“There is so much going on beneath the surface. Here is someone who has been told since being an infant that he was special. That he had the capability of being very powerful. But just at the wrong time he went through a crushing personal drama. His father is imprisoned, which leads to the death of his sister. He is dealing with deep, harrowing wounds.
He also has a sense that he can put things right. That with the right application, whether it is through study, or spreading the good word through his pupils, or indeed his machinations behind the scenes, he can rectify the wrongs that he’s been a part of creating. There’s a sea of complexities there, but shimmering under the surface is someone who is impish and cheeky and curious and anarchic and brilliant. Thanks to a self-imposed exile, he has to use his relationships with similarly motivated and morally grounded wizards to try and halt the rise of Grindelwald.
Newt, he knows, is someone who has a very strong moral compass. Unfortunately, Dumbledore is somebody who operates three steps ahead of everyone else. You could accuse him of, not necessarily manipulating, but leading people into doing things they don’t particularly want to do.”
Source: Lights, Camera, Magic! (Page 70)