Katherine Waterston, left, and Eddie Redmayne
Jason Merritt/Mike Marsland — Getty Images
By Ashley Ross
June 15, 2015

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff film officially cast its leading lady, who will undoubtedly rival Hermione Granger for wittiest witch of the Wizarding World.

Katherine Waterston, known for Inherent Vice, will star as Tina, or Porpentina, a witch who “works her magic in the U.S.” alongside Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander. It’s unclear at this point if Tina will be American or if she’ll just be practicing magic in America. Waterston is a British-born American actress (her father is Sam Waterston, known most recently for his role on Grace and Frankie), but if she is American, this could mean that she was educated at the so-called “American Hogwarts” that Rowling recently Tweeted about.

“‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling said in a statement late last year. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Potter fans assume that Tina is, in fact, an American witch who eventually marries Redmayne’s character. And Rowling clarified a bit about her and her sister, Queenie, who’s yet to be cast.

The film is set to hit theaters in November of 2016.

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