Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Very Public Potter Rant

Oh Facebook, the things you ruin for the rest of us.

MuggleNet is apparently supporting a "Team Gambon" or "Team Harris" fiasco.

I take issue with this.

Aside from trying to compare apples and oranges, which everyone will ALWAYS have an opinion about, but no one can come to a clear scientific conclusion, asking people to decide between the two Dumbledores is disrespectful.

Here's why.

Richard Harris, the original Dumbledore, set a bar so high I don't believe anyone could have met it. Unfortunately, the wonderful and amazing actor died at the 72. We mourned Harris's passing, and all Potter Fans wondered who would (could) step in.

The answer is:
No one.

However, Michael Gambon, a respected and talented actor in his own right, stepped up to the plate.  Did he play Dumbldore different? Unequivocally yes.  Did that mean he was wrong?
Many Potter Fans debate this, but whether it be because he stepped in during the strangest Potter installment (movie 3 POA) or because he wanted to give Dumbledore a new edge, Gambon was here to stay.

You can argue which one was better. Who wore the better hat. Whether you liked Sweet Dumbledore or Strong Dumbledore.

But to pick sides?

That's wrong. It's unfair. It's not cool.

Richard Harris DIED, okay?  He passed.  We lost him.  He didn't quit, get fired, or step down. He died. We didn't have a choice but to get a new Dumbledore. There wasn't an option of keeping him.

Michael Gambon took on a big deal role, not only because of the legacy left by Harris, but because of the grandness that IS Dumbledore.

I mean, seriously. He's the Obi Wan Kenobe/Yoda, the Aslan, the Gandalf of the Harry Potter Series.
It's a big deal.

I don't think it's fair to ask us to choose, because in the end I'm going to choose Dumbledore. The real one. The book one. The sweet man who no one directed (though J.K. Rowling did write).

As a writer I know that characters take on their own selves. Dumbledore is real to so many. Why should we try to attribute him to any actor?  Do we try to say Daniel Day Lewis was the best Lincoln...better than THE Lincoln?

So instead of asking fans to choose, why don't we all just do what's right?

Let's honor Richard Harris's memory.
Let's respect both him and Gambon for taking on this iconic role.
Let's stay true to our Potter selves and not resort to putting who we pick on t-shirts (which feels disrespectful to both, but mainly to Harris's memory).

Maybe I'm crazy.
After all, this is just my opinion.
But then, I've always liked Apples better than Oranges.


LaDonna Cole said...

I hadn't even heard of a debate between the two. I thought Harris was a beautiful Dumbledore, but like you, I vote for the "real" Dumbledore. His book self was so much more than either actor could ever portray. I thought Gambon was a fine Dumbledore, except for that one scene in GOF. He had two huge sets of shoes to fill. The book Dumbledore AND Harris' version. So I give him props, too.

Kelsey-plain and simple said...

LOL LaDonna, everyone seems to have a problem with the GOF scene.

I think that was right after the 6th book came out and they were trying to find a way to disconnect us from Dumbledore.

Or at least, I like to think that instead of thinking the director is insane for having Gambon do the scene that way ;)

Caleb Scotson said...

Well said. Yep... I have nothing to add. The arguments that came up in my head as I was reading conveniently showed on the page for me.

Nice rant!

Christopher Aaby Weasley said...

I definitely take the side of the real Dumbledore. Harris did an amazing job of portraying Dumbledore as I saw him, but Gambon made me re-think who Dumbledore could have been. Is either portrayal wrong? Of course not. Books are intende to be interpreted differently by different readers. Nobody's idea is wrong. They're just different.

Stephanie Pazicni Karfelt said...

Apples? I luv apples! Wait there were two Dumbledores?

Just joking, I noticed, but as with all the HP movies I went with the flow. They were adorable, they weren't the books.

Now onto more important debates, like Team Jacob, or what KIND of apples you like....