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Jude Law Responds to Outcry Over De-Gayed Dumbledore

Jude Law

The Fantastic Beasts actor discusses how his character's sexuality will be portrayed on-screen.


Earlier this year, Harry Potterfans expressed some alarm after the director of Fantastic Beasts, David Yates, said Albus Dumbledore would not be "explicitly gay" in the film's sequel.

As background, the character Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the popular young-adult book series by J.K. Rowling. In 2007, Rowling made headlines when she said she "always thought Dumbledore was gay," and he was once in love with another wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. According to the author, Grindelwald, who turned to dark magic, became Dumbledore's rival, and his love for him would turn into a "great tragedy."

Fans had been looking forward to this story being told in Fantastic Beasts -- a prequel to the Harry Potter series that shows Dumbledore and Grindelwald as young wizards. So Yates's remarks sparked accusations of "straightwashing."

Jude Law, who portrays young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, addressed these concerns in a Tuesday interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"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. But as with humans, your sexuality doesn't necessarily define you; he's multifaceted," Law said.

"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," the 45-year-old actor continued. "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."

When asked how Dumbledore's relationship with Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) would be depicted in Crimes, Law revealed it would be limited -- in this installment.

"I don't actually have any scenes with Johnny," he said. "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. 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: Crimes of Grindelwald premieres November 16, so fans have several months -- and several years of sequels afterward -- before knowing for certain how the wizard's love and gay identity will be depicted, if at all.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.