One of the aspects of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald that fans are most looking forward to is seeing fan-favorite wizened Harry Potter character Albus Dumbeldore as a younger man, specifically by Jude Law in the film. Though Law has kept quiet about the film during production, he spoke to Entertainment Weekly about stepping into the role and what he learned from J.K. Rowling about the character.
To do justice to one of the most beloved characters from the Harry Potter series, Law was able to take advantage of his familiarity with the character and spoke to the character’s creator herself. Law says, “I knew the books and the Harry Potter films pretty well, my children grew up with them so I grew up as an accompanying adult. And I’d seen and enjoyed the first [Fantastic Beasts] film. Then I had the good fortune and opportunity to sit with [author and screenwriter]J.K. Rowling shortly after we started work on it. She gave me a very good sense of Albus’ life journey and who he was and what was happening in his head and his heart and his world for this particular story.”
However, Law explains that he doesn’t try to repeat what earlier Dumbeldore actors Richard Harris and Michael Gambon did in their performances. He says, “I’m sure they were in the back of my mind, because I’d seen their work and admired both of them as actors, greatly. I talked with [director]David Yates about that and we both decided that it wasn’t necessary to do an impersonation of one of them as a younger man. This is a man with almost 100 years ahead of him before he became that character so we wanted to look at who he was in this moment and construct our own version.”
Famously, Rowling revealed over a decade ago that Dumbeldore is gay, but this Fantastic Beast sequel does not address Dumbeldore’s sexuality. Law says that Dumbeldore isn’t defined by that. Law reveals, “That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, yes, he’s gay. But as with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you; he’s multifaceted.”