Amber Heard breaks silence on Johnny Depp casting in Fantastic Beasts
Now it’s Amber Heard’s turn.
In the wake of a frenzy of debate about ex-husband Johnny Depp’s role in the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the actress has posted a statement of her own.
Heard’s Instagram message posted Thursday is largely a reprint of the statement Heard and Depp jointly issued as part of their divorce settlement one year ago.
But it seems to be in reaction to what she feels is the original statement being taken a bit out of context. On Thursday, Warner Bros. cited Heard’s statement in its defense of keeping Depp but not, as she points out, all of it.
Warner Bros. wrote: “We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved. This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said ‘there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.’ Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films.”
Which Heard is seemingly replying to when she posted this:
On Thursday, Beasts writer and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling broke her silence on the controversy surrounding Depp’s casting.
“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise,” Rowling wrote in a statement on her website, referencing domestic violence allegations made against Depp by Heard. “Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.”
Rowling added that while “the huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life,” she found it “difficult, frustrating and at times painful” to remain silent on the Depp issue. “However,” she wrote, “the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
Rowling wrote the script for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald. Saying she’s “loved” that experience, she added, “I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”
In his own statement, Yates said, “None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations. We recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties. We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.”
Previously, the Fantastic Beasts director told EW, “With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.” He added, “By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know.’ It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”
Heard will next appear in the stand-alone Aquaman movie, which, like Fantastic Beasts, is made by Warner Bros.