What’s it been like entering the wizarding world?
‘There were moments – stepping into a Hogwarts classroom or discussing with the wandmaker what kind of wand you want and you suddenly think: Good lord, I’m really in this world. It’s a world that I’ve brought my children up with. I’ve gone from the outside to the inside.’
Did you get to actually choose your wand?
‘Yes, I went to Ollivander [the wandmaker]. I said “I want that one.” [Laughs] No, they had a couple they were all in agreement with and I chose one.’
What’s your favourite spell to say?
‘I’m going to sound like a sicko but I’ve always loved “Avada Kedavra”. It’s the killing curse! There’s just something about the name… When I read it in the book I was just walking along going [puts on evil voice] “Avada Kedavra”. There’s that other one that Snape invented too, which makes you bleed… It’s pretty incredible.’
All the gory ones, then?
‘I guess! What am I revealing!’
The dark side of Dumbledore?
‘No no no, of me!’
Are your kids pestering you for spoilers?
‘They’re in their late teens now so it’s not like it would have been when they were little. But I’m nervous. We experienced Potter together. Now I’m in it. I hope they think I’m half-decent.’
Were you glad that you didn’t have to have the big white beard, playing Dumbledore as a young man?
‘I tried to steer it that way and they were like: No… there’s 90 years before we get to that. Between you and me, I would quite like by the end of the five films to have a kaftan. I would love to appear in at least one swirling silk kaftan. And maybe I’ll just keep letting the beard grow and grow.’
Just a little bit longer in every film.
‘I won’t get close to the knee-length beard.’
There’s been a lot of talk about Dumbledore’s sexuality – is it addressed in the film?
‘Jo Rowling made it clear many years ago that he’s gay. I asked her straight out and she confirmed that he is. It’s not so much whether he’s gay or not. It’s more who he’s in love with. That’s part of what’s unpicked in this film.’
If you were let loose in London with an invisibility cloak, where would you go?
‘Ooh… the Palace! Just have a little nosey around. I’ve got no interest in going to Number 10: that would put me to sleep.’
You want to see what the Queen’s up to?
‘All of them. They all live in the Palace, don’t they?’