Jude Law. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Jude Law thinks "the world is ready" to see Albus Dumbledore as a gay icon, after J.K. Rowling confirmed the character is gay back in 2007.

The 45-year-old actor stars as a young version of the wizard made famous in the 'Harry Potter' franchise in the new movie 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald', and has said he believes fans of the magical franchise are ready to see the Hogwarts headmaster embrace his sexuality.

He said: "The world is ready [for an openly gay Dumbledore], and if it isn't, it bloody well should be."

Dumbledore's sexuality was never explored in J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' book series as she only made the revelation that he was gay in 2007, and was also never added to the main 'Harry Potter' movies.

But in the 'Fantastic Beasts' spin-off saga, his sexuality is explicitly portrayed, and whilst Jude can't divulge details on what's in the film, he insists that it doesn't "define" who Dumbledore is.

Speaking to the New York Times, Jude added: "Put it this way: This film is not about his homosexuality, nor does his sexuality define him. But that relationship is certainly a defining element of who he is and what he's about. I also don't think he's someone who has given his heart or his soul to many people. The aftermath of their relationship left him reeling, and he's packed his heart in ice, to be honest, and no one's quite thawed it."

Meanwhile, Jude recently revealed he received a huge confidence boost on the set of the new movie, after author J.K. Rowling told him she was pleased with his casting.

He said: "When the boss says, 'I like you,' it gives you a little bit of comfort. You can't help but step into something like this, playing a part like this without feeling a sense of responsibility, a fear of letting someone down. But when the creator gives you the thumbs up, it's a blessing."