It was the final gag at the end of 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when Colin Farrell’s character, Graves, was revealed to be the dark wizard Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp, in disguise.
Fans of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World met the twist with mixed feelings and Depp has been all but mum on the role since the reveal and through shooting and production of the film’s sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald. For this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, Depp was interviewed with his cast mates and touched on the controversy he was (and is still) involved in with his personal life, and the role of Grindelwald, including his sexuality and past relationship with Jude Law’s young Albus Dumbledore.
“I think it should be left to the audience to feel it first,” Depp said regarding the romantic history between his character and Dumbledore. It was revealed by J.K. Rowling back in 2007 that the she had always pictured and written the benevolent wizard and mentor to Harry Potter as a gay man. “It makes the situation with Dumbledore all the more intense. I think there’s a jealousy with Scamander. He sees Scamander as Dumbledore’s protégé — his boy, in a way. That in itself is enough for Grindelwald to want to take Scamander down in a way that is ferocious and eternal,” said Depp. Though it’s been said that Dumbelore’s sexuality won’t be explicitly stated in this follow up film, hope remains for queer Harry Potter fans as there are three more films planned for the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Depp also expressed remorse that Rowling had to deal with so many questions involving the ugly split between him and ex-wife Amber Heard, where she accused him of physical and emotional abuse. “I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy,” said Depp. “The fact remains that I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly.” The Dumbledore/Grindelwald unresolved sexual tension hits the big screen on November 16 .Read the full EW interview, here.