WANDS READY

Jude Law teases new take on Dum­ble­dore in Fan­tas­tic Beasts 2

Ottawa Sun - - SHOWBIZ - MARK DANIELL

Ask Jude Law, “What’s the hard­est part of play­ing a young Al­bus Dum­ble­dore?” and he might re­ply, “Keep­ing se­crets.”

The 45-year-old, two-time Os­car nom­i­nee joins J.K. Rowl­ing’s wiz­ard­ing world as an early ver­sion of the char­ac­ter — who be­comes the fu­ture head­mas­ter of Hog­warts in the Harry Pot­ter books — in Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald (out this Fri­day), and he al­ready knows what’s in store for his dash­ing hero over the course of three planned se­quels.

“I know where he’s go­ing. So I’ve got this aim in my mind and I get to take you closer and closer to the Dum­ble­dore we know and love from the Pot­ter world and show how he ended up be­ing that man,” Law says down the line from Los Angeles.

Co-star Ed­die Red­mayne was en­thused to be work­ing along­side Law as he rein­ter­preted the char­ac­ter.

“I’ve known Jude for many years, so I was in­cred­i­bly ex­cited that he’d been cast — purely on a self­ish level be­cause I was get­ting to work with a mate,” he says in a sep­a­rate in­ter­view. “But when he showed up on set, there was a look, one glance, where we meet on the bridge that I think en­cap­su­lates the grav­i­tas and whimsy and mer­cu­rial qual­ity that we’ve all known and loved in Dum­ble­dore.”

Fol­low­ing the first Fan­tas­tic Beasts, the sec­ond en­try in a planned five-film se­ries moves the ac­tion from Amer­ica to Europe, with Newt Sca­man­der (Red­mayne) coaxed by the es­teemed Hog­warts pro­fes­sor to hunt down the out­law wiz­ard Gellert Grindel­wald (Johnny Depp).

In Rowl­ing’s Pot­ter books, Grindel­wald is one of the dark wiz­ards that pre-dates the vil­lain­ous Lord Volde­mort.

“A lot of the orig­i­nal Pot­ter fans are grown up and this story has grown up with them ... Even young­sters will un­der­stand the stakes in this movie,” Law teases.

In ad­di­tion to shin­ing a closer light on Grindel­wald, the se­quel, which is again writ­ten by Rowl­ing and di­rected by David Yates, brings back fa­mil­iar char­ac­ters from the 2016 orig­i­nal, in­clud­ing Newt’s love in­ter­est Tina Gold­stein (Kather­ine Water­ston), her sis­ter Quee­nie (Ali­son Su­dol), and Quee­nie’s mug­gle main squeeze Ja­cob Kowal­ski (Dan Fogler).

We also meet Sca­man­der’s Auror brother Th­e­seus Sca­man­der (Cal­lum Turner), his fi­ancee Leta Les­trange (Zoe Kravitz), and Nagini (Clau­dia Kim) — who in the books be­comes Volde­mort’s loyal snake.

“First of all, I think it’s a stroke of ge­nius to take the story back to a time be­fore the Harry Pot­ter books,” Law says. “An­other thing I think is very clever is Jo Rowl­ing weaves into Fan­tas­tic Beasts lit­tle threads that link it to Harry Pot­ter and that gen­er­a­tion.”

Law is ex­cited by the prospect of play­ing Dum­ble­dore in three more se­quels.

In the Pot­ter films, Dum­ble­dore was played by Richard Har­ris and Michael Gam­bon. Other than re­turn­ing as John Wat­son for a sec­ond time in the Sher­lock Holmes se­ries, he hasn’t been part of an on­go­ing fran­chise. “It’s a very, very ex­cit­ing prospect on so many lev­els,” he says. “First of all, I’m in great com­pany with this cast and crew. It’s a warm and safe and col­lab­o­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment, which I think shows in the film from the top down.

“Then I’ve got this won­der­ful char­ac­ter in my hand. J.K. Rowl­ing al­lows her char­ac­ters to evolve and con­tinue to be full of sur­prises. It’ll never feel as if I’m do­ing this by rote; there will al­ways be chal­lenges and what a won­der­ful char­ac­ter to slowly un­peel.”

Buoyed by his ex­pe­ri­ence join­ing Rowl­ing’s ev­er­grow­ing mag­i­cal world, Law spoke to the Sun about tak­ing on a young Dum­ble­dore and the mys­ter­ies that await.

“The calm and sense of self that the old Dum­ble­dore has is yet to be achieved. He’s a man still go­ing through and fig­ur­ing out his path.” — Jude Law on how his Al­bus Dum­ble­dore dif­fers from the Harry Pot­ter-era char­ac­ter (right).

Were you a fan of the Pot­ter books and movies when they started coming out 20 years ago?

Oh yeah. I dis­cov­ered them with my chil­dren. I was read­ing the Pot­ter books to my kids and we lis­tened to the au­dio books on hol­i­days and I took them to the movies. Like for so many fam­i­lies, Pot­ter and that world was a big part of our fam­ily. I knew all about it. So is this your kids’ favourite role you’ve done?

They haven’t seen the film yet, but they’re pretty ex­cited that I’m sud­denly in it. Do you have a favourite Pot­ter film?

