Two events took over the sidewalks of New York City Thursday night — one of celebration, and one of protest. Lincoln Center hosted the world premiere of the much-anticipated Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, with Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Rowling and more of the movie’s stars in attendance.
Meanwhile, just several blocks away, protesters marched in front of Trump Tower for the second night in a row.
And while the mood on the red carpet was celebratory, several of the movie’s biggest names commented on the recent elections, offering messages of hope and reflection.
Potter creator and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter/producer Rowling has vocally opposed Trump on social media, but her message at the premiere was more positive.
“Anytime you release a movie, you’d like to think you’ll give everyone a couple of hours of pleasure, and solace, for everyone — because life’s tricky, right?" she told USA TODAY. "And that’s why we make movies, and like music, and maybe I feel that hopefully, putting out something that’s lovable in this world in this moment is not a bad thing.”
Meanwhile, when Eddie Redmayne was asked what kind of spell he’d cast on Donald Trump, he skipped the jokes and delivered a thoughtful answer, about how he'd grant both Trump and the American public some time for reflection.
"I feel like what I would do is one of the stun spells — you’re stunned for a moment, and you have time to think," he said. "Because I think that’s what the world needs, and it’s been such a frenzy of a campaign, and it’s been so dirty, and I think certainly from across the pond the notion of politicians as noble people that we can look up to and our kids can look up to has been complicated."
"And I know that’s politics, but what’s happened is that it’s become so dirty, that now the election’s happened and we’ve had a moment of democracy, time needs to be taken to work out what really happens now," he continued.