When it comes to the Harry Potter universe, most fans probably think they've seen it all. Well, the upcoming spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is about to prove they haven't. Written by creator J.K. Rowling, this rollicking adventure is set to introduce a new magical power to the world laid out in 7 different books and one magical stage play. And this is definitely a different ability than has ever been seen before.
Fantastic Beasts is the first in a new Harry Potter trilogy that takes place years before Harry and his friends ever stepped foot in Hogwarts. And it's unique in that it takes place mostly in the Unites States. New York, to be exact. In the movie, audiences will be introduced to up and coming actress Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, a free spirit who holds down a pretty mundane desk job at the Magical Congress of the United States of America. She works alongside her is sister Tina, played by the great Katherine Waterston. And these two women apparently have their secret.
Queenie is what is known in this world as a Legilimens, akin to the great dark wizards such as Salazar Slytherin. This means she can read minds. But her abilities are very different than anything else ever seen or read about in the past tales of Harry Potter. You may remember that when Severus Snape taught Harry the art of Occlumency, he used Legilimency as an attacking method to breach all minds that resist. Queenie's powers are described more as being like an antenna. She is always turned on. And tuned in. She can pick up the thoughts and feelings of those around her. Alison Sudol had this to say about her character, Ms. Goldstein, to Entertainment Weekly.
"She's basically a complete and utter magical empath. She's able to read people, so it's not just reading somebody's thoughts. She's can read into someone's story, she can see people's goals. And so even though she's able to do magic with her wand, a lot of her magic is actually internal, which makes her a different type of wizard or witch. And she's incredibly fun, playful, joyful, and free-spirited, kind and wise, and also has a sort of stillness about her because she's always tuning into people, so she's quite an interesting character to play, very vivacious and lively, yet very centered and aware."
Though living through the Roaring 20s, as it were, Queenie's life in New York is not much different than the singletons that populate the area in modern times. She hasn't been able to find a boyfriend. And that's partly due to her mind reading powers. Though, she believes they will come in quite handy when she eventually settles on a mate.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident...Were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. Fantastic Beasts and where to find them is in theaters this November.