- Created: Friday, 18 November 2016 15:54
- Published: Friday, 18 November 2016 15:54
- Written by Justine Browning
Since his scene-stealing turn in THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, Ezra Miller has taken on a string of impressive projects. The talented young actor’s latest film happens to one of the biggest releases in recent years. During a recent NY press day for the film, Miller discussed what it was like to be part of the project.
Based on the world created by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is a heartwarming fantasy that will bring joy to both fans and non-fans of the author’s universe. One of the film’s greatest strengths is its talented ensemble - which includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller got to work with them and J.K. Rowling.
What did you take with you from the shoot?
Ezra Miller: I took a hat. I took one of Queenie’s (Alison Sudol) jackets because that jacket is just slaying. It is a good color on me. I got a Niffler toy. Anything I could get Niffler related, I wanted. That’s what I told them from the start. I want all your nifore merchandise. I also got a very soft blanket but I didn’t take a wand. My wand, I like them made out of some real wood; works better.
Was this a physically demanding role?
EM: It crept up on me. I thought I had it under control and then we took a little break around Christmas time and I couldn’t let parts go. There were certain physical cues when I think about someone who carries trauma in their body. I talked to some people who work as professionals responding to cases of domestic abuse and child abuse. They say there is a common physicality so I think instinctively his shoulders were collapsed on his chest. My shoulder was stuck and I couldn’t get my chest to open back up. I noticed when my mind went adrift I would suddenly start feeling very sad. The choreography was codified by Wayne McGregor who choreographs a lot of ballet and opera for the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera in London. He’s also done Radiohead videos and he’s this amazing guy.
He’s worked with some of the various (Harry Potter) actors. I think he worked with Ralph Fiennes on developing Voldemort's wand language. By the end especially some of the more demanding stuff which we did, there are these moments where the entity is billowing forth and maybe making his last attempts to contain it, and in the film that goes on with visual effects. But on the day I would just play those moments out and would embody that even just for the benefit of the other actors or the background workers who had to run away from something scary there’s a lot of times I would just stand on the street and take on this weird choreography and yell. By the end it took it’s toll. My voice was going hoarse where I would do this guttural screaming. There were some physical pains but well worth it. I’d do it again in a second!
What was your experience working with the other actors?
EM: Working with Colin (Farrell) was an amazing experience. When we first started the scene work it was so powerful and creepy that we would walk out of the room and try to shake off the creepiness.
I could not have anticipated how sexy the dynamic is between Dan (Fogler) and Alison (Sudol). That was like, ‘oh my gosh!’ I felt a little uncomfortable in the seat. I just thought that dynamic stole the show in such spectacular ways. The idiosyncrasies of the four performances, the leading quartet (Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Katherine Waterston as Porpentina Goldstein, Fogler as Jacob Kowalski and Sudol as Queenie Goldstein) was beyond anything I could’ve anticipated even knowing these people and knowing how devoted to their work they are. I think the way that it came together is very unique and very successful. I was very pleasantly surprised by how amazingly dynamic that quartet plays in the film. I think people will fall very deeply in love with those four people and want to stay with them.
Who do you still keep in touch with?
EM: I developed a really good relationship with Samantha Morton. Her and her partner did produce some live acoustic videos that my band did and Colleen Atwood actually did our costumes with backlot 1920s wizarding clothes.
Did you get to pick J.K. Rowling’s brain?
EM: Being in her presence was just sufficient for me. I tried to stop it but you can’t stop all of it! The filter can only be so full proof and then things start to bubble up. She sees it all, she’s omnipotent. She’s the God of this universe. It’s incredible the awareness of detail and side stories that we as an audience will never know about. There’s too much for her to possibly tell us. Just to sit next to her and absorb all of this information that she has reaching out in every direction regarding every character she’s ever incorporated into this world. She can tell you about Olive Hornby’s year at Hogwarts. It’s so impressive. She gave me some secrets.