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admin / December 2nd, 2016

While preparing for his role in this month’s Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Eddie Redmayne found himself watching an exotic-animal handler stroke the inside of a rhino’s thigh. “This woman just started rubbing her rhino just above the knee—I was like, what are you doing?” the 34-year-old actor recalls, laughing. It turns out rhinos are into that.

And it turns out Redmayne is into finding out exactly this kind of obscure fact. You could say this part of the process—the months he spends enrapt in detailed, expansive research before he arrives on set—is his favorite part of being an actor. For his Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, he trained with a choreographer and an osteopath and spent countless hours in a London neurology clinic. And for his portrayal of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in last year’s The Danish Girl (for which he received his second Best Actor Oscar nomination) he met with transgender women from different generations to get a sense of the scope of trans life throughout history. Calling from his house in the British countryside, Redmayne speaks with solemnity about the duty he feels to get it right. “When you’re given the opportunity to play someone as amazing as Stephen or Lili, the pressure makes you really buckle down,” he says.

Redmayne brought the same reverence to his role as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts, though, of course, playing a socially awkward, stealthily rebellious wizard toting a tattered suitcase filled with magical creatures presented a new and different challenge. “The first time Newt is introduced in the script, J.K. Rowling had written in the stage directions that he has a Buster Keaton–esque quality to his walk,” Redmayne recalls. “And I was like, Oh my god, what a thing to write! Now I have to go and work out what that is!” Potter fans will recognize Newt from the titular textbook Harry and Co. study at Hogwarts. Newt is the world’s premier expert on beasts, and in the film—the first of a five-picture series that also stars Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, and Katherine Waterston—he comes to New York to research and rescue magic creatures, but things get hairy when some of his own beasts get loose.

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admin / November 24th, 2016

At the recent world premiere of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” there were no sightings of Harry Potter. But Eddie Redmayne, the star of the new Warner Bros. blockbuster, wore a plastic Bowtruckle — a green twig-like creature — on his tuxedoed shoulder. “It was given to me by a fan on the red carpet,” Redmayne later recalls, over eggs and coffee at Manhattan’s Crosby Street Hotel. “It looked so realistic,” he says, it even fooled one of the movie’s producers.

There are sure to be more fan homages in the months, and years, to come. In the new franchise written by J.K. Rowling, Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, the Magizoologist who arrives in New York with a suitcase packed with mystical animals like the gold-seeking, furry Niffler or the enormous Erumpent. To prepare for the part, the Oscar-winning actor studied with animal trainers and re-watched key “Harry Potter” scenes. “I went down a YouTube hole,” he reveals.

While the new franchise isn’t set at Hogwarts, there will be some overlapping characters in the five movies that Warner Bros. has planned for the series. Redmayne spoke to Variety about “Fantastic Beasts,” meeting with Rowling, and why he won’t ever play James Bond.

How did you learn about “Fantastic Beasts”?
It came to me in a wonderfully top-secret way. I got a call, saying David Yates wanted to meet me about an unknown project. We met in a pub called Blacks, which is in Soho in London. As I went to this place, it was pouring rain, and downstairs in the basement, there was a fire and David. The whole thing had a Diagon Alley vibe to it. He started telling me this story that J.K. Rowling was writing, and he talked about Newt and the case. I had taken a suitcase that I had. As he talked more about the case, I gently pushed my case back. I had this embarrassment that I looked like one of those actors that turned up dressed for the part.

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admin / November 24th, 2016

After spending two straight falls consumed by awards season, Eddie Redmayne is taking a break from the Oscars and fronting his first franchise.

In the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the mantle of J.K. Rowling’s leading man has been passed from Radcliffe to Redmayne. His Newt Scamander also wields a wand, but he’s a humbler operator in the same magical realm. Newt is a sheepish Brit arriving in 1926 New York, with a leather case stuffed with wondrous but outlawed creatures.

