After Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav mentioned the possibility of working with J.K. Rowling on more “Harry Potter” content, Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes expressed his interest in reprising his villainous role in the Wizarding World.
“Sure, of course,” Fiennes told Variety when asked if he wants to play Voldemort again. If Warner Bros. or Rowling called him to join future “Harry Potter” projects, Fiennes said he would jump right in: “No question about it.”
Fiennes spoke with Variety on the red carpet at the New York premiere of “The Menu,” in which he plays madman celebrity chef Julian Slowik, who prepares an elaborate fine dining experience with some unexpected twists.
Fiennes first appeared as He Who Shall Not Be Named in the fourth “Harry Potter” film, 2005’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” and returned for three additional movies — “Order of the Phoenix” and “Deathly Hallows” Part 1 and 2.
Last month, the actor defended Rowling against “verbal abuse” and death threats directed at the “Harry Potter” author for her outspoken beliefs about biological sex and trans people.
“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings,” Fiennes told The New York Times. “It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being. The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling.”
Fiennes continued, “I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”
Rowling drew backlash in June 2020 when she posted a series of tweets in which she argued that discussing gender identity negates biological sex. “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” the author wrote. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.” Rowling continued to double down on her position in the years that followed.
In response to Rowling’s comments, “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe penned an open letter that reads, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
“The Menu” premieres in theaters on Nov. 18 from Searchlight Pictures.
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