Author JK Rowling surprised Harry Potter fans the world over last month when she revealed that Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore was gay.

Critics, fans and pundits have shared their reactions to the character’s outing, but what about the people who have helped bring Rowling’s story to the big screen for the past seven years?

“JK Rowling is an incredibly intelligent woman,” Daniel Radcliffe, who has played the titular role in all five Harry Potter films to date, told BBC News.

“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,’” he added. “Which I think is fair enough.”

Emma Watson, who has played Hermione Granger in the blockbuster films, said: “It never really occurred to me before, but now JK Rowling’s said that he’s gay it sort of makes sense.

“I think what surprised everyone was the amount of media attention it’s received,” she added.

“I think it’s nice that the story has ended but there are still things that people don’t know.”

David Yates, who directed the fifth Harry Potter film and currently is working on the sixth, told BBC News that Dumbledore is “a wonderful character … 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.”

As such, Yates suggested viewers shouldn’t expect to see any changes to the way Dumbledore is portrayed on film.

“Michael Gambon hasn’t changed his approach,” he said.

“A person’s sexuality is just one part of who they are, and so it hasn’t really shifted where we’re taking him.”

Bryan Ochalla © 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.