Critics have singled him out as the “heart” of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for his moving and adorable portrayal of Jacob, who is the only one in the four-man principal cast without magical powers. Ironically, this may be the very reason that has endeared American actor Dan Fogler to audiences: his effortless relatability.
“At his core, Jacob is just a simple palooka who just happens into this magical situation, something he’s clearly not used to,” Fogler says of his character. “He’s a baker who has been trying to open his own bakery because he loves making people happy with his cooking. He may not be able to perform magic, but he can make a little pastry that’ll knock your socks off. I felt like I knew the character well because my great-grandfather was a baker, who was known for the best pumpernickel in New York, so it’s in my blood.”
Director David Yates notes, “Jacob is an everyman with a big heart who believes in the best of everyone. He accepts people for who they are. He’s a No-Maj [humans who have no magic] who suddenly finds himself in this remarkable world and embraces the joy of that world for all its differences and idiosyncrasies. And Jacob is one of us, so we get to experience it all from his point of view.”
“Imagine getting caught up in this wizarding universe as someone who has never experienced real magic before,” producer David Heyman suggests. “That sense of wonder is seen and felt by the audience through Jacob.”
Fogler could easily relate to that aspect of his character. “I felt like Jacob entering this world and being in awe of everything,” says the actor who was a Harry Potter fan long before being cast in “Fantastic Beasts.” In fact, he learned he won the role while attending the largest fan gathering on the planet. He recalls, “I was at Comic-Con in San Diego when I got the call from David Yates and David Heyman. They asked me where I was and I said, ‘I’m at Comic-Con,’ and they said, ‘Well, Comic-Con is going to be a lot different for you next year!’ They were both so supportive and excited for me; it was such a warm, happy feeling and that remained for the whole shoot. I will always think of them as the people who came into my life and changed it forever.”
Fogler, who is joined in the lead cast by Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol, concludes, “Even though ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is an adventure that runs the gamut of action and humor, and with gigantic sets and effects, they did an amazing job honing in on the relationships and the chemistry between these characters. I think audiences will really see themselves in these people…these quirky misfits who form this little team.”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is now playing across the Philippines in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX, and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.