Daniel Radcliffe is paying tribute to his Harry Potter franchise co-star Michael Gambon. The late Irish actor — famous for portraying Professor Albus Dumbledore — died at the age of 82 on Thursday, September 28, following a long and prosperous career.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon, the world just became considerably less fun,” Daniel, 34, said in a statement obtained by HollywoodLife. “Michael Gambon was one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, but despite his immense talent, the thing I will remember most about him is how much fun he had doing his job. He was silly, irreverent and hilarious. He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it.”
The Broadway alum added, “The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael, and he made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be. I’m so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him.”
Michael stepped into the role of Dumbledore in the series’ third film installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, after the original actor who played the role, Richard Harris, died in 2002.
When Michael was cast, he and his co-stars developed a lighthearted and fun working relationship. Daniel acknowledged this during a past interview, which has resurfaced on social media in light of the former West End performer’s death.
“The people I really admired were the people that didn’t mystify acting too much, who were just able to come to set and do it,” the How to Succeed in Business Without Real Trying alum said before mentioning Michael as one of the “people that can be very normal and chatting away, and then can just turn it on and ‘action.'”
Daniel added that the Tony Award winner was a prankster on set, joking that it was to a “frustrating degree.”
“He learned that he could, when I was a teenager, he could make me laugh very, very easily,” the Now You See Me 2 star said. “Making me laugh right up until the word ‘action,’ at which point, I was pretty much unable to recover, and he could just snap into a performance with inherent gravitas and charm. Yeah, he’s awesome.”
The Dublin, Ireland, native built his resume with multiple Shakespeare productions credits in the U.K. and on Broadway. During a 2009 interview with Today, Michael recalled the moment he was cast in the role of Hogwarts’ famous headmaster.
“I’ve played quite a lot of crooks and killers, and that’s quite interesting,” Michael said at the time. “Then, Dumbledore is the complete opposite, isn’t he? He’s a nice old man. … They rang me up and said, ‘Will you do it [the role]?’ Like any other job I said, ‘Sure.’ Then, you find yourself in the middle of this thing.”
While reflecting on his character’s story arc in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Michael noted that the film would “stick out as being a happy memory, being with a thing for so long and the worldwide love of it. You never forget that.”