SAN DIEGO: Actor Johnny Depp gave “Harry Potter” fans a look at his coming portrayal of the pale and disheveled villain Grindelwald, delivering a monologue in character to a cheering Saturday audience at San Diego Comic-Con. Depp surprised the crowd of science fiction and pop culture fans by stepping out of the darkness with blond hair and in full costume, drawing applause from 6,500 fans in a cavernous convention hall.
“The great gift of your applause is not for me,” Depp said in an English accent as he waved a magic wand over the crowd, “but for yourselves.”
Depp’s appearance followed a panel discussion with Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and other stars of upcoming movie “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” the second movie in a five-part spinoff of the beloved “Harry Potter” films.
In his onstage speech, Depp’s Grindelwald explained the character’s view of Muggles, the ordinary humans without magical powers.
“I do not hate them,” he said.
“I say the Muggles are not lesser, not worthless, but of other value. Magic blooms only in rare souls. The moment has come to rise up and take our rightful place in the world.”
Depp did not participate in the panel discussion and did not take questions following his appearance.
Written by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is scheduled to debut in theaters in November. The movie from AT&T Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio stars Redmayne as “magizoologist” Newt Scamander and Law as a young Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts boarding school where Harry Potter and his friends learned to become wizards.
Rowling has said she thinks of the younger Dumbledore as a gay man who fell in love with Gellert Grindelwald, who later turned out to be evil and violent. Law said the new movie may be the darkest look into the world created by Rowling.
“The wizards within the wizarding world are suddenly asked what side they are on, what side they choose to join,” he said.
“Everything is at stake.”