Jude Law wants you to know that “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is only the beginning of Albus Dumbledore’s story — but that didn’t stop the actor from spilling the beans about the character.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Law said he didn’t look much at the performances of previous Dumbledore actors, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon, because his version 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.”
The actor went on to describe what his version will be like.
“The one thing that came out was the sense of play. He has a youthful mercurial approach to life, but that there’s something that hangs heavy in his heart, in his past, that underlies all of that. There’s a root of good humor and good heart and sense of self and a sense of past,” Law said. “There’s a sense of humor and mischief, a dash of anarchy, a sense of what’s right and what he believes in, and a sense of mystery. There’s also how he comes around to get people onto his way of thinking — which is rather indirectly. He also has a certain heaviness about him that I don’t want to reveal too much about — and that’s something he has to overcome, or hopes to overcome. He’s also got a great passion for sharing his knowledge, he’s a powerful and inclusive teacher.”
Contrary to popular belief, fans won’t see Dumbledore teaching Transfiguration in this stage of his life, although the story says he used to be a Transfiguration teacher before becoming the headmaster of Hogwarts.
In fact (spoiler alert!), the young Albus only gets to cast one spell in the upcoming film, and it’s not with his Elder Wand.
“Albus doesn’t have the Elder Wand yet, no,” said Law. “I have a wand. It’s very reflective of him, beautiful dark wood root with a stone on one end.”
Earlier this year, director David Yates said the character was not “explicitly gay” in this film, although years ago, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling said Dumbledore was gay. Now, Law said that Dumbledore’s sexuality doesn’t define him and that there’s so much to learn about the character because he’s so “multifaceted.”
“Jo Rowling revealed some years back that Dumbledore was gay. That was a question I actually asked Jo and she said, yes, he’s gay,” said Law. “But as with humans, your sexuality doesn’t necessarily define you; he’s multifaceted. I suppose the question is: How is Dumbledore’s sexuality depicted in this film? What you got to remember this is only the second ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film in a series and what’s brilliant about Jo’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time. You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.”
One last revelation — Law didn’t actually film any scenes with Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald, with whom Dumbledore is said to have been in love in his younger years.
“As I said before, this is only Part 2 of a longer story. I’ve always admired him from afar, but we don’t know each other, and I’ve not yet met him on this,” said Law. “In many ways that suits the relationship as it’s been many years since they’ve seen each other. So there’s complexity in that that’s fun to mine. Again, the past will reveal itself.”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz and Carmen Ejogo and will hit theaters on November 16.
Check out the full EW interview with Law here.