AceShowbiz - "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe has broken his silence on the controversy surrounding the the casting of Johnny Depp in "Fantastic Beasts" movies. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 28-year-old English actor opened up about his thought on the casting backlash, which first sparked after Depp was accused of abusing his ex-wife Amber Heard during their marriage.
Addressing the criticism that writer J.K. Rowling, director David Yates and studio Warner Bros. have faced in keeping Depp as the titular villain in "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", Radcliffe said, "It's very hard thing for me." The Harry Potter depicter went on saying that the producers were the ones who "gave me a great start in life and an amazing job."
"I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that," he told the site. "I'm not saying anything that anybody hasn't already said -- and this is a weird analogy to draw -- [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people's behavior that goes way beyond that and it's tolerated because they're very famous players."
"I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original 'Potter'] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that," he added.
Radcliffe was referring to Jamie Waylett, the actor who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe, who was dropped from the final "Harry Potter" film, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II", after he was arrested for growing marijuana plants in 2009.
As previously reported, Warner Bros., Yates and Rowling stood by their decision to keep Depp in the cast of the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" sequel despite the abuse claim the actor was facing. Defending Depp's casting, Rowling said in a statement, "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."
"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" is due out in the United States on November 16.