During last winter’s production of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, author J.K. Rowling vigorously defended the casting of Johnny Depp as the titular Hitler-esque wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. At the time, Rowling was feeling intense backlash following revelations of Depp’s alleged acts of domestic violence against Amber Heard, but Rowling stood firm, saying only that she and director David Yates “considered” recasting Depp and chose not to do so. Now Depp, during the course of two separate interviews, has both defended Rowling and said he’ll be back for another sequel.
While waxing rhapsodic about enjoying his time playing Grindelwald, Depp dropped in his casting bit while speaking to Collider:
“I loved it … to take someone who is teetering on being a fascist, yeah, he’s a fascist, he’s one of those, but to play him as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard. The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.”
Depp also told Entertainment Weekly that he appreciated Rowling’s support of him, and — while declaring that the accusations against him were false — said he felt bad that she took heat for the decision:
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that … 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. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”
Depp continued while claiming that the “real controversy” is that he was falsely accused and added that he’s suing the U.K.’s Sun newspaper for publishing stories about the alleged domestic abuse. Depp also recently told British GQ that felt the accusations against him were part of a larger conspiracy (also involving his financial troubles) and that abusive behavior “couldn’t even sound like me.” He further accused Heard of making false accusations and starting “a pissing contest,” after which Heard’s attorneys alleged that he was “shamefully continuing his psychological abuse” of their client. Depp’s defamation lawsuit against the Sun is still pending at this time.