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Katherine Waterston on secret plot intel from JK Rowling and embarrassing moments on set

We talk to the 'Fantastic Beasts' star about seeing fans in her costume, re-reading the Harry Potter books like an obsessive fan and why Pickett is her favourite beast

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Did you know much about ‘Harry Potter’ before you were in ‘Fantastic Beasts’?
‘I missed the boat on the first wave. I was at a funny age where I thought I was much too serious for a book for kids. I saw my little brother kind of fall into the books and emerge three weeks later.’

What’s it like being part of it now?
‘Now as a ritual I read the entire series at the beginning of shooting the films. I’m starting to understand the mentality of the mega-fan who pores over it and re-reads it.’

Was JK Rowling on set much during filming?
‘When she comes on set all the actors gravitate to her like moths to a flame and production stops. So in order to get the film finished, she doesn’t come around all the time. What’s really fun about when she comes is that she gives you little hints about where it goes in the next film, because we don’t have the books like the guys did on the first series.’

What has she told you?
‘Oh, I can’t say! The cast haven’t even told each other. We all know little bits about our characters.’

Were there any funny moments on set?
‘It usually involves new wand gestures. It’s always awkward when you’re introducing a new move and the entire crew is around and there you are looking at something that’s not in front of you, fighting it off with this little stick. That can be kind of temporarily humiliating.’

Do you have a favourite beast?
‘Pickett won my heart. He’s my favourite for life. Maybe they’ll come up with something that woos me away from him but I’m not seeing it yet.’

Have you had any weird fan interactions?
‘I’m a sucker for the ones in my costume. It’s so strange to see it on other people.’

What’s the best costume you’ve seen?
‘I was in Soho when we were shooting the second film and I was walking around one Sunday and suddenly there was Eddie [Redmayne] and Dan [Fogler], walking down the street in their costumes. For a second I didn’t know what I was looking at, but they were just two people – maybe they were going to see the [‘Cursed Child’] play.’

If you were let loose in London wearing an invisibility cloak, where would you go?
‘I walked by the British Museum the other night and thought: I wonder what it’s like in there in the middle of the night? There’s still that kid in me.’

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