The Fan­tas­tic Beasts Press Tour

Be­hind the scenes of the New York press event for Fan­tas­tic Beasts 2.

Vocable (All English) - - Édito Sommaire - VA­RI­ETY EN­TER­TAIN­MENT NEWS SER­VICE (US)

Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald has just come out on the big screen. The sec­ond film in the saga that fol­lowed the Harry Pot­ter movies, fea­tures the ad­ven­tures of the “ma­g­i­zo­ol­o­gist”, Nor­bert Dragonneau (Ed­die Red­mayne). A press event was or­gan­ised in New York last Septem­ber for the ac­tors, the author, J.K. Rowl­ing, and fans of the se­ries. A jour­nal­ist of­fers a glimpse of this mag­i­cal gather­ing.

You don't say no when J.K. Rowl­ing in­vites you to ex­plore New York City. The Harry Pot­ter author and the cast of Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald formed an ar­mada of wizards, witches, and a few lucky mug­gles as they trav­eled around the Big Ap­ple rais­ing aware­ness for the up­com­ing film. The event was os­ten­si­bly ar­ranged to draw at­ten­tion to a new trailer for the hotly an­tic­i­pated se­quel, but it was also a chance for Va­ri­ety to ob­serve the me­dia-shy author in ac­tion. 2. Warner Bros., the stu­dio be­hind the Pot­ter fran­chise, left noth­ing to chance. As the ac­tors and Rowl­ing made the rounds from one spiffy mid­town eatery to an­other, they were greeted at each stop by hordes of so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers from across the globe, se­lected be­cause of their rev­er­ence for all things Hog­warts. Here's a blow-by-blow of a day that would test the en­durance of even the most sea­soned Quid­ditch champ.


3. The crowd erupted as Rowl­ing en­tered the Brasserie Ruhlmann restau­rant, one of those ex­pense ac­count-haunts in Rock­e­feller Plaza. While Rowl­ing was on the “To­day” show next door tout­ing the new trailer, a pho­tog­ra­pher spent sev­eral min­utes ex­haus­tively ar­rang­ing the 60-plus dig­i­tal in­flu­encers who were pos­ing for a group pic­ture with the famed author. His ef­forts were for naught. The per­fect for­ma­tion col­lapsed the mo­ment Rowl­ing en­tered the room as the crowd im­me­di­ately grav­i­tated to­ward Rowl­ing when she neared the group.

4. Rowl­ing kept re­peat­ing, “This is amaz­ing” as she made rounds hug­ging fans, most of whom asked per­mis­sion be­fore em­brac­ing the lit­er­ary doyenne. At one point she shouted, “I'm go­ing to cry!” One lucky fan even got a fist bump from the queen.


5. At the next stop, lucky fans re­ceived signed movie posters from Rowl­ing be­fore cast mem­bers Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Cal­lum Turner and Clau­dia Kim swung by to watch the fi­nal trailer. Turner, who joins the cast as Newt's older brother Th­e­seus Sca­man­der, was greeted with a cho­rus of dis­be­liev­ing “Oooooohs” when he ad­mit­ted he hasn't seen the new­est footage yet. Fogler as­sured him, “it's awe­some. There's some nice tid­bits in there.” Miller quickly shut Fogler down be­fore he could give away any de­tails. “Shhh, stop it!” Miller teased. “They're about to see it.” Miller proved as big a Hog­warts nut as any­one else in the room.


6. The ladies of Fan­tas­tic Beasts - Kather­ine Water­ston, Ali­son Su­dol and Zoe Kravitz, whose por­trayal of Leta Les­trange was only briefly teased in the first film - took cen­ter stage at the morn­ing's next event. The loft-style space was oc­cu­pied with dis­plays of wands and cos­tumes, the lat­ter of which was heavy on trench coats and leather pants. Water­ston, Su­dol and Kravitz were just chat­ting among them­selves be­fore Water­ston ad­dressed the room say­ing, “Come talk to us, we're just hang­ing out!” That was the only in­vi­ta­tion the crowd needed. The three women were swarmed by in­flu­encers look­ing for mag­i­cal self­ies. 7. The cast kicked off their day with Rowl­ing on NBC's “To­day.” They'll be back on to­mor­row when the fi­nal trailer drops, part of a marathon two-day Pot­ter ex­trav­a­ganza. Even though Kravitz has ap­peared in such h pop­u­lar films as Mad Max: : Fury Road and Di­ver­gent, , she's still men­tally ready­ing g her­self for the in­ten­sity of a Pot­ter press tour. “Not this level. Not with fans like this.”

8. Rowl­ing was on set pe­ri­od­i­cally dur­ing the film­ing. “When­ever she's around, it's al­ways a dif­fer­ent level,” Kravitz told Va­ri­ety. “I feel like she's re­spect­ful and ac­tu­ally wants us to have space be­cause ev­ery­one gets very ner­vous when she's around.” The oth­ers chimed in: “All “ll work k slows to a halt be­cause we all want to pick her brain for any in­for­ma­tion we can get.” Kravitz nod­ded: “I think she's do­ing us a fa­vor by stay­ing away.”


9. The en­tire cast gath­ered to­gether for one last hurrah and some­thing a lot stronger than a But­ter­beer. The speakeasy may not have been Three Broom­sticks, but it did of­fer cus­tom cock­tails that were heavy on Cham­pagne. The ac­tors made their rounds at the bar, chat­ting with at­ten­dees and pos­ing for more pic­tures. Miller made a point to strike dif­fer­ent wacky poses in each snap­shot. “It's how I keep it fun for my­self,” he said. While dodg­ing cam­eras and iPhones, Miller dis­cussed fan the­o­ries with a small crowd. “What would be re­ally dope,” he said, “is go­ing far­ther back [in the Wiz­ard­ing World]. What's the ori­gin of the El­der Wand?”


Miller is such a fan­boy of Harry Pot­ter him­self, he barely sees the press tours as work. He called the non­tra­di­tional m mar­ket­ing meth­ods “del light­ful.” It's his sec­ond m movie in the Harry Pot­ter c canon, but he's clearly still in a awe of work­ing with Rowlin ing. “It's rather in­ef­fa­ble when you're in a sit­u­a­tion where you get to col­lab­o­rate w with, to speak with zero hype per­bole, the most im­por­tant ar artist in your growth and deve vel­op­ment and for­ma­tion ou out­side of your par­ents,” he tol told Va­ri­ety.

11. One tired Va­ri­ety re­porter fi­nally leaves the all-day Pot­ter love­fest – ex­hausted, but ea­ger to find out what ad­ven­tures are in store for Newt and crew when Fan­tas­ticBeasts:TheCrime­sof Grindel­wald hits the­aters in Novem­ber.

(Warner Bros. En­ter­tain­ment Inc.)

The cast of Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald.

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