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Old 03-28-2017, 03:01 PM
masterofmystery masterofmystery is offline
Post Alison Sudol on bringing Queenie to life in 'Fantastic Beasts', Ilvermorny song, more

Queenie Goldstein is an intuitive mind-reader, and this is something actress Alison Sudol is learning more and more about as she brings her role of the American witch and Legilimens to life in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the future installments.

Sudol chatted with SnitchSeeker last week about her magical alter-ego, and involvement in the first movie and greater war and arc of the series, leading up to this week's DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platform release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The actress (and singer-songwriter) shared her thoughts on Queenie and Newt Scamander's relationship - still to be explored - her thoughts on the final scene in Jacob's bakery, and the research she put into creating a version of the Ilvermorny song that fit with the time period. More on that can be read below.

SnitchSeeker: Looking back at your first audition as Queenie, how do you think your portrayal of the role has evolved from what you read of the character to what we see in the final cut of the film?
Alison Sudol:
I think my understanding of Queenie developed as I watched what everybody else was doing and reacted to the other character actors in the story. Katherine and I did quite a lot of talking and discussing about their sisterhood, but I feel like my idea of Queenie as a sister was pretty clear.

But I think just going through the movie and literally getting to know Newt and Jacob throughout the movie, I think that influenced how … I mean, it’s like in any friendship, it influences how you think and how you see the world – and then that influenced Queenie, I think. I will definitely be going into the next film with that experience and those friendships and the adventure of the role and the things that we stopped to do throughout the movie – the magical world, in answer to your question, and her deeper understanding of that.

SnitchSeeker: You mentioned Queenie’s relationship with Jacob and Tina, but we’d like to hear more about how you see her relationship with Newt as well – especially given down the line they do eventually become brother and sister-in-law.
They meet from the beginning and she’s intrigued by him because he’s a criminal but she doesn’t really know who he is. They don’t spend that much time as characters, particularly alone in the movie, except for the one scene where she accidentally lets her feeling and emotions see more into him because they have a moment of quiet.

I think that it’s very hard to know Newt properly until you go into his case – until you see him with his creatures. I think it’s impossible, once you see him interact with these creatures and how he is with them, and just what depth there is to him under the surface, and kindness – it’s impossible to not have a deep affection for him. He’s really an incredible person. So I think Queenie would be thrilled to have him as a brother-in-law. Also there are certain things that we didn’t really explore in this particular film, but Queenie is fascinated by the creatures. I think that there’s a lot more that she could discover by spending more time with them and through Newt.

SnitchSeeker: Since the Graves we see in this movie was Grindelwald the entire time, where do you think the actual Graves was?
I just assumed that it’s been a long-standing disguise for Grindelwald. I don’t know if he took over somebody else. I never even thought about that. I don’t know. (laughs) I’d like to know what everybody else said.

SnitchSeeker: We asked David Heyman and David Yates about this and they were literally like, “We have no idea. We have to go ask J.K. Rowling.”
Oh my God, that’s hilarious.

SnitchSeeker: But they did say that Colin won’t be back in the future movie.
Interesting. I literally had never thought of that.

SnitchSeeker: When J.K. Rowling published the actual screenplay book, the final scene with Jacob and Queenie in the bakery actually takes place three months after the rest of the movie. What are your thoughts about where Queenie was during that time? Was that the first time she saw Jacob – three months later?
I think that like everybody she probably tried to get back to her life, and tried to resume things as they were. Obviously, that was difficult because they’d had this life-changing experience. It’s really hard to go back to an office job when you’ve had a great adventure with magical creatures and the world almost ending, and then just try and do some paperwork. So I think that’s why she shows up, because she can’t let him go. That’s my theory.

Actually, I can’t imagine what else she would be doing. To be honest, it wasn’t specific when we were making the film, how much time had passed. The fact that it was three months wasn’t actually something that we were told during the making of the film. Which it’s totally possible that it was – but it could have been a couple of weeks – but I think that it being three months makes sense because there’s been enough time that she would take the risk of going back to Jacob.

SnitchSeeker: How do you think Queenie’s Legilimens power will come into play in the coming war? How much do you know about her powers?
It’s definitely going to come into play. I don’t think that she ever really thought much of her power before. I don’t think there was ever much that she thought that she could use them for, so it was just played down.

It’s quite a powerful ability that she has, and I think that it will come in handy. I don’t actually know how because I don’t actually know what is going to happen. But I feel like it’s going to be quite important.

SnitchSeeker: J.K. Rowling wrote the lyrics for the Ilvermorny song, but how did you create the musical style for it?
I’d never done anything like that before. I’d never worked with lyrics, let alone J.K. Rowling’s lyrics, and then create a melody. Usually I do it the other way around, where I’ll come up with a melody and then lyrics. So it was a really interesting challenge.

And then also, I wanted it to feel like it was of the correct time period. It’s actually difficult to find some school anthems from the time when the girls would have been in school, which was like ten to fifteen years before to the movie – early 1900s, essentially. I just researched as much music from that time as possible, and as many school anthems as possible, and then just worked on a melody that seemed to complement the lyrics.

Katherine was wonderful. She’d never sung before. She was just really game and really brave, because it’s really scary actually to sing in front of anybody – let alone on camera. She did so well. It was fun. We had some little things to play with – harmonies. It was just trying to find something that felt like it could be a real school song from that era, with a quite magical feeling as well.

SnitchSeeker: Obviously J.K. Rowling’s told you a lot about the character. Within the confines of this movie, was there information she gave you that surprised you about Queenie?
No, I think that she painted such a clear picture of her at the beginning. Between her and David Yates, they all gave me the freedom to take that information and the script and then embody her from that. There wasn’t really anything that happened after that that shook me or surprised me.

But that’s just the one movie. I’m sure that there’s going to be all kinds of things in the future. But they were just really great at making it very clear from the beginning so I felt that I knew who she was.

SnitchSeeker: Back in 2014, J.K. Rowling did a whole Quidditch World Cup thing and one of the American Quidditch players was actually named Quentin Kowalski. Do you think he could be a descendant?
She has such an incredible and complex storyline in her mind about all of these characters, about their genealogy. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some further relations. Also, I would never think that I could actually guess because anything that she writes is not going to be obvious.

So, I love the idea that there is something. But I don’t know what the future holds. Neither does Queenie. Queenie doesn’t know what the future holds. So trying to stay with her on her journey.
Order J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, out now, in the following formats now:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Amazon Exclusive) (Niffler Figurine/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)

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