‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ cast on what this magical tale brings to the Wizarding World

'The Secrets of Dumbledore'
Warner Brothers

The newest adventure in the Wizarding World—which celebrated its 20th-anniversary last year— is finally headed to theaters this weekend. ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ is the third installment of the spin-off series, and this go-around, we continue to follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) along with a group of talented witches and wizards (and a muggle) as they join Dumbledore (Jude Law) to take down the darkest wizard of their time, Gellert Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen.)

In ‘The Secretes of Dumbledore’, we see Hogwarts’ Headmaster before he became the wise and powerful wizard that leads Harry Potter throughout the 7 books and 8 movies. Instead, we see a young man who is still trying to find his way in the world and learn from his mistakes.

'The Secrets of Dumbledore'
Jude Law as Dumbledore in ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore.’Warner Brothers

“It’s more a process of regression,” says Law when talking about Dumbledore in this latest film. “And one of the joys that David (Yates) really allowed me to investigate—rather than feeling the weight of the brilliant performances by Michael Gambon and Richard Harris—[I] was really able to go back and understand that he’s not the fully formed Dumbledore that Harry Potter [knows.] He’s a man still finding his way, still confronting and resolving his demons— and that’s what I mean by regression I suppose. This film in particular, he’s facing the past, he’s facing himself and guilt. But if there were a quality that links him… I would say his mischievousness, his humor, and his belief in people. He sees the positive.”

Law goes on to describe how Dumbledore continuously sees the good, or, the potential of good in people. He saw it in Draco Malfoy and even Tom Riddle. There was a time also, we find out in the first scene of the film, that he really saw it in Grindelwald.

“For this character, he’s very linked to Dumbledore, so [Jude and I] had quite a few conversations about what that relationship looked like,” explains Mikkelsen. “So, my character was shaped out of that world. Nobody starts out saying I’m going to be the bad guy, so we have to figure out what his mission is…What’s his goal? Why is he trying to make the world a better place in that manner? I think they start out having a common and a mutual goal as young adults—and then it got blurry. The ways of getting to that goal were different than they imagined.”

'The Secrets of Dumbledore'
Mads Mikkelsen as Gindelwald in ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore.’Warner Brothers

Both of their goals were to ultimately make the Wizarding World a stronger place. But in Grindelwald’s eyes that would be through a war with the Muggle World. In this particular film, we see his character work his way back into the political system, and through trickery and some dark magic, he aims to become the ruler of the Wizarding World.

It’s up to an army assembled by Dumbledore (a theme throughout the times) led by Newt that proves to be the last hope.

“I love the Newt and Dumbledore relationship. It’s got that complexity of a master and apprentice…But it’s evolved throughout the movies to something almost fraternal—older brother/ younger brother,” explains Redmayne. “There’s a moment in this film where Newt takes it upon himself, he sees the vulnerability of Dumbledore and tries to pass on a moment of wisdom to him. But, what I love about Newt, fundamentally he’s an introverted guy and is most comfortable with his creatures and in his own world. Dumbledore has seen a quality in him that has the potential for leadership, albeit in an unconventional way. And this film, what I love about it is that it’s a wizarding heist movie in which a group of outsiders band together. All of us are unconventional and there’s a wonder in that.”

The unlikely crew is composed of Newt, his brother Theseus (Callum Turner,) Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler,) Professor Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams,) and Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates.) All, in their own respect, could be considered an outcast— a theme that pops up throughout the entirety of the world created by J.K. Rowling. Kowalski for one is a muggle, but as Dumbledore sees and says in the film, he possesses courage and a good heart (“Something most men lack.”) Kama lives his life through vengeance after the demise of his family, but finds purpose in the pain through Dumbledore. The list goes on and on.

'The Secrets of Dumbledore'
Warner Brothers

“That’s a recurring theme. What I love about the writing and what we’re doing is we’re talking about humanity and what motivates us,” explains Nadylam, who portrays Kama.

Director David Yates, who has been with the Wizarding World for years directing 7 of the ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies also agrees with that sentiment.

“The fact that these films can bring such a collective to work together…There’s something really beautiful and enjoyable about working with the people around me, it’s a great pleasure. If I look back over those films, it’s very fond memories with many wonderfully creative people and that sense of family is there,” explains Yates. “What’s enduring about these movies, I think they just become a safe place for people. They celebrate certain values—loyalty, friendship, empowering the outsider—things that resonate for a lot of people out in the real world, and they do it in this magical space. It’s truly a beautiful thing to be a part of. ”

In ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ we see certain characters step up like never before as they try to thwart Grindelwald and his followers (played by Ezra Miller, and sadly for a bit, Jacob Kowalski’s lover Queenie, played by Alison Sudol), and they have to do so before the choosing of the next leader in the Wizarding World. Without giving too much away, you can expect to see more fantastic beasts (with one holding all the cards virtually for everyone’s end result), plus new and old parts of the Wizarding World.

'The Secrets of Dumbledore'
Ezra Miller in ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore.’Warner Brothers

In ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ audiences travel back to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade (where we also meet Albus’ brother Aberforth played by Richard Coyle), but we also end up in the forest of China, the Ministry of Magic in Germany, and Butan for the final sequence. It opens up the world, but also brings back the value of some of the earlier Potter films that had whimsy, charm, humor and humanity. Ultimately, it’s all about human stories in a magical world.

“[It’s about] the courage to do right thing, and about love about sacrifice,” finishes Yates. “Ultimately, for Dumbledore, its about choosing between the love he had and maybe still has, and doing the right thing for the greater good. It’s about choices you make.”

Catch ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore‘ in theaters April 15. 

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