Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them lie ahead.
Five years after the Harry Potter film series concluded with Deathly Hallows – Part 2, J.K. Rowling has returned her wizarding world to the big screen with Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. And this magic-fueled spinoff not only offers a thrilling new setting in Jazz Age Manhattan, but also curious new characters with twisted secrets of their own.
Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller costar as the film’s enigmatic antagonists, respectively playing steely American auror Percival Graves and lonely Second Salem zealot Credence. The pair’s mysterious backstory is a major part of Fantastic Beasts, allowing audiences to wonder about the unspoken connection shared by these two characters. So when Nerdist sat down with Farrell and Miller in separate interviews, we inquired about the duo’s relationship, and whether one scene in particular was intended to evoke a romantic subtext.
Though both actors denied that implying a gay romance was their intentions in the scene where Grave gets up close and personal with the young and heartsick Credence, Farrell noted, “But then again I’ve seen The Celluloid Closet and I know those things can happen, and could be a filmmaker’s intention without the cast knowing.”
Farrell continues, “But I don’t think that [David Yates‘] intention…I don’t think there was any homoerotic intention, just that intention of manipulating a person through touch, through the emotionality of touch and through the sensuality that touch can be as well.” Farrell likewise noted, “But I’m completely cool with that interpretation.”
Though Miller says he “can’t speak to the intent,” he adds, “Definitely identify with your perception of that. It makes sense that you had that experience. I definitely think that when we think of our true points of connection to some idea of what magic is, our sexuality certainly has to come into that conversation, because it is a way that creativity or creation literally sort of messily tries to manifest itself.”
Since this interview was conducted, audiences have learned that Graves is in fact a disguised Gellert Grindelwald, one-time friend and crush of Albus Dumbledore. While Rowling kept the romantic element of the pair’s relationship ambiguous in her books, she later confirmed Dumbledore was once in love with the wicked wizard. And at a press conference conducted ahead of this film’s debut, Rowling, who wrote both the book and its adapted screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, suggested that the young Dumbledore could be presented as openly gay in upcoming sequels. This could not only mean big things for LGBTQ+ representation in film, but also could nail down fan questions about Grindelwald’s currently undefined sexual orientation.
“You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man,” Rowling told reporters. “We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.”
Looking ahead to the sequels, we also asked Farrell and Miller how the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them finale might impact their chances at returning. Sure, the Obscurus seemed to have been destroyed, but there was a quick shot of a bit of black smoky wisp escaping out of the subway’s crater. And while Graves turned out to be Grindelwald, that’s not to say that notorious wizard might not choose to employ that roguish disguise once more. So perhaps both might come back?
“Anything can happen in these things,” Farrell said simply. “I don’t know.”
While Miller hid his face his face behind his mug, his eyes alight with mischief, declared, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know anything. Nobody knows anything. Except for J.K. Rowling, who knows everything.”
Fun Fact: Miller is a massive and long-time Harry Potter fan, who wore his heart on his sleeve and fandom on his shoes to the press day.
What do you make of Graves and Credence’s relationship? Do you hope to see either character return for a Fantastic Beasts sequel?
Image: Warner Bros.