From fangirl to franchise star, Jessica Williams' Harry Potter dreams are coming true in major ways. Last fall, the former Daily Show correspondent and self-proclaimed Harry Potter superfan freaked out when she found out that she was cast in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, and now, she and J.K. Rowling have revealed who Jessica Williams is playing in Fantastic Beasts 2.
On Sunday evening, Jessica Williams posted a video on her Instagram account of herself and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling eating some dinner during the intermission of her play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The pair also took that opportunity to officially announce the name of Jessica Williams' character in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald. Rowling said that Williams will be playing Professor Lally Hicks in the new movie. While it was great to get a name for the new character, it is not a whole lot to go on, is it? Well, J.K. Rowling jumped to Twitter to give the rabid Harry Potter fans more details about Williams' role: Lally Hicks' full name is Eulalie Hicks, and she is a professor at the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which is Hogwarts' American equivalent.
J.K. Rowling went on to reveal that, unfortunately, we will not get to see a whole lot of Professor Lally Hicks in Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald, but she will be a major part of the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts saga.
I guess that is just more reason to continue being hyped for future Fantastic Beasts movies! As much as Harry Potter fans everywhere are pumped for getting to know Professor Lally Hicks and what she brings to the beloved universe of witchcraft and wizardry, it sounds like Jessica Williams may be the most excited about the news of all. The comedian has been a vocal Harry Potter superfan throughout her career, and J.K. Rowling eventually took notice. They then became friends via social media for years before finally meeting in person.
Last summer, Jessica Williams recounted the story of how she and J.K. Rowling first started talking while on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She said that Rowling began following her on Twitter around her second year working at The Daily Show (which would have been sometime in 2013). Williams recalled that she freaked out once she noticed the follow, and soon Rowling send her a DM wishing her a happy birthday — both Williams and Rowling happen to share the birthday of July 31. After drafting a bunch of responses, Williams finally replied and the two have been in constant communication ever since.
Although they had chatted online for years, it wasn't until last summer that Jessica Williams and J.K. Rowling finally met in person. Williams posted a photo of the two of them together and gushed about how amazing it was to meet one of her heroes and how well they got along:
Clearly, the meeting was incredible for J.K. Rowling too, because just a couple months later it was announced that Jessica Williams was cast in Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald. The role was unnamed and unspecified at the time. Obviously, Williams did what any of us would do if we just found out we had been cast in a Harry Potter move: She freaked out on Twitter.
Jessica Williams' role was still a mystery back then, but now we know that she will be Professor Lally Hicks of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Get ready to meet her when Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald flies into theaters on Nov. 16.