Daniel Radcliffe has spoken out over the casting of Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts sequel.
The issue of Depp’s role in the Harry Potter spin-off has sparked controversy because of accusations of domestic violence by the star’s ex-wife Amber Heard.
Radcliffe, 28, told Entertainment Weekly that the issue was “a very hard thing for me”, and that he wants to be supportive of the film’s producers, who gave him his big break with his Harry Potter role.
“I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given.”
J K Rowling, who penned the film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, director David Yates, and studio Warner Bros have all issued statements defending the casting.
Radcliffe said: “This is a weird analogy to draw (but) in the NFL (National Football League), there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behaviour 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.”
Entertainment Weekly said that Radcliffe was referring to actor Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts’ bully Vincent Crabbe.
He was ordered to undertake unpaid community work in 2009 after admitting growing cannabis.
Last year, Heard spoke out after Rowling defended her decision to keep Depp in the film.
Rowling penned a statement saying that she was “not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies”.
While not specifically referring to Rowling, Heard then reissued the statement she previously penned with Depp on the end of their marriage.
“For the record, this was our full, joint statement,” she wrote.
“To pick and choose certain lines and quote them out of context, is not right. Women, stay strong.” PA