Actor Michael Gambon, known for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in multiple Harry Potter movies recently died at the age of 82. While Richard Harris initially brought the character to life, it was Michael Gambon who stepped into his shoes after Harris’s untimely passing in 2002.
While the transition from Richard Harris to Michael Gambon was initially met with skepticism, Gambon’s performance soon won over fans, and he became an integral part of the Harry Potter film franchise. However, Potterheads was not impressed with Gambon for one reason.
Michael Gambon Found No Point in Reading Harry Potter Books Beforehand
Before playing Dumbledore, Michael Gambon was one of Britain’s most well-known performers, having starred in more than 150 movies and TV shows in addition to his extensive resume of theater and radio roles.
Despite the fact that the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore boosted his worldwide fame and introduced him to a new generation of fans, Gambon admitted in the past that he had not read any of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books.
In a Los Angeles Times interview conducted just prior to the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Gambon opened up about his idea of allowing his work to stand on its own rather than go according to the book. He said:
“You’d get upset about all the scenes it’s missing from the book, wouldn’t you? No point in reading the books because you’re playing with [screenwriter] Steve Kloves’ words.”
There is a scene where for not going through the book, Dumbledore was a little diverted from the tone a little bit.
During the fourth film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, while storming towards Harry, Dumbledore says, “Did you put your name in the goblet of fire?” in a rough way. But in the book, it was asked in a calm way.
The Harry Potter fandom was not happy knowing that the beloved old wizard chose to avoid reading any of J.K. Rowling’s books.
Michael Gambon Later Became a Fan-favorite In the Franchise
Unlike many actors who take on roles in book-to-film adaptations, Gambon chose not to read the source material. His decision was rooted in a desire to approach the character with fresh eyes, free from any preconceived notions.
This choice might have left some fans skeptical. How could an actor accurately portray a character as beloved and complex as Dumbledore without delving into the depths of the Harry Potter books? The answer lay in Gambon’s extraordinary talent and his innate understanding of the craft of acting.
Despite not having the benefit of literary details, Gambon’s portrayal conveyed Dumbledore’s emotional depth. He portrayed the character’s warmth, vulnerability, and care for Harry Potter and others effectively.
Gambon’s Dumbledore will forever be remembered as a wizard who brought magic to the screen, even without the words of J.K. Rowling’s books.
The entire Harry Potter franchise is Streaming on HBO Max.
Source: Los Angeles Times