Q&A with Irish actor Olwen Fouéré of Fantastic Beasts 2

Theatre stalwart Olwen Fouére shares what it was like to play a magical character in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in cinemas now

Olwen Fouéré is a captivating actor and it is no surprise that she got the call to join the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Here she talks about her time on set and focusing more on film work in 2019.

What was it like joining the Fantastic Beasts world?

It was great. It came out of the blue as a straight offer which is always appreciated (no auditions!). And the whole process was top secret, I could only access the script online with a special code and I didn’t even know my character’s name until after my costume fitting. I had one other encounter with the Harry Potter world when I was approached years ago about playing a Death Eater but I wasn’t available. So it was great to be approached again. I enjoyed every minute on set, brief as it was, and the atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly. It was a normal working day from my point of view except afterwards I remember thinking: “wow, how many millions of people are going to see that!”

Tell us about your character?

My character’s name is Melusine which is a very powerful name in European mythology where she is associated with rivers and fresh water springs. In the film, she appears as the guardian of the French Pure Blood ancestral records. It’s a very brief scene but you get glimpse of her magical powers a few moments later.

What did you enjoy about filming?

Just being there. I had plenty of time to prepare, the whole team was brilliant and atmosphere was very intimate and friendly. Also some of the crew were French, including the DOP who was from a small town in Brittany very close to where my family are from, so I spent half my time speaking in French.

What was it like working with Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston?

They were both totally lovely. And Zoe Kravitz who I worked with on the second short scene was really great.

What was it like working with the special effects?

It was no problem as they are people on set going through the choreography of the special effects. The only issue for me was I had to do most of my green screen section about a month after shooting the first part of it - because we ran out of time of the day - so it was difficult to recall the tone of where I had left off.

How do you find working on film compared to the theatre work Irish audiences will know you from?

I love working on film. I have always been very interested in film even though the main body of my work is in live performance and theatre. But live performance is extremely demanding and you often get booked up two or three years in advance which means you are unavailable for film which has a much shorter lead in time. It’s only in the last five years or so that I have created the space for film work to come in. I sometimes wish I had done it sooner but that’s because it is my first love at the moment. That said, I don’t think I will ever leave the theatre completely!

What does 2019 have in store for you?

A new film project which is due to shoot in London in January, and then three international theatre projects, two in Australia and one in France where I’ll be performing in French. It’s called “Nous, l’Europe” involving eleven actors from eleven different countries. We’ll premiere at the Avignon Festival in July 2019. Then in November and December I’ll be working in Australia with The Rabble (a Melbourne based company) and Force Majeure in Sydney...and lots more film in between!

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