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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 10:42 GMT
Potter stars react to gay twist
By Tim Masters
Entertainment editor, BBC News website

Potter actors Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson
Emma Watson (right) said it had never occurred to her before

The stars of the Harry Potter films have been giving their reaction to JK Rowling's revelation last month that the one of her characters, Hogwarts school headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is gay.

"I thought it was hilarious," said Daniel Radcliffe, who has played the lead role in all five Harry Potter films.

He said actor Michael Gambon, who has played Dumbledore since the third film, had been "really camping it up for the last three weeks ever since he found out".

Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay to a packed house in New York's Carnegie Hall as part of her US book tour in October.

Radcliffe told BBC News: "JK Rowling is an incredibly intelligent woman. She can't have thought for a moment that that would go down well in the Bible Belt of America, but she put it brilliantly herself: 'He's my character - I can do what I want with him.' Which I think is fair enough."

Michael Gambon as Dumbledore
Dumbledore is Harry Potter's mentor in the series
David Yates, who directed the fifth Harry Potter film - Order of the Phoenix - said he was told in September by JK Rowling during a read-through for the next film on the set of the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

"Jo leaned over to me and said: 'You know Dumbledore's gay don't you, David?' And I thought 'Wow that's pretty cool'."

Yates, who was speaking at the press launch of the Phoenix DVD, added: "He's a wonderful character, Dumbledore - graceful, wise, powerful, quirky, terrific sense of humour, loves knitting. There's a jumble of things in there and his sexuality is just another thing."

Filming on the sixth film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, began in September, with Yates again at the helm. But he said not to expect any changes to the way Dumbledore is portrayed on film.

"Michael Gambon hasn't changed his approach. A person's sexuality is just one part of who they are, and so it hasn't really shifted where we're taking him."

Producer David Barron confirmed that Dumbledore would remain "the character Michael Gambon has already established".

Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch
Evanna Lynch beat 15,000 hopefuls to land the part of Luna Lovegood

But he added: "Michael's camped it up a bit off-camera, he's just been amused by it."

Emma Watson, who plays Harry's friend Hermione Granger, said: "It never really occurred to me before, but now JK Rowling's said that he's gay it sort of makes sense."

She added: "I think what surprised everyone was the amount of media attention it's received. I think it's nice that the story has ended but there are still things that people don't know."

Evanna Lynch, who plays the part of eccentric student Luna Lovegood, said she had always thought that a younger Dumbledore would have made an ideal partner for Luna.

"If only Dumbledore was a 100 years younger they would be perfect, and I put that to JK Rowling," she said.

"But as we know now, that's never going to happen."

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