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FANTASTIC BEASTS’ Dan Fogler Would Like to Own Pickett the Bowtruckle

FANTASTIC BEASTS’ Dan Fogler Would Like to Own Pickett the Bowtruckle

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood has long been home to part of Wizarding World with their Harry Potter exhibit, but they’ve leveled up and expanded the exhibit to make room for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Opening December 9, the exhibit showcases costumes, props, and concept art from the recent film. Dan Fogler, a.k.a. Jacob Kowalski, attended the preview and got to revisit Jacob’s apartment and bakery (complete with Niffler puffs and Demiguise edibles). “This [the Harry Potter universe] is the largest thing I’ve been part of. It’s a different angle, you know. This is a whole other level—to have a whole wing of a museum!,” he told me with a bit of awe in his voice.

So many things about the role of Jacob appealed to Fogler immediately. He explained, “It’s the fact that it was part of this universe, like yes—sign me up! The fact that it took place in New York, where I grew up, in the ’20s…” It gets more personal. Fogler’s family background has some things in common with Jacob. He said, “I’m basically playing an ancestor. I’m playing someone like my great grandfather, who was a baker. He had Fogler’s Pumpernickel on the Lower East Side. I really felt like this guy was so close to me. So, I’m walking in with my own Brooklyn accent into the audition. I had a lot connected with this guy.”

As the resident No-Maj (that’s American for Muggle) in the film, Jacob served as the entry point for the audience. Having experienced the Harry Potter stories, we had more knowledge than Jacob, but we could certainly identify with his bewilderment and wonder at the world he was dragged into. He managed to take it all in and jump in feet first somewhat literally as he entered Newt Scamander’s suitcase of wonders. There, he encountered a variety of magical creatures. If Fogler could call of any of those creatures a pet, he chooses Newt’s closest pal. “I think the one that would probably be the easiest to care for is Pickett, the Bowtruckle.”

The portable stick-like creature was often seen riding around in Newt’s pocket. He was a loyal pal and behaved himself… unlike another kleptomaniac creature in the film. Fogler said, “I’d want to take the Niffler but he’d just get in too much trouble, you know? He’d be hard to control. But, Pickett you could keep in your pocket. If you ever get into trouble he can get you out of it.” It would be handy to have a pet that could pick locks.

Though Jacob had astounding adventures with Newt and Tina and Queenie Goldstein, he wasn’t permitted to retain those memories. The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) had strict laws about No-Majs, so Jacob had to be subjected to the Obliviate charm. But given the creature-inspired creations at his bakery, something’s still in there. Fogler had some thoughts on the subject: “He is able to retain something in his dreams, you know? And it comes out in his art, in his baking—we saw at the bakery at the end. I think it’s so beautiful that he’s making Demiguise cookies and Niffler puffs. He said, ‘I don’t know, it just comes to me.’ I think it is—it’s like a dream. It’s just on the tip of his tongue and then when he sees her [Queenie], I think he’s like, ‘Oh my God, that’s my dream girl. Oh my God, she wasn’t a dream.’ She was real.”

As mentioned earlier, Fogler said it’s been wild to be part of the Harry Potter universe and to experience that fandom. He’s particularly embraced fan art by sharing work regularly on Twitter (that’s how I found a piece for the recent Fantastic Beasts Fan Art Friday). “I love it. I see it and it just speaks to the fan in me. I used to draw my favorite characters. I love to see Jacob through different people’s eyes. Some of that stuff is so—there’s some really talented people out there.”

Images: Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Warner Bros., Amelia


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