In a long and distinguished career, Jude Law has played a wide range of characters, from an alien supervillain to Sherlock Holmes’s trusty sidekick. But most younger audiences know him best for playing the younger version of Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald. During a recent interview, Law recalled the excitement of trying out for the iconic role:
“I read my children Harry Potter, took them to see the films, and I loved Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I don’t remember at what point, but somebody suddenly said, ‘Oh you know they’re going to want a Dumbledore.’
I went through an audition process and it was a process I hadn’t done in a while, and it was fun to do because you also felt like you wanted to make sure you were married to this part. You didn’t want to get it and buckle, because there’s a great responsibility that comes with playing Albus Dumbledore.”
It is always endearing to find out that actors who join such long-running franchises are actually fans of the world they are bringing to life instead of viewing it as just another job. Like a true fanboy, one of the best moments of playing the part for Jude Law came before he ever walked onto the set of his Fantastic Beasts movie, when he got to meet the architect of the universe of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling herself.
“I think one of the beautiful moments in preparation was working with J.K. Rowling. I spent an afternoon when she gave me the entire history of this great character. I remember she went in and she was having tea. She had these incredible heels on. She said ‘OK, if you don’t mind I’m going to stand up.’ And she stood up for nearly three hours and just walked up and down, talked, talked — and it just came out, it’s just living in her.
And I’m sitting there scribbling down notes and getting all of this incredible insight into this character, which I had a little opportunity to use in this current one [Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald] and next year I go ahead and we do another chapter [in Fantastic Beasts 3]. There’s more to come with that.”
Imagine being a fan and getting to know from Rowling herself some of the deeper secrets behind one of the franchise’s most fascinating characters before anyone else. Law seems excited to be able to share the behind-the-scenes facts about Dumbledore that the author shared with him in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film. And Law further went on to stress how much of a joy playing the role of Hogwart’s most popular Headmaster is to him.
“There’s something wonderful about embodying someone with magical power. I’m trying to understand what that might be like. But there’s also something painful about Albus, something sad. [He’s] just a beautiful literary character that was a privilege to bring to life.”
With such love for the world created by J.K. Rowling so evident among the cast of the franchise, let us hope fans of Harry Potter embrace the Fantastic Beasts series, and become less hung up on the ways in which the new movies might or might not contradict the original Harry Potter novels. This comes from Vanity Fair.