Jude Law enjoys being the most powerful wizard Dumbledore
The Wizarding World recently celebrated its 20th anniversay, and Albus Dumbledore is the only character in the films who has been there from the start.
British actor Jude Law has the honour of playing the most powerful wizard in the Harry Potter universe, and he is relishing every moment.
The 49-year-old first played Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald in 2018, and as the story develops, Hogwarts' favourite professor's role will only get bigger.
In this third Fantastic Beasts movie, Professor Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world.
Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore opens April 14.
What qualities are constant and what qualities are different from the Dumbledore we first met in the Harry Potter stories?
JUDE LAW: Looking at Dumbledore’s journey from beginning to end, what remains constant are his abilities to see the good in people, his mischievous quality, his good humour, his enjoyment of young and innocent magic, and approach to life.
I think he is revitalised by the youth around him because it's sort of untarnished. But you get to see his regrets, I think, a little more earlier on. He’s still someone solving self-afflicted issues, someone who is still unpacking who he is in the world. There’s perhaps a quality of experience and wisdom that we see later on where those wrinkles have been ironed out.
What appealed to you about delving into Dumbledore’s history?
There was so much to relish in a part whose future we already know.
He’s already this much-loved, admired character in folk history. To be able to go backwards and understand how he put himself together, how he worked out a young man’s issues, a young man’s problems, and understand the path he took, or didn’t take, or fought to take to get him to the man that we know he became, is a gem for an actor because you know that journey’s going to be rich.
I suppose there was also something wonderful about knowing that in his heart he had strength and a goodness that he was resolving. There were so many facets to the possibilities and so many areas to mine that it was a wonderful part to accept and be a part of.
Did knowing his future make it easier for you or harder to develop where he came from in the beginning?
I would say the only elements that were harder were the expectations because Michael Gambon and Richard Harris had done such a wonderful job, and he had already become, as a character, so cemented and loved in people’s hearts. What was pleasant was knowing that I was getting to a place that was already appreciated.
You and Mads Mikkelsen both had to convey the relationship Dumbledore and Grindelwald once had and the connection that they still have. Can you talk about working with him on this film?
So working with Mads was, as with great actors, pretty straightforward because he arrived with great ideas and having done lots of work. We spent time discussing their past with our director, David Yates, so that we were all on the same page as to what had happened. Then to be true, the scenes really played themselves and you just imbue them with the intensity and the truth that you hope can convey the underlying architecture of these people. A lot of that work takes place on the day and it takes place in very small, meticulous, little details of how you play off each other, but you’ve done a lot of discussing before that.
Can you talk about working alongside Eddie on this second film together?
Working with Eddie is like spending time with an old friend. We worked together for the first time on the last film, but had known each other for many years and enjoy other’s company very much. He’s both great fun and very entertaining to be with, interested and interesting.
He’s also someone that takes it to another level when it comes to prep and being present and taking it seriously and creating a true environment. I like to think I’m kind of like that as well — that there’s fun, and then there’s also the work. You try and push the work as hard as you can and as far as you can because you want it to be good, you want it to be special.
David Yates has been at the helm of the Wizarding World films since Harry Potter. Can you talk about your collaboration?
David is a sort of compass now of the whole Wizarding World. He’s so entrenched and has such a sort of innate sense of what’s right, whether it’s the humor, whether it’s the pathos, whether it’s the visuals, the magic, the battles. He’s the sage on the set that you lean into. He still has this very boyish enthusiasm and energy that’s very infectious.