America’s Favorite No-Maj, Dan Fogler, Visits With ILID

When Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them was initially announced, many Harry Potter fans were reasonably leery of the spinoff series. However, It did not take long after the film’s release before the new cast had successfully woven themselves into the wizarding world. Fantastic Beasts was able to differentiate itself from the original movies in one very important way; a muggle stole the spotlight. Dan Fogler plays Jacob Kowalski, a hopeful baker who is down on his luck and unwittingly gets thrust into the magical world by Newt Scamander.

Portraying Jacob was a relatively easy transition for Fogler. Like his character, he is also a proud native of Brooklyn. Additionally, both share common roots in 20th century New York bakeries.

My great-grandfather was a baker in Manhattan. It [his bakery] was in the Lower East Side, probably in the same vicinity that we were setting Jacob’s bakery. It was like stepping into the past or something, very surreal. It felt like I was playing a relative.

Fogler might share this common ancestral occupation, but it might be a stretch to say that the skills were passed on to him. The beautiful pastries inspired by magical beasts will have to remain in the wizarding realm. While Fogler claims that he can bake, I am not sure his definition is quite up to the standards that others hold.

Yeah, I can bake simple stuff like cookies, brownies, and things like that if I can read the instructions correctly {laughs}. I’m not a baker but I can fake it.

Fantastic Beasts stunned audiences with its brilliant use of imagination and beautiful graphics. Dozens of magical animals were brought to life on the big screen with the help of CGI. Many actors have struggled in their careers when it comes to acting with computer imagery, but Fogler managed to perform the scenes with ease.

I did theatres to start and that includes a lot of imagining stuff that isn’t there. I also did a movie called Mars Needs Moms, which is almost all motion captured. That was the most CGI immersive film that I have ever been a part of. Obviously this [Fantastic Beasts] is the hugest project I have ever been a part of, but the combination of theatre and a lot of different films that I have done along the way helped me prepare for this one. They do their best to really help you. They have puppets, so it’s not just a tennis ball on a stick. They really try to help you see the creature. It’s cool man. It’s like imagining and playing with the biggest budget ever.

It only takes a short bit of watching the cast interact to see how much chemistry they all have. Their joy is extremely evident and we can only imagine what all goes on between scenes. While DVDs may offer an array of extra footage, you probably won’t find Fogler’s favorite outtake from the movie.

I guess my favorite thing, like a good blooper, is that out of all the stunts Eddie did, the one he hurt himself doing was the mating dance for the erumpet. I think that’s hysterical. I mean he pulled his groin doing that! That is just so funny to me. You will have to go back and watch the movie; he was like Indiana Jones. He was all over the place, hanging from wires, and doing stunts. Then, he hurts himself doing the mating dance. I love that. {laughs deeply}

Fans of the franchise have imagined living in Rowling’s mythical world since it first debuted almost two decades ago. To this day, many adults are still waiting for their Hogwarts acceptance letters. Citizens of the wizarding community can instantly repair broken items, teleport, and even become immortal. What would the average person do if somehow they fell into all that power?

I’m a clown at heart so I think I would do the “ridiculous” spell quite a bit. It’d be fun to just say “ridiculous” and make people look weird to laugh at them.

The next installment in the Fantastic Beasts series is set to hit theatres this November. In the next movie Grindelwald will continue to gain support in his quest to establish a hierarchy in which the wizarding community dominates muggles. Very little information has been released other than the plot. With the exception of some minor clips from the trailer, little specifics are known regarding the protagonists from the first movie and what they have endured since we last saw them.

I mean I can’t really reveal that much, but I can say that the relationships themselves become more complex and darker. It is kind of like any relationship, when people get to know each other and more about each other things get more complex. You will see some more drama. In the first movie you see the love sort of blossoming between Queenie and Jacob. In this, the relationship seems further along. Because of that, you see Jacob under a lot more stress. That is all I can really say.

Fogler’s comment leaves tons of speculation about the movie. Will we learn something about Queenie’s background that causes problems for the couple? Since the magical community is forbidden to marry people outside of it, will her relationship with a “No-Maj” come to a focal point? These are just a few of the questions that we will have to wait to find out. We can only guess what fate the characters will face. Even Fogler is left guessing how Jacob will affect the wizarding world in the future.

In the books there is a famous quidditch player named Quinton Kowalski. Quinton is basically the male version of Queenie and of course he has my last name. I am very curious if this guy is a grandkid or something. It seems like eventually my bloodline gets into the wizarding world somehow. If you go down that Quinton Kowalski timeline then who knows?

This not only sounds like a valid theory but also may confirm that Jacob and Queenie are together for the long haul. Fans will have plenty of time to form their own theories about the couple’s future as the Fantastic Beasts series is set to consist of five films. Until then, we look forward to seeing what our favorite No-Maj has in store.

If you are in DFW this weekend you will be able to find Dan Fogler and his costar Alison Sudol at LeakyCon. Don’t miss out on this chance to meet them and get a little more insight to the series during their panels. You can find this weekend’s full schedule for LeakyCon by clicking here. You can also find our full interview transcript here.