Fantastic Beast: A chat with Brent Burns, Harry Potter superfan
The benefit that sport and literature offer us is escapism, but the gift that they offer us is engagement. We’ll probably never know how it feels to score an NHL goal, and we’ll DEFINITELY never know how it feels to cast a spell, but that’s beside the point. We see ourselves in our heroes – their courage, their tenacity, the way they respond when faced with impossible odds. We root for them because we like them, and we like them because we relate to them.
San Jose Sharks superstar Brent Burns does know how it feels to score an NHL goal (he’s fourth among active defensemen), but that’s beside the point. Burns, like many of us, discovered Harry Potter and quickly fell in love. He was kind enough to chat with Pucks and Rec about the books, the movies, and which house he’d most likely be sorted into. Enjoy!
What was your first Harry Potter book and how old were you when you started reading them? Did you get into the series early on, or were you introduced to it a few books in?
Burns: My mom worked at Costco, I think it was when the third book came out at there was a gift set at Costco. That was the first time I learned about it. I just fell in love with the books and then the fourth one came out pretty soon after that, and I remember getting that on opening day.
Do you have a favorite character in the franchise, or are you split between multiple characters?
Burns: I just love the books and the whole world. Kinda just getting away from the one we’re living in. We named our new dog Hagrid, and we had a bird named Hedwig. I mean, I just love that stuff. I love most of the characters in that series.
If you had the sorting hat put on your head…
Burns: Gryffindor. I would hope. It would probably end up Slytherin. [laughing]
Is there anyone else in the locker room who shares your love of Harry Potter, or are you the lone fan on the Sharks?
Burns: I’m sure, but I think most the guys are quiet about it. They are pretty amazing books. Most guys like to have a way of getting away from the long times flying. I see a lot of guys reading on the planes, so I’m sure a lot of guys have read the books.
Did you have a favorite one of the movies, or a least favorite?
Burns: I love the last movies because the technology has gotten so much better, but I really always love just having a book and being able to watch the movie. Even if people say the movie sucks, I mean, I love Eragon, I love that book series and it’s right up there with Harry Potter for me. I love that movie (Eragon), and that movie got roasted. [laughing]
But I love seeing other people’s visions of what I was reading through and seeing how it was similar or different.
Have you see Fantastic Beasts yet?
Burns: I haven’t seen it yet. I can’t go see it on the road without the kids. I was going to go see it yesterday but I heard it was pretty scary, so I guess I’ve got to go see if it will give the kids nightmares first. But we will be going to see it soon.
How do you feel about them making Fantastic Beasts into six movies?
Burns: Really? Wow, that’s awesome. The more movies, the better!
Have you been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios?
Burns: I haven’t. We’re going to get the RV there pretty soon hopefully.
Are you a future author yourself?
Burns: No. I like to draw but I suck at it. I always have fun with it, but I’ll always love reading.
So a quick question about your tattoo. What was your inspiration for it? Was it designed specifically for you?
Burns: Yeah, I designed it with my artist. Y’know, all tattoos are kinda just a picture of your life at that time, and I was really into the books and epic movies, and I always loved history and mythical dragons and Greek gods. I just love the history and lore from all around the world, so I just did a tattoo with all that stuff jumbled into a big army.
Last question: What position would you play in Quidditch?
Burns: I’d like to be a seeker. I think that would be pretty fun. Be awesome to have a broom. [laughing]