was crucial. This relationship, for me, is the heart of the film. And I really wanted to express that story in the most poignant way possible. For me, the film is about breaking up with someone you love deeply and having already experienced that once or twice in my life, I wanted to somehow impregnate it in the relationship between these two men. Two men who love each other deeply but who have fallen out, whom politics has estranged. But somehow there is still a deep and lasting love between them, no matter how far apart. So yeah, for me it’s exploring what it means to break up.

Fans love seeing Hogwarts in the Fantastic Beasts movies, is it as emotional for you as it is for them to go back?

It’s more nostalgia than emotion. For example, we returned to a setting [des films Harry Potter, ndlr] : the inn of La Tête de Sanglier. When I walked into that space, I sat there by the fire and thought about the last time I was there: it was with Dan, Rupert, Emma, ​​and Matthew playing Neville Longbottom for a scene. of The Order of the Phoenix. So when I got on set, I was like “oh my god, that’s where we shot that scene”. Rather than moving, it was a nice warm feeling to be back in this place.

Harry potter: the new grindelwald, the gay relationship, the return to hogwarts… the director...
Warner Bros. France

For the actors, it was shooting in the Great Hall which was very exciting. Jessica Williams was so funny, she was like a 7 year old when she arrived, she wanted to hug all the lovely kids that were at the table she was so excited. So it was a combination of nostalgia for me and excitement for some actors. But what is interesting is to come back to this museum [le Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, ndlr] and to find all the things that were in the world in which we worked for 10 years. That’s quite moving.

It’s crazy that all this is in a museum, and it’s beautiful. It’s strangely quite moving to realize that people come there every day to look at these things and it’s a nice feeling to think that they are able to see everything that our teams – the painters, the sculptors, the designers, visual effects people – have created. All the hard work that’s been done for this franchise shows and it’s great.

The actors of the film answered YOUR questions:

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