Why Does Dumbledore Admire Newt Above All Others? Jude Law May Have the Answer

Do you know why I admire you, Newt? More, perhaps, than any man I know? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.

Of all the memorable lines in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, that one stood out to many. Not only does it provide us with additional confirmation of Newt Scamander’s heroic selflessness, but it also begs a provocative question as well: Why did Albus Dumbledore, one of the world’s most powerful wizards, admire his brilliant yet somewhat hapless former student above anyone else?

While we’ll no doubt delve deeper into the pair’s relationship in future installments of Fantastic Beasts, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) recently sat down with several Crimes of Grindelwald cast members in a compiled series of interviews posted Wednesday to YouTube by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. She took the opportunity to pose that question directly to the man bringing Dumbledore’s younger self to life, Jude Law.

When asked whether he believes Dumbledore struggles himself with the very qualities he admires in Newt, Law said he was certain of it.

Absolutely. He was very close to going ’round the world and conquering the world with Gellert Grindelwald, and suddenly, it was like he caught himself. So I think he’s always pulling back.

Law took advantage of his chance to extensively pick J.K. Rowling’s brain about his character before filming, and that picture of Dumbledore as a man embroiled in an intense inner battle between his better and baser instincts is one he says was painted for him by the author herself.

This is something Jo Rowling said to me. The reason he loves Newt is because Newt loves beasts, and I think he thinks he’s a beast. I think he thinks he’s dark, that he’s seen and done things that he wishes he hadn’t, and he’s constantly pulling himself back onto the right moral side.

We know the basics of the beginning and end of Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald, but in Crimes of Grindelwald, we begin to see their separate paths converging. While Dumbledore is still apparently grappling with reconciling the things he believed – and did – with his former friend, he sees a saving grace of sorts in Newt, who, as Leta Lestrange says, has “never met a monster [he] couldn’t love.”

At the same time, however, Law told Lynch that he also feels that Dumbledore still believes Grindelwald can be saved.

I don’t think he gives up on people, no. I think he still believes that there might be a possibility of turning him, and the reason I stick to that isn’t anything I was told or that I’ve read. It’s just that there’s that one line. He says to Theseus, ‘If he has the rally, don’t interfere. Just let it happen.’ And it’s like he’s trying to pick the momentum of Grindelwald’s impact. It’s as if he thinks he can sort of understand it and maybe second guess it, and that gives me a sense that he thinks there might be hope.

Meanwhile, though Dumbledore clearly has great faith in Newt, it’s still unclear whether that trust is reciprocated. Lynch posed this question to Eddie Redmayne: “Does Newt have the same belief that all people can be redeemed that he has for animals?”

I think the answer is, he hasn’t thought that through yet. I think it’s something that Newt hasn’t resolved yet, and I think it’s one of the big tests that Jo is putting to Newt. He has this absolute belief and faith in his creatures because I’m not sure that he does believe that, at this moment, with humans.

Lynch’s interviews, though condensed to around nine minutes, provide fascinating insight into how the actors perceive their characters. She additionally speaks with Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Claudia Kim, asking a variety of questions, including why Leta and Newt grew apart, why Credence Barebone gravitates toward Nagini and vice versa, what Waterston feels is the motive of the mysterious character of Tina Goldstein, and which wizarding world characters Miller and Kim would choose as their Secret-Keepers.

You can watch the full video below, and let us know in the comments what you think of Law’s character analysis!


Brienne Green

I'm a passionate journalist, feeding my wizarding world obsession on MuggleNet by night, forever trying to find ways to work "Potter" references into high school sports stories by day. When not writing, I can be often be found making quiche at 2 a.m., playing Queen tunes on the piano, or talking (and talking and talking) about Sirius Black.