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– by Gig Patta

There’s many beasts and magical creatures that Newt Scamander keeps company with. The biggest friend of his is actually with a Muggle named Jacob Kowalski.

Jacob Kowalski is played by Dan Fogler in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. His introduction in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016 became a fan favorite instantly with his Muggle innocence and humor.

In its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Jacob’s role is more serious as he taken a romantic relationship with Queenie to the next level. However, through Newt’s pursuit, this Muggle must help battle against the most powerful dark wizard and his powerful magical army.

The film also stars. Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Johnny Depp, Zoe Kravitz and Callum Turner. The screenplay is written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates.

LRM Online had a phone interview last week Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob. We had a delightful conversation about magic, creatures and his romance with Queenie.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres tomorrow nationwide with special Thursday night showings tonight.

Read our exclusive interview below.

LRM: How’s it like being back in the world of Fantastic Beasts for yourself?

Dan Fogler: It’s awesome. I’m having a blast. Did you see the movie?

LRM: I did see the movie.

Dan Fogler: What did you think?

LRM: I thought it was great. It puts me back in the Harry Potter world. [Laughs]
Dan Fogler: Nice! It feels like a true sequel, right? It’s epic!

LRM: It is epic.

Dan Fogler: I love it, man. I love it. For the first movie, I felt like a freshmen. In this movie, I felt like a sophomore. It was more comfortable. The whole process was just a pleasure.

LRM: How does it feel like playing Jacob again? What do you especially like about your character?

Dan Fogler: It’s such an honor and pleasure because he is like a relative. As I grew up in New York, my great grandfather was a baker on the lower east side of Manhattan. I feel like I’m literally playing on of my ancestors. And then to be able to revisit him and continue breathing life into the character. It’s like having a child or something. It’s very precious.

LRM: Could you talk about the relationship with the Queenie character since it’s so complicated and complex. Don’t give away any spoilers, of course. [Laughs]

Dan Fogler: It’s tricky. They love each other. It’s like the classical Romeo and Juliet thing. Their love is forbidden. He’s a Muggle and she’s a witch. They’re not supposed to be together as far as the American law goes. In the second movie, she is literally dragging him Jacob with her to Europe with the laws of our league here. Everyone in the movie, all of their actions are done out of love even with Grindelwald. Newt is chasing Tina. That’s what the movie is about–everyone’s been dispersed. All the lovers are trying to get back together.

LRM: How was it working alongside Alison Sudol? How did you develop the chemistry with her?

Dan Fogler: God bless her. She’s like an angel, man. The chemistry with her was immediate as soon as I met her. As I saw her in that Queenie outfit on set, talking the way she does with her luminous skin, she just has this lovely vibrant, warm soul. I feel like it’s hard not to have good chemistry with her. The relationship is just so sweet. Jacob is such a huge heart and she just sees that in him. Pure and lovely relationship.

LRM: Jacob is one of my favorite characters because he provides humor and lightheartedness in this kind of dark, magical world. Do you see him as his own character or as a sidekick to Newt?

Dan Fogler: He is fascinating. JK [Rowling], when I first met her, she said that she loves the role of Jacob. She equates him to some similar to Ron Weasley. I thought, “Oh, that’s great!” Ron gets to be the sidekick. He gets to be alongside with Harry Potter and Hermoine. He gets to be a clown. He gets to be a hero. I think he plays different roles as the story goes on.

LRM: Even though you’re a Muggle, do you wish you could cast spells in that world?

Dan Fogler: Of course, man! [Laughs] It’s unfair! It’s like being in the western and they don’t give you a pistol. Everyone’s walking around with a wand. Jacob is so brave. He goes in there with no weapons at all basically. That’s cool. I hope at some point they’ll be able to be able to wield the magic.

LRM: Just out of curiosity, what would be your favorite spell? If you could cast one?

Dan Fogler: If I can cast any spell?

LRM: Yes.

Dan Fogler: I think it would be honestly–can I get real deep?.

LRM: Yeah, go for it.

Dan Fogler: It would be peace. Peace achieved by non-violence. That’s like a major world spell.

LRM: Wow! That’s deep, Dan. [Laughs]

Dan Fogler: You like that?

LRM: I do like that. That’s awesome. I know a Harry Potter movies tend to be very secretive. Do they reveal the whole script to you or just parts of the script at a time to you?

Dan Fogler: They give you the whole script once it’s ready? There’s a big table read. It changes as you go along. It’s like an ever shifting process really. You don’t really get it in advance. [Sarcastic tone] There’s the whole like a whole retinal scan. There’s facial recognition. [Chuckles] It’s very complex. The whole process.

LRM: How do you manage to keep this all a secret from your family and friends?

Dan Fogler: I try to know as little as possible. If I know anything, then I have to tell everybody.

LRM: One last question with you, Dan. For the world of Fantastic Beasts, there’s so many creatures, animals and familiars, which one would you love to meet in real life and why?

Dan Fogler: Oh, yes! I’d actually would like to meet the Demiguise. Just so curious about the whole seeing in the future and all the different perspectives of possibilities. I just find that creature fascinating.

LRM: Excellent answer. Hey, thank you, Dan. I appreciate this. I really enjoyed the movie, especially your parts.

Dan Fogler: Thank you.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres tomorrow nationwide with special Thursday night showings tonight.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.