ENTERTAINMENT
26/10/2018 11:40 BST

'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald': Nagini Star Claudia Kim Addresses Casting Controversy

"I thought many Korean viewers would be happy."

‘Fantastic Beasts’ actress Claudia Kim has spoken about the recent controversy that came after it was revealed she was playing Nagini in the film.

Claudia is joining the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ universe for the upcoming second film ‘The Crimes Of Grindelwald’, playing Nagini, a human with cursed blood who has the ability to transform into a snake.

However, some people were unimpressed at the casting choice, suggesting that representation of people of colour was an “afterthought” for J.K. Rowling, as Nagini had originally been thought to only be a snake in the original ‘Harry Potter’ books.

Warner Bros
Claudia Kim as Nagini in the trailer

Addressing the backlash at a theatre in Seoul, the South Korean actress said (via Allkpop): “It was unexpected… When I found out that I’m playing Nagini, I thought it was meaningful because it’s an important character in the ’Harry Potter’ series.

″’Harry Potter’ is a franchise film with many caucasian actors, so I thought many Korean viewers would be happy.”

J.K. Rowling previously said on the matter, in response to one detractor on social media who had accused her of casting Claudia Kim “for woke points”: “The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake.

“Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day.”

PA Wire/PA Images
JK Rowling

The film has already proved controversial thanks to the presence of Johnny Depp, another casting decision J.K. Rowling - who served as producer and screenwriter - was forced to defend early in production.

‘The Crimes Of Grindelwald’ is slated for release on 16 November.