Last night was the European Premiere of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in London, England. Images from the event are now in our gallery.
Thank you to Claudia for sharing some of these images!
On Monday seven fans were given the opportunity to participate in a conference call with Eddie. Thank you to Eddie, his representation for making this possible but especially to Charlotte from bespokeredmayne for all of her hard work organizing the call and transcribing the call for each of us so you guys could enjoy it!
Eddie: Hey, guys!
Eddie: I want to thank you guys for being so supportive, as always, and I’m looking forward to your questions. So do we start with Judit?
Britney: It’s Britney, and, Eddie, we’re just going to start and if we have time for a second round, we will.
Britney: Judit, you want to go first?
Judit: My first question — Who was your idol when you were younger, a particular favorite actor, singer or artist who was fascinating for you, and whose photos were on your wall?
Eddie: Ooh, great question! I’m not sure about photos on my wall because I wasn’t really a photos-on-my-wall person — for some reason, I don’t know why. But I remember when I did a production of “Oliver” when I was like 11 or 12, I remember Jonathan Pryce was playing Fagin, and every night I was in the wings during the curtain call, and he would be doing his last song, and I remember watching from the wings and finding him pretty enthralling. And I think when I did “The Goat” with him, which was one of the first plays I did in London, he was pretty inspiring, and he remains a friend and, particularly in those early days he, and I would say, Mark Rylance, were two people who I massively looked up to, and they’re two actors who I still hugely admire their work. Interestingly, later in life, when I was doing “Hick,” randomly, I started watching James Dean’s films, and I thought he was pretty riveting. I had heard about his icon, but I didn’t…I hadn’t seen his work, and I couldn’t believe he’d only made three films. And I remember watching “Giant” and thinking he was, like, staggeringly transformative.
Ivonne: In a recent interview, you mentioned how J.K. Rowling first described Newt as having a Buster Keaton-esque quality to his walk, which I think is really cute. Your last few roles have been very physically demanding that it’s almost like their physicality is a more prominent trait than their psychology. Is there something about the complexity of bringing such characters to life that you find attractive?
Eddie: Interesting question — you guys, God, these questions! Something so rich, other than Bowtruckles! (Laughter) You know, what is interesting is that I was never, like, a physical actor. It wasn’t like — physicality wasn’t a routine. The thing that I was trying to get across in interviews was the notion of choice, the notion that I chose to play Stephen and then Lili, which looked like transformative things. It looked like it was, like I had an agenda, but the reality was I was offered Lili when we were doing Les Mis, and it was just circumstance that after Theory was coming out, it meant that we could get that film made. Certainly Stephen, there was a whole physical element, and with Lili, there was. But I hope — what I try to do is cover the physical, but hopefully it opens up a psychological thing, because there’s nothing worse than just a purely — if it’s just a sort of two-dimensional physical performance. And with Newt, yes, when Newt is first described in the script, he’s described walking down New York with this Buster Keaton-seque quality, and I think it’s a sort of unselfconsciousness that makes him stand out from the crowd. And it was specific, the words she used, that there was something clearly about his physicality. But then when I met this tracker dude who walked with — I actually found it a bit intimidating that she was so specific in her description — but when I met this tracker dude, it kind of made sense. And it was an interesting way to him because he is a weird mixture of being —like when you see him with his creatures, he’s incredibly confident, physically confident. But when he’s with human beings, he’s more of an observer and certainly less competent. So I do enjoy the physicality of characters, but — especially this one, but not Stephen Wraysford, because I remember one of the most challenging scenes I think I’ve ever done was a moment at the end of “Birdsong” when Stephen emerges from the trench — you know, we shot it independently of all the stuff we were doing in the trenches, and you try to work out, you know, what that must feel like physically, but underground and unable to stand up for such a long period of time, what that must have been like.
Charlotte: You’ve described many times your neuroses and insecurities — like the “rancid ball of fear”
Charlotte: …that helps fuel you, and I wonder, since you’re getting a whole new set of younger fans, if you could talk a little bit about some other qualities that contribute to your success that inspire young people like perseverance or building self-esteem, or being a nice guy, or whatever it is that you think is important.
