Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne says he is “hugely delighted” at being cast in the forthcoming Harry Potter spin-off – and described JK Rowling as a “genius”.
The 33-year-old said he is “thrilled” to star in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, a screenplay written by Rowling, after it was announced earlier this week that he is set to play Newt Scamander in the new Warner Bros film.
Speaking to the Standard last night, he said he enjoyed the original Harry Potter novels and “always loved that world”.
He said: “I’m hugely excited, JK Rowling’s a genius, I am so thrilled to be a part of it but I can’t say a single word beyond that…I’ve always loved that world and I feel thrilled to be invited into it.”
Speaking at a dinner in his honour at Quaglino’s in Mayfair in his capacity as international ambassador for Omega, he said he has been enjoying some “gentle downtime” with wife Hannah Bagshawe.
Since they got married in December, Redmayne has been busy filming and named best actor at the Oscars for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything.
He said: “I have been in New York for a few days, I’ve just finished a film about three weeks ago and it’s the first time in a long while that Hannah and I have had a moment of freedom, so we’ve been on holiday recently…I’m sort of gently starting workon this new film. So getting stuck in, but also it’s slightly more gentle after the, a bit of sort of gentle downtime.”
He declined to comment on how Bagshawe, who had her arm in a plaster cast, injured herself, but she is understood to have damaged it falling off a horse.
She kept her arm hidden when posing for photographers.