Dumbledore’s Got Style: Jude Law on the Appearance and Qualities of Young Dumbledore
The casting of Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts franchise caused quite a stir, with some fans ecstatic about the news and others uncertain about or against the idea. With the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, we’re given a much closer look at the Dumbledore Law has created, from a new style of clothing to the different challenges this younger version is facing.
Jude Law is no stranger to fashion and good looks, having recently been interviewed by Esquire on his personal style and discussing his delight at finding items of clothing that feel “like a piece that’s got a real personality and almost a quality of artistic integrity.”
Sometimes you find really old vintage pieces or a piece of tailor-made clothing that just feels like, ‘Wow, this is not a one-off, but this feels very, very special.’ It also has its own personality, and you feel lucky to kind of have it in your life for a short period—I love acquiring those.
Law’s Dumbledore outfits, which drastically differ from the clothing worn by the Dumbledores played by Richard Harris and Sir Michael Gambon in the Harry Potter films, only add to the list of good looks Law can pull off.
Speaking in a recent interview, Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) joked about the Law versus Harris/Gambon Dumbledore clothing contrast.
There’s definitely going to have to be a moment when Dumbledore goes off and find his inner robes and his pointy shoes… and all his chicness disappears, all his film noir sort of Cold War spy movieness goes, and in comes Halloween.
Adding to the Dumbledore clothing debate, Law has weighed in on his theory about the caftan worn by Gambon’s Dumbledore.
Remember at school, teachers would suddenly not be there for a term, and they’d say, ‘Oh, they’re on sabbatical’? I’ve got this feeling that Dumbledore goes to India to study some sort of mysticism with a wizard in India and he just suddenly thinks, ‘Trousers? Suits? Who needs these? I’m going free,’ and he’s the teacher that comes back and everyone goes, ‘He’s wearing a caftan.’
We can ponder the discrepancies in Dumbledore’s appearances, such as the fact that Gambon’s Dumbledore who visits a young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is much older than the Dumbledore Law is portraying in Fantastic Beasts despite it only being about a decade apart. However, Law has talked about the importance of crafting a different version of the Dumbledore we know from the Harry Potter films and freeing “ourselves from the Dumbledore we knew because he wasn’t quite that man yet.”
Despite this, there are certain qualities from Harris’s and Gambon’s Dumbledores that Law has drawn on in his portrayal.
At the same time, there were definite qualities that both Richard Harris and Michael Gambon gave the character that I wanted to steal, I suppose. This sort of humour and the relish of life and impish behaviour, but both of them have a sort of gravitas, a sort of soulfulness that I thought was really beautiful and complicated.
In this film, in particular, he’s facing the past, he’s facing himself, his own guilt, but if there was a quality that links him, I would say it’s his mischievousness, his humour and his belief in people – he sees the positive.
You think how Dumbledore believed in Draco [Malfoy], he believed even in Tom Riddle, you know, he sees the good, or the potential good. And I think that’s something that he’s always had.
We love watching Law create this new version of the powerful wizard we’ve all known for so many years, and one thing’s for certain – whether young or old, Dumbledore’s got style.