Albus Dumbledore was one of the greatest wizards of his time in the Harry Potter series. The Hogwarts director was the only person Lord Voldemort feared, so it was essential to choose the right actor to play the strong character.
Harry Potter fans had strong opinions about who should play Dumbledore. Some thought Sir Ian McKellen would be the perfect choice for the role. However, McKellen and the first actor to play Dumbledore had different ideas that it would be the right choice.
Who played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies?
Richard Harris played the role of Dumbledore in the films Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harris would only accept the role of Dumbledore on the insistence of his niece, who was a fan of the Harry Potter books. He struggled with his health for several years and died shortly after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 2002. The prisoner from Azkaban was to be renewed, and Michael Gambon was cast to play the mad director.
Why did Ian McKellen reject the role of Dumbledore?
McKellen was contacted to take on the role of Dumbledore after Harris’ death. McKellen said he was interested in the franchise in an interview with the BBC but ultimately declined the role because of Harris. Harris had said McKellen was a “technically ingenious but apathetic” actor at one point in his career. McKellen felt he could not play the role of someone he did not think was good enough to play.
Would Ian McKellen be the best Dumbledore?
The possible answer to this question is yes, but only if it was not in the Lord of the Rings franchise. McKellen is an experienced actor who has proven he can play the role of a powerful wizard. His portrayal of Gandalf seemed cautious and clever, yet powerful and impressive. McKellen wanted to calm the part that did not undermine Dumbledore’s somewhat eccentric behavior, similar to his Magnet but not so frightening. He also had a perfect look for the role. The more elegant Gandalf the White is a good indication of Dumbledore’s appearance.
Gabon’s portrayal of Dumbledore was not wrong, but his version of the character changed dramatically as Harris did. Harris portrayed Dumbledore as a wise older man. At the same time, the Gabonese interpretation could often be distant and more or less cold. Anti-Gambon fans continue to play the stage in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Dumbledore grabs Harry by the shoulders and aggressively asks him to put his name in the Cup of Fire. The Gabonese interpretation lacked Dumbledore’s courtesy and made him feel like the wrong person.
Because Dumbledore changes when the story gets a darker narrative, it’s impossible to compare Harris and Gabon. Harry’s perception of Dumbledore was initially only the strange but clever director. That changed, however, when they began working together to defeat Voldemort. Audiences have never seen Harris become a more serious Dumbledore, so it’s impossible to know how he would play the mighty wizard.
While McKellen would be a great addition to the franchise, Dumbledore and Gandalf are such similar characters that it looked like he had played the same role twice. If McKellen had not already played the role of a great and powerful wizard, his portrayal of Dumbledore would be as ingenious as Gandalf’s. It’s a shame he never got into the Harry Potter world, but seeing him as Gandalf corrects him.