Jude Law Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters

Now that filming on the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is well underway, we are waiting with bated breath for more about our favorite characters. What we know so far is that Albus Dumbledore will have more fun in the next movie and that we will get to learn more about him. Although the BAFTA-winning actor behind young Dumbledore, Jude Law, has not revealed much more about his upcoming plotlines, he recently sat down with GQ to break down his most iconic characters to date. From punches to popes, from outlaws to inlaws, buckle in for a revisit of his awesome career.

Said by many to be a woefully underrated movie, Gattaca (1997) was the first big Hollywood movie to set Law off on his unstoppable course to fame.

I’d only done a couple of very small British films prior to that. I was just incredibly excited at the idea of being invited to Los Angeles to make a film.

Following this, director Anthony Minghella recognized him and snatched him up for The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999).

It was the hardest job I’d ever done. I spent three weeks living on the Italian coast, sailing, eating grapefruit, sunbathing because he [Minghella] wanted me to be very tan. I foolishly thought that every job was like that, that all jobs in the movies were as hard as that.



Unfortunately, the role came with a few pains, particularly in the ribcage area during the bloody fight scene with Matt Damon:

Matt and I came out quite battered and bruised from that, yeah. Although the scene, the fight, the struggle was very well choreographed because we were on a tiny boat, the camera team were on a sort of pontoon that was strapped to the side of the boat, but still the boat had to move, and we could only obviously look in certain directions because we had to have the sea behind us. We had a rubber oar, which got broken in the first take, or bent, so after that, we had to use a real oar, which was slightly troublesome. I think that’s where the broken rib came from.

Law’s roles in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Road to Perdition (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), Closer (2004), The Aviator (2004), and Sherlock Holmes (2009) have shown time and again that he is a true chameleon. While it is not the first movie we think of when we hear his name, because it’s 2020, Law gave the prophetic pandemic movie, Contagion (2011), more than an honorable mention:

There was absolutely the sense that this was going to happen. The great scientists on set with us, who had worked with Scott Burns, the writer, and with Steven [Soderbergh, the director], were very learned and experienced individuals, who knew what to expect, and they all said to us that this was going to happen and it was a case of when rather than if.



Back to magic and escapism. Here’s what Law let on about Fantastic Beasts and Dumbledore:

I mean, an awful lot of his past is hinted at and referenced in the books of Harry Potter. She [J.K. Rowling] filled in a lot of gaps that weren’t mentioned in the books. She also gave insight and a sense of where he was going and what we hope to explore in future films. I’m actually in the process of making the third Fantastic Beasts at the moment, and that’s exploring his past in a little more detail.

Who else wishes there were a detailed Dumbledore spin-off with Jude Law in the style of The Young Pope? No one? If this idea is too out there, you can catch him in the mystery-horror series The Third Day or his newest feature film, The Nest, out now. To enjoy half an hour of pure Jude Law, including his Dumbledore beard, check out the full interview below.




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Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.

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