AP Interview with Michael Gambon
July 16, 2009, 05:04 PM
The Associated Press has released their interview with Michael Gambon where he discusses his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. Echoing many of his comments heard earlier from the LA Times, this acclaimed and versatile actor remarks on playing an iconic figure like the beloved Hogwarts Headmaster:
He established himself on the stage with widely hailed performances
of Shakespeare ("Othello," "Macbeth," "King Lear") and Harold Pinter
("Betrayal," "The Caretaker"). He was given the nickname "The Great
Gambon," praised for the physicality, nuance and unpredictability of
his performances. "I've played quite a lot of crooks and killers,
and that's quite interesting," says Gambon. "Then Dumbledore is the
complete opposite, isn't he? He's a nice old man."...Gambon says, it's common for a young child to anxiously spy him while sipping coffee at a cafe. "It's
very odd," Gambon said in an interview shortly after the film's crazed
London premiere. "I hadn't realized before just how powerful these
things are. I just do the job and go home and you forget it" — adding a
snap of his finger...This[being part of the Harry Potter series] will stick out as being a happy memory, being with a thing for so
long and the worldwide love of it," says Gambon. "You never forget
As much as I loved Richard Harris as Dumbledore, I think Gambon has stepped up to the plate and done a magnificent job as Dumbledore. Harris, in his prime, could have done great in these taxing last scenes, but all those years of living wild took it’s toll on him. Gambon perfectly balanced his aged vulnerability and his wizened masterfulness in HBP! Fabulous! Heart-wrenching! I love that Gambon is a rebel…so was Dumbledore!
i agree with skiving snackboxes: he was best in PoA. GoF DD was disastrous and OotP DD made me uncomfortable, and while HBP DD was better, it wasn’t by much. i think a lot of it had to do with the fact that the script had more funny lines from him this time.. but even then, he managed to deliver a lot of them in a rough or crude manner.
Dumbledore is one of my favorite (like, top 3) characters in the books, and in the movies he becomes more like top 30.. so whether it be because of the writer’s, director’s, or actor’s choices for DD in the films (it’s most likely a bit of all), he’s just not doing it for me.
i think the way Dumbledore was portrayed will always be one of my major complaints for the films. it doesn’t stop me from having enjoyed the films at all, but it certainly makes what was one of the most lovable characters in the books into a character that i prefer not to think about too often in the films.
Finally, Dumbledore was portrayed as in the book. Gambon was excellant!
oh, but i forgot to add that Gambon does play a good Dumbledore in the moments when he’s supposed to be serious (battle versus Voldemort, escaping from the Minister, cave scene in HBP, death scene). it’s the moments when he’s supposed to be kind, silly, funny, compassionate, or understanding that i don’t agree with Gambon’s portrayal of DD at all (with the exception of PoA).
At least he acknowledges that Dumbledore is an iconic figure to the legions of fans!
here i was, thinking i was the only one that wasn’t sure about gambon playing dumbledore. go figure! i am sure my opinion will change after today (FINALLY seeing the movie).
I thought he did a marvelous job in HBP plus I find it kind of funny that Dumbledore is played by this complete eccentric old rebel. I think book Dumbledore would find it funny that Gambon would play him in a film of his life
just got back from the movies… yeah, my opinion has totally changed about gambon. i really enjoyed how dumbledore was portrayed in this one.
I thought he did great in HBP. That was his best version of Dumbledore since PoA.
I have to agree with iceymoon. I’ll go further, and say thankfully, that Dumbledore has died, and we don’t have to deal with Gambon through an entire movie again. He is definitely horrendous in any non-action scene. He doesn’t know how to deliver the subtle humor and tone that is portrayed in the book. He just gets worse with each film.
i like how he add humor into the script with his tone of voice
I am yet to see the latest movie but am hoping that your comments are right and Gambon has improved! I can’t help thinking he’s fighting a losing battle though, he just isn’t Dumbledore for me. It would help if the movie makers would pay attention to details though – where are his piercing blue eyes and half moon spectacles?? Richard Harris was perfect, he had the gentle voice and kind eyes but Gambon can only get better!
it’d be interesting to talk to him i think :)