The Fantastic Beasts cast fall over each other praising director David Yates


Eddie Remayne, Ezra Miller, and other actors from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them share their thoughts on David Yates, their director.

As the star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Eddie Redmayne is the new face of the Harry Potter franchise, but director David Yates is the Potter veteran. He directed four of the eight original Harry Potter movies—everything from Order of the Phoenix on—and it sounds like his experience paid off. The cast members couldn’t praise him highly enough when they talked to Pottermore.

Image: Trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them/Screengrab

“David has such a lovely manner,” Redmayne said. “He has an incredible kindness and warmth. He brings out the best in people.”

"When you’re the director on a film like this, you are juggling so many departments…From an actor’s point of view, you can get a little worried that with so much else going on… will the director be focused on making sure the performances are right? What’s wonderful about David is that, for all that chaos, he is the strongest of acting directors. I’ve just enjoyed his company so much.’"

Alison Sudol, who plays witch Queenie Goldstein, echoed Redmayne’s comments. “He’s very gentle with us,” she said. “He allows us a lot of freedom and space… but you feel the responsibility because you’ve been given that freedom. He’s like, ‘I trust you.’ He’s always wonderful, he never raises his voice… He knows what he wants and is very clear. He gets the performance he needs, but is never anything but lovely about it.”

I know what you’re thinking: of course the actors are going to say nice things about the director. After all, they have two more movies to shoot with him (probably), and it’ll do no good to tick off the guy in charge.

And maybe there’s some truth in that, but I doubt it. It seems like the cast members are genuinely grateful for his experience and manner. Here’s Katherine Waterston’s (Tina Goldstein) take on the subject:

Image: Trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them/Screengrab

"The real thing that trickles down from the top is his faith in the process because he’s been here before. Usually you’re all going into new territory, you’re like, “Is there going to be quicksand round the corner? Are there wolves waiting to attack?” Whereas he’s like, “We’re going to take a left here, avoid the quicksand.” You know, he’s really got this kind of shorthand and a comfort with the world, he’s not precious with it. There’s something really comforting in that."

I mean, there’s a reason Warner Bros. brought Yates back to direct four Harry Potter movies in a row. You don’t invite people back if they’re difficult to work with, so I suspect that claims about his ability and bedside manner are not exaggerated.

“You know, [David]’s got this energy,” said Dan Fogler, who plays affable No-Maj Jacob Kowalski. “He’s got an amazing eye and I trust him – he’s always right! … He’s an actor’s director. It’s the best creative experience I’ve ever had with a director. That man is an angel in my life; he changed my life.”

Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone) went beyond praising Yates’ “energy.” So far as he’s concerned, the director is straight-up psychic.



"This actually happened. So, there’s a part we’re shooting where it’s dark and I really need to draw on my own life experiences, so I’m holding these memories in my mind during a take to get me to the right place for Credence. When we cut, David comes up to me and his one note is, “I think we’re getting too personal here. That was too Ezra and we’ve just got to get back to Credence.” I promise you, the man is a psychic."

That is some kind of tall claim. And what does Yates himself think of all this praise? Apparently, his natural good humor comes from getting to do his dream job.

"You know, it’s such a fun thing to be doing, making these films. It’s never stressful. … Why wouldn’t you enjoy this process and the game we get to play together? It’s so much fun. It’s like being nine years old and someone gives you a big train set and they say, “Go on, have fun.” And so you do. “And remember to bring your favourite friends to play!” The studio’s supportive, my producer is lovely, J.K. Rowling is lovely, my cast is lovely… Everyone is very kind, too, so it just kind of works. It’s easy."

Next: New character posters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

That’s a good gig if you can get it. We can all see the fruits of Yates’ labor on November 18.