Hmmm. I think the last two — the Deathly Hal­lows — re­ally blew me away. To look back at where we’ve come from and where these char­ac­ters — Harry, Hermione and Ron — how far they went and the dark­ness and stakes that they en­coun­tered, I just felt so im­pressed by that jour­ney. It was in­cred­i­ble.

You’re play­ing the young Dum­ble­dore. How much did you and J.K. talk about where

Dum­ble­dore had been and what he had ex­pe­ri­enced in his life be­fore we meet him in this film?

When you have the op­por­tu­nity to work with the cre­ator of a char­ac­ter, and a nov­el­ist at that, it’s like hav­ing a well of inspiration and de­tail. She was very gen­er­ous with her time and she gave me a very clear pic­ture of who he was from child­hood; his mo­ti­va­tions and the piv­otal mo­ments from his life and the scars that were left. So she and David Yates gave me a real sense early on so we could re­de­fine that pe­riod be­fore Dum­ble­dore be­came the man we know and love from the

Pot­ter movies. I was able to dig into the de­mons and the tur­moil and the drama of a younger man and the stuff that he has yet to re­solve.

J.K. fa­mously stated that Dum­ble­dore is gay. Was there some­thing in par­tic­u­lar you wanted to know about?

Oh yeah. There was stuff about his re­la­tion­ship with Gellert Grindel­wald. There’s that re­la­tion­ship and what hap­pens be­tween them that causes this rift. But prior to

that what hap­pened in the Dum­ble­dore fam­ily. As we all know, Dum­ble­dore’s child­hood was quite idyl­lic and then some­thing hap­pens and what hap­pened in the fam­ily re­ally changed his life and emo­tional fab­ric. That will come into more de­tail in the next (in­stal­ments). But un­der­stand­ing his re­la­tion­ship with Grindel­wald was key.

It’s a lot darker than any­thing we’ve seen in any of the other Pot­ter films. It’s cer­tainly a lot darker than the first Fan­tas­tic Beasts. What did you think of that de­ci­sion?

I think what we’ve done is serve the story and the themes of the story and the sit­u­a­tions the char­ac­ters find them­selves in. I still think that there’s a light touch and won­der­ful es­capism that J.K. Rowl­ing brings to it. But, I also think, we live in dark times and the films re­flect the pe­riod we’re all liv­ing in.

How did you think your Dum­ble­dore is dif­fer­ent from the one we meet later on in the Pot­ter films? To me

there’s a mis­chievous charm to the younger man.

I guess one of the things that makes him dif­fer­ent is he’s 45 and not 112. The calm and sense of self that the old Dum­ble­dore has is yet to be achieved. He’s a man still go­ing through and fig­ur­ing out his path. Also, he’s still liv­ing with de­mons that are un­re­solved. There are still is­sues that he car­ries that he needs to con­front and work through.

In the trailer Dum­ble­dore says to Newt, ‘I can’t move against Grindel­wald.’ What’s the re­la­tion­ship Dum­ble­dore has with Newt ver­sus the one he has later on with Harry?

They are slightly more on equal foot­ing. Even though Newt was Dum­ble­dore’s stu­dent, he’s an adult. With Harry and Dum­ble­dore, it’s al­ways child and mas­ter. I think there’s slightly more neu­tral­ity to the Dum­ble­doreNewt re­la­tion­ship. Hav­ing said that, Dum­ble­dore has a way of lead­ing and ma­noeu­vring his friends in a way that keeps them guess­ing. I al­ways think how he was a mas­ter in the Pot­ter se­ries of mak­ing peo­ple think that they were coming to their own de­ci­sions when re­ally they had been en­cour­aged by him.

In Pot­ter-lore, Dum­ble­dore is the one who de­feats Grindel­wald. Has J.K. al­ready re­vealed how that’s all go­ing to play out?

Not in too much de­tail, but I do know cer­tain emo­tional sit­u­a­tions — I’m be­ing very care­ful with what I tell you here.

You’re go­ing to be back shoot­ing the third one next year. How is the

Fan­tas­tic Beasts se­ries go­ing to progress? Is it go­ing to get darker? I think J.K. Rowl­ing has al­ways been a bril­liant reader for what her au­di­ences’ de­sires are. There will be ar­eas that I’m sure will get darker and more in­tense. But, equally, she al­ways ap­proaches the story with such hu­mour and del­i­cacy, and I think that will al­ways re­main.

Al­right, we’re coming up to the hol­i­days and I have to say your movie The Hol­i­day al­ways helps us kick off Christ­mas. What’s your favourite fes­tive movie? I’m prob­a­bly go­ing to be re­ally pre­dictable here and say It’s a Won­der­ful Life. But I also love A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas. Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald opens Fri­day

Star Jude Law, who joins J.K. Rowl­ing’s wiz­ard­ing world in Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald, says he has one goal in mind and that’s to “get to take you closer and closer to the Dum­ble­dore we know and love from the Pot­ter world.”

EXCLUSIVE

Clock­wise from left: Cal­lum Turner, Zoe Kravitz and Ed­die Red­mayne; Kather­ine Water­ston; Ali­son Su­dol; a Zouwu; Johnny Depp; and Dan Fogler star in Crimes of Grindel­wald.

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