Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne has taken on some pretty iconic roles in his somewhat fairly new career.
He played scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything (which earned him the Best Actor Oscar in 2015), and was nominated in the same category again a year later for his role as transgender artist Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.
But how much do you want to bet that from now, he will forever be known for his role as the awkward yet lovable Magizoologist (a person who studies magical creatures) Newt Scamander, in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them?
Redmayne was handpicked by the filmmakers to play the character so beloved by its creator, author J.K. Rowling, and to be part of the inimitable world of Harry Potter.
No other actor was considered for the role and the cast for the movie was built around him. That lucky fella!
“It looks like a Billywig,” Redmayne exclaimed excitedly when he saw a microphone on the table, which resembled a magical creature from the movie, during this interview.
His Fantastic Beast co-star Katherine Waterston teased saying, “Nerd alert” before Redmayne turned red and simply laughed it off.
Redmayne blushed easily throughout the interview in New York and was also quite animated in his chatter. Hands flailing wildly, he described things in detail, and often times paused to find the right words.
“The world is a complicated place at the moment. What I love about what (author and screenwriter) Jo writes – both the Potter books and these films – is the idea that, coinciding and brushing past us in life is a whole other world of wonder.
“It’s a wonderful thing to dream about, and it is so thorough in her imagination that it feels real,” explained the 34-year-old actor on why he agreed to be part of the fantasy Potter world.
Redmayne loved playing Newt, who he introduced as the total opposite of him in real life, and admitted that he is trying to apply the character’s mantra from the movie, “Worrying means you suffer twice”, in his real life.
The actor believes that he’s the biggest worrier in the world, and jokingly claimed that he inherited the trait from his grandmother.
Wait, Redmayne is a multiple awards winning actor with fame and fortune. What does he have to worry about, you ask?
“If you become an actor, it gets built into you that every job you have is possibly your last job. It’s about years of trying to get work. I know it sounds ridiculous, but that fear is just built in you,” he shared.
Pfft … indeed it is a ridiculous thing to worry about, Mr Redmayne. Haven’t you heard that there are four more Fantastic Beasts movies slated for release? So rest assured that this job is definitely not your last.
1. What is your favourite spell from the movie?
Petrificus Totalus. I just love saying it. Petrificus Totalus … Petrificus Totalus … Petrificus Totalus.
2. If you had a “time turner”, where would you go and why?
I would go to the 1920s. Actually, The Danish Girl was also set in the same time period. History wise, I find the architecture amazing.
There was the jazz age, the Prohibition … I don’t know what it is – it was probably utter pain and hideous before the Wall Street crash – but I find it an amazing time.
3. Is it true that you were hurt for not getting a part in the Harry Potter franchise?
I genuinely hope that you don’t think I was in actual pain about not being in the Harry Potter movies. I was at university at the time, and the audition was for Tom Riddle. I didn’t even get through the (audition process) before I was shown the door. I am very grateful for what I have now, though.
4. Did you get any tips from Daniel Radcliffe who played Harry Potter in the movies?
I have not spoken to Daniel after (getting the role in) Fantastic Beasts, but I have met him a few times before. I stole some of the best wand work moments from Dan and Ralph Fiennes (who plays Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies).
I read somewhere that Dan thought Newt’s cloak was cool and said that all he got to wear were jeans and hoodies in his Harry Potter movies. I have only done period dramas, Dan. I dream of wearing jeans and hoodies!
5. Who is scarier? Gellert Grindelwald or Lord Voldemort?
I cannot possibly tell you.