Though the film, which also stars Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterson and Dan Fogler, is an ensemble, Redmayne is undoubtedly the freckled face of the new Pottermania. It’s a new, high-pressured role for Redmayne, an Oscar winner for his Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” and a nominee for last year’s “The Danish Girl.” So is fatherhood; in June, his wife, Hannah Bagshawe, gave birth to their daughter, Iris.

A few hours after taking a break from promotional duties with Iris, Redmayne chatted in a downtown Manhattan hotel about his headlong dive into Rowling’s empire, the film’s multicultural message and just how many movies he’s gotten himself into.

AP: Your first blush with the Harry Potter world came much earlier, didn’t it?

Redmayne: This is true. When I was at university, they were casting the net quite wide for Tom Riddle, the young Voldemort. I had gotten an audition. I think I was seeing the casting director’s eighth assistant. I remember surviving about three and a half lines of the first scene before I was shown the door, so I wasn’t very successful. It wasn’t the greatest introduction to the Harry Potter world.

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admin / November 14th, 2016

When he was nine years old, maybe 10, a small, freckly, flame-haired Eddie Redmayne auditioned to be in the West End production of the Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun. Acting was a new thing for him and before the casting call he found himself dreaming – both figuratively and literally – about winning a part. He’d be in the West End! He’d get to wag school! But then, on the day, a reality dawned somewhat murkier. Around 700 children turned up. Many wore Sylvia Young Theatre School T-shirts, and danced and sang precociously behind the scenes. Each child was given a tag, walked on stage and either sang or spoke a single line. When everyone was done, a list of names was called.

“It was a meat market for children,” Redmayne recalls, wide-eyed. “It almost felt like a forerunner for The X Factor or something. So I sang my one line and was promptly sent home.” He giggles, fidgets: “I remember it being properly scarring!”

The story is 25 years old, but the memory is vivid. Redmayne, now 34, brings it up when I ask him if he expected, on the night itself, to win the 2015 Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. “I had let my mind fantasise before and it was cut so bluntly short,” he explains. “I’ve never actually spoken about it, but I wonder if, over years of doing auditions, I’ve stopped myself allowing to believe the dream.

“Even in the run-up to the Oscars” – he whispers those last two words like he’s faintly embarrassed to be overheard – “it’s a horse race, and I knew I was in the running, but I’d not allowed myself to believe that it could happen. And also I thought Michael Keaton was formidable and I loved that film [Birdman].”

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admin / September 15th, 2016

Eddie Redmayne has some big shoes to fill as the face of the next installment in the Harry Potter franchise. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, if it does well, could launch another series of movies (and let’s be real, with fans as ravenous as Potterheads, there’s no way this movie is going to flop).

Today Collider published an in-depth interview with the star himself in which he opened up about what it was like to be part of such a huge story, his character Newt Scamander, how Fantastic Beasts differs from the rest of the Potter universe, and what it was like to work alongside completely computer-generated characters. The whole interview is worth a read, but here are some highlights:

On being a Brit on American soil:

here are Americanisms and Newt is an Englishman in New York in the 1920s. He’s been in the field for a year. And so suddenly, he arrives in New York and everything is so huge. I remember the first time I went to New York when I was about eight or nine and staying at this hotel and just opening the window and just seeing Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in front of you and then just these buildings flying up and being kind of totally overwhelmed by it. There were things I related to, certainly, in this sort of American-British thing.

On working opposite computer-generated co-stars:

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admin / February 19th, 2016

Eddie Redmayne’s acclaimed performance as a transgender pioneer has put him in the running for a second consecutive Oscar… and with a starring role in the new Harry Potter spin-off, and a baby on the way, the actor is having a golden moment

Eddie Redmayne has a reputation for being one of the nicest actors in the business. Alicia Vikander, his co-star in The Danish Girl, has said he is ‘the most sweet, gentle human being ever’; Tom Hooper, the film’s director, thinks Redmayne is ‘Hugh Jackman-level nice’.

