Fantastic Beasts Stars Share the Story of the Their First Time Meeting J.K. Rowling
During LeakyCon 2018 in Dallas, Texas, Fantastic Beasts‘ Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler (Queenie and Jacob, respectively) talked about their experiences working on the films, including the first time they each met J.K. Rowling. Their reactions were exactly what you’d expect when meeting writing royalty.
Fogler and Sudol were both star-struck the first time they saw Rowling. During the second day of rehearsals for Fantasic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Fogler met Rowling. He described the experience, saying he was a nervous bundle and internally freaking out.
“They put us in this room together and I saw her and was just instantly star-struck. And I was just like, [awkwardly] ‘Hi…’ And I saw next to her was this script that was as tall as she was. And I was like, ‘Do I have to memorize all that?’ And she said, ‘No, no, no. This is everything.’ Okay, so how I interpreted that in the moment was, that’s all five movies. She’s been working on it since the first movies. So in that moment, I was like, ‘Oh.’ You know how Einstein has extra folds for math in his brain? She has them for writing.”
Rowling gave Fogler some good tips on who his character is. According to her, Jacob is a lot like Ron. “Ron gets to do everything,” said Fogler, who was ecstatic to be compared to the Weasley. “He gets to be the clown, a hero. He gets to have a romantic journey. So that’s great.” During the visit, Rowling also revealed which Hogwarts house Jacob would be in if he was a wizard. Fogler had always assumed that he would be a Hufflepuff, but according to her, Jacob is a Gryffindor.
Sudol was a fan of the Harry Potter series growing up, so for her, it was a completely surreal experience.
“You never expect to meet certain people in your life. You just don’t get to meet J.K. Rowling. Let alone have her know your name. Let alone have picked you, I just like, can’t deal. And we were all just standing around when she came to set on the day we did the rain scene. We were all just very star-struck and standing there like children….I just couldn’t say anything. I think it took me like three visits before I had like an actual conversation with her. She’s got an incredibly powerful presence. She’s an incredibly strong woman. And really smart. She’s a real force to be reckoned with. Of course she is. She doesn’t disappoint.”
Sudol ended up co-writing a song with Rowling, which never made it into the final cut of the film, but is included in the DVD extras. During the scene at the sisters’ apartment, an argument breaks out over which school is better: Hogwarts of Ilvermorny. Queenie and Tina break into the Ilvermorny school song, which Sudol helped write. She absolutely loved getting to work with Rowling, and says it is something that you never expect you’ll get to do.
The second film in the Fantastic Beasts saga, The Crimes of Grindelwald, opens in theaters November 16, 2018.