Wed
Apr 6 2011 2:42pm

Every So Often, Remus Lupin Is Gay

David Thewlis as Remus LupinMoviefone is reporting that David Thewlis claimed he played Lupin as gay in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie in accordance with direction from the film’s director, Alfonso Cuarón. Thewlis apparently told the story during a recent press event at an Apple store in NYC. From the Moviefone article:

Thewlis revealed that director Alfonso Cuarón gave him a bit of advice which was to play the character as a ‘gay junkie.’

The story was picked up by The Advocate, Perez Hilton, and an assorted handful of blogs. None of which seemed to notice that Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron broke this story four years ago.

The story first came out when J.K. Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay and it seems to be an anecdote that Thewlis likes to reveal here and there.

Thewlis also notes that he corrected his take on the character for the ensuing movies, adding that he hadn’t yet read the books while filming Azkaban and had no idea that his character would eventually pair up with Tonks. (Although marrying a shapeshifter doesn't exactly preclude homosexuality or bisexuality on the part of the character, Rowling also explicitly informed the actor later that she didn't create Lupin with a queer sexuality in mind.)

The “Lupin is gay/no he’s not” story seems to come up from time to time, much like burgeoning urban legend-type stories regarding blondes or redheads being “extinct” in a generation’s time. One wonders if we’ll be hearing of this controversy again later this summer?


Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of Tor.com and has never received confusing character direction from Alfonso Cuarón, though not for lack of trying.

9 comments
Lee VanDyke
1. Cloric
Huh. I've lost count of the # of times I've seen Azkhaban, and I never would have guessed he was "playing it gay." And as a gay male, I feel a little chagrined by that. Or perhaps, Thewlis has the idea that gay wizards are just like other wizards, even when they're lycanthropes (which is different than a shapeshifter, by the by).

Edit to fix a spelling mistake.
Noneo Yourbusiness
2. Longtimefan
I never got a gay vibe from the performance. Distracted maybe, fretting possibly but then again I had read the books so I knew the character would have a relationship with a woman.
Josh Storey
3. Soless
Well, if fan fiction has taught me anything...

No, fan fiction has taught me nothing.
Melissa Shumake
4. cherie_2137
@cloric: tonks is the shapeshifter, not lupin.
j p
5. sps49
Cuarón is a talented director, yes; but I don't think he should be hired to film someone else's vision again. Prisoner of Azkaban changed locations and appearances (and portrayals) with no regard for what had already been presented filmed (and written), and for no good reason.
TAN
6. TAN
I'm not sure I even know what "playing it gay" even means. Do all gay men act alike? The gay people I know seem to be at least as diverse as the straight people. I hope that the director wasn't implying that slightly foppish automatically means "gay male."
TAN
7. Smaug's Li'l Brother Puff
sps49 @5: Actually, there is one good reason: it all made the adaptations better. Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were okay — not great — movies, waaaay too faithful to the source material for their own good. They were like the teacher's pets of the series. Azkaban is, so far, the best of the eight, thanks to Cuarón.

Regarding Lupin: I assumed all along there was a subtext in the "parents don't want someone like me teaching their kids" way he exited the movie (not too subtle, really). I recall a lot of ostracized gay teachers in the news in the early aughts.
TAN
8. dank
I second Puff. He didn't play it 'gay' by acting attracted to men, he played 'gay' by portraying a smart and sympathetic person who has been subtly ostracized his whole life for being different.
Lee VanDyke
9. Cloric
@4 Oh! That makes more sense. I think I may have actually forgotten that Nymphadora (yeah, I'd call her that to her face. Then run. Really, really fast.) was a shapeshifter. Thanks, Cherie!

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