I have interviewed him once before and, charmingly, he remembers this, but he doesn’t recall quite when it was. I tell him it was in 2009, he was on stage at the Donmar Warehouse opposite Alfred Molina in the sensational two-hander about Mark Rothko’s Seagram murals, and he jumps out of his seat. ‘Red. Awww, I loved Red,’ he says. ‘2009! It feels like only yesterday. Doesn’t it feel like yesterday?’

This is probably because he has been rather busy in the intervening years. He won an Olivier for his performance in Red. It transferred to Broadway and he won a Tony. In 2011 he starred with Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn, based on the true story of Colin Clark, a young production assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl who struck up an unlikely friendship with Marilyn Monroe. The same year Redmayne was back on stage at the Donmar as Richard II, for which he won Best Shake­spearean Performance at the Critics’ Circle Awards.

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admin / January 14th, 2016

He talks of all-night shoots, leaving Leavesden studios, in Hertfordshire, in the morning for the airport, hopping aboard a jet to LA, walking the red carpet, returning to the airport, reboarding the same plane and going straight back to Leavesden for another all-nighter. It’s a suspended version of reality, made more surreal by his time spent wielding a wand in the wizarding world.

When we sit down to discuss Wallpaper’s Design Awards – and Redmayne’s votes in our 11 Judges’ Awards categories – over a burger in London’s Soho, I begin by asking how he remains sane when so much of his time at the moment belongs to other people. He’s quick to acknowledge his luck: ‘For all of the mad hours, the travel and the tiredness, I remind myself constantly how fortunate I am to be working at this level,’ he says. ‘I put my all into it because I love it, and I’m a firm believer that the effort and time you put into something is rewarded by what you get out of it.’

However, Redmayne talks about his increasing appreciation of the moments when he can slow down. ‘I find life noisy,’ he says. ‘With the benefits of being more connected comes the danger of being sucked into a world of more noise, where we are constantly switched on. Living in the moment feels more difficult than ever, and more valuable.’

We talk about what design means in his life. He is cultured and thoughtful. He speaks of growing up in London in the early 1990s near the UK’s first Muji store and being fascinated by the compelling simplicity of the brand’s everyday objects. ‘I spent an unhealthy amount of money on stationery as a teenager,’ he says. ‘Today, I suppose I see good design as not being just about beautiful things, but about things that work; things that work well for me and how I live. Good design, in my opinion, is something that makes life easier, that reduces friction and brings pleasure at the same time.’

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admin / December 8th, 2015

This Sunday a selected group of 7 Eddie Redmayne fan-bloggers had the opportunity to speak with Eddie in a conference call, and they talked not only about his experiences with shooting The Danish Girl, but also about theatre, possible future projects, his love for art and painting. All the question asked were very thoughtful and Eddie gave the most insightful if a bit rambly at times answers. Make sure you read all to the end as Eddie has a message for all his fans.

A big thank you to Eddie, his agents and @bespokeredmayne who organised this event. Sadly, BespokeRedmayne fell ill on the day of the interview and couldn’t attend. We wish her a very speedy recovery. She surely was in our thoughts throughout the interview.

And another big thank you to the other involved bloggers, you guys were amazing!

Eddie Redmayne: Hi guys!

Fran (redbastchedcumbermayned): Hi Eddie, it’s Fran from Munich.

ER: Hi!

F: You said when you finished shooting The Theory of Everything that the character of Stephen Hawking stayed with you for a very long time. Did you experience something similar after you finished shooting The Danish Girl?

ER: You know I always, I sort of am not a method actor, so I always tend to think that I’m quite good at getting out of character and leaving the work at work rather than taking it home. But I think sometimes character traits or physical elements stay within me a wee bit, and it’s normally Hannah that points these out. So, I’m not sure after The Danish Girl, I found probably something in my hand movements, there’s sort of elements of that, but I always think that all of those characteristics are gone. But occasionally Hannah will find them out.

F: Thank you!

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