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Exclusive: Eddie Redmayne says addressing Dumbledore’s sexuality in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ “couldn’t be more important”

"I can’t wait for more of that story."

By Will Stroude

Words: Will Stroude

Eddie Redmayne says that addressing the fact that Albus Dumbledore is gay in the Fantastic Beasts franchise “couldn’t be more important”.

The Oscar-winning actor, who reprises his role as magizooligist Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, set for release in the UK on Friday (November 16), revealed he “can’t wait for more of that story” as he praised the first allusions to Dumbledore’s sexuality in the Harry Potter spin-off sequel.

The Crimes of Grindelwald, which has been written by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, contains scenes which explore the adolescent relationship between the Hogwarts headmaster (played by Jude Law) and dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

It makes the film the first entry in the wizarding universe to allude to Dumbledore’s sexuality since Rowling revealed that the Hogwarts headmaster was gay in 2007.

Asked whether it marks an important breakthrough for the franchise, Redmayne tells Attitude: “Absolutely it is. It couldn’t be more important.

“There’s a line in the film in which [this character] Travers is saying to Jude’s Dumbledore ‘You [and Grindelwald] were as close as brothers’.

“And the way Jude plays that line: ‘No no, we were closer than brothers’… you see this heartbreak in his eyes.”

He adds: “I found it very moving. I can’t wait for more of that story.”

Eddie’s co-star Katherine Waterston, who plays American Ministry of Magic witch Tina Goldstein, also praised the scene, explaining that it was “important” for the film series “to represent everybody”.

“It speaks to this element in the wizarding world – and we dealt with it a lot, the differences between the States and the UK in the first film – that the systems function differently”, she said.

“Queenie (played by Alison Sudet) says in this film ‘they’re more progressive here’.

“And the idea too, in this world that runs parallel to ours, in the 1920s, a man can say to another man ‘We were closer than brothers’ with no fear to say it, no shame to say it, and the other person doesn’t react to that as something that shouldn’t be said.”

The Alien: Covenant actress, 38, praised JK Rowling for writing the scene into the film, but added that she “didn’t know” what it would mean for future instalments of the franchise.

“You know, there’s a lot going on in this movie and it’s a very brief moment, but it jumped out at me, and I was like ‘[JK Rowling] is saying something here’, that in this world this person feels comfortable to say this – which of course as we know in our world in the 1920s would not have been possible,” she said.

“I don’t know what that means for our franchise, where it’s going and what it says, but it did jump out at me.

“Sometimes, I think [JK Rowling] shows us with this wizarding community where we could go or where we could be, how we could see things that could be better.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits cinemas on Friday (November 16). Check out the trailer below: