When Jessica Williams was announced as part of the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald last October, not much was revealed about her character. But during the Broadway debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, both J.K. Rowling and Williams revealed more details about Williams’ character and what we can expect.
The two took to Instagram during the intermission of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to reveal that Williams’ character is Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, a teacher at America’s version of Hogwarts, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Rowling later wrote via Twitter that Lally will be seen much more in the third installment. “You only see a HINT of Lally in Fantastic Beasts 2,” she wrote. “Her true glory is revealed in FB3.”
The cryptic message underscores the vast amount we don’t know about Lally’s abilities or background. Something else to think about is how the sequel might tackle race in America, if it does at all; the film series is set in the 1920s, a time in which racial segregation and violence was still at its height, and while the first Fantastic Beasts included Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina Picquery, the president of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (and from Jim Crow-era Savannah, Georgia, no less), the film has had criticism levied against it for its clumsy handling of American racial and cultural politics.
However, for Williams, this is the role of a lifetime as she is one of the many thousands of worldwide Harry Potter fans. Last October, she told Entertainment Weekly that Rowling sent her some emails about the character, which led to Williams becoming part of the franchise. “It’s like my wildest dream…I could not have fathomed that when I was in the fourth grade reading these books, there would be a character I play that exists in this universe. It’s insane to me,” she said.
We’ll be able to see a glimpse of Williams when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to theaters November 16.