Eddie: That’s really interesting. What’s interesting again is in these interviews is that you say something in one interview and the way people research the next interview is that they just read the other ones, and if an interviewer has exaggerated a quality, it becomes your narrative. And I particularly find that with some of that, like you’ll tell a story about a failed audition, and suddenly, because you thought it was funny and it was in no way damaging, it becomes this whole — in the press, it can become distorted and taken into something else. I definitely have a nervousness in me which fuels me, but what it really is is a work ethic. I feel like I was born lucky and with an interest and hopefully a talent in acting, and to a certain extent it was, you know, playing a lot while I was a kid. But the thing that I’ve learned — and if you look really from my early films I did — you know, I got into it through theater, and I didn’t have a clue how to act on film. And it’s been a massive, massive learning curve. The only way that you get better is by watching, learning and hard graft. I’ve had what, on paper, looks like a lucky run of it, and it is a massive amount of luck. But I’ve also sort of inherited from my family, I think, a pretty rigorous work ethic, and you have to work really hard. And I think in this day and age, certainly with reality TV and all that, that people get into acting for sort of wrong reasons — for some form of affirmation or celebrity status or whatever it is. But I got into acting with the dream of to do theater and to do plays and never thought that film would ever be a world that I would know anything about or learn. But that learning curve has been so inspiring, but you keep on grafting. The thing that’s interesting is people — lots and lots of times today, you won an Oscar and how do you choose this film or why this film. And one of the interesting things is after that extraordinary experience for me, you’re still trying to persuade people, you’re still trying to persuade the directors that you really admire who don’t necessarily like your work or don’t see you as a character — you keep having to put those characters that you want to play, you keep having to keep knocking on doors and persuading people. Or otherwise you don’t feel like the work ethic side of things ever lets up, really.
Charlotte: That was a great answer. Thank you so much.
Eddie: I don’t know. It was quite long-winded.
Charlotte: But it was something young people need to hear.
Eddie: Ah, good.
Cris: Hi, Eddie.
Cris: Would you describe your first day in the Potter world?
Eddie: Wow. My first day — the first day I was being taken around the backlot in Leavesden next to the Potter world experience and being shown the sets. Even though I knew this film was going to be painted on a large canvas, nothing had really prepared me for the scale of the sets, and I had this sort of slight feeling in my stomach of remembering turning up on the day one of “The Good Shepherd” and seeing the scale of the sets they had built, and I found it disabling in some ways. It made me so nervous that I couldn’t — I found the scale of it a bit inhibiting. And so it was weird because I felt the same slice of knot in my stomach and decided that this time I needed to free myself of that. And so I took a long walk around all of the sets, and became familiar with them and then went and looked around at all the production design department and met with all the CGI guys and really tried to embed myself into the fabric of the whole process so I didn’t feel like, so that I felt that I knew everyone around the set and didn’t feel so intimidated.
Kate: Hey, Eddie.
Eddie: Hey, Kate. How are you?
Kate: I’m doing well, how about yourself?
Eddie: Not too bad (laughs).
Kate: My question is so easy. You’re going to love it (laughter). I got the option with my ticket of watching it in 3D — which I obviously chose.
Kate: Are you excited to watch yourself on the screen in 3D?
Eddie: Have you seen it yet?
Kate: No, I can’t see it until Friday when it opens here.
Eddie: You know, I’m so curious to see it in 3D because I haven’t seen it in 3D, and it wasn’t shot in 3D. It was one of those things where they sort of transfer it after the event. But the thing I have loved when I’ve seen films in 3D is that you really get a kind of like —you see the meticulousness of some of the design aspects. One my favorite — for me, the magic of the Potter films was all the little magic, the small stuff, the moving newspapers and all the idiosyncratic things, the portraits in which they would sort of be moving or complaining or talking to each other. And I think that all that detail, which I love in this film will shine in 3D. But I have no idea. I think it might be genuinely quite terrifying in 3D. (Laughter) I’m not sure it’s a healthy thing for an actor to see themselves — it’s disturbing enough to see yourself on a massive scale, but seeing yourself in all the dimensions — it’s probably not ideal.
Fran: Hi, Eddie, it’s Fran.
Fran: First, before I start my question, I want to say can you pass on a thanks to those people who were giving out the free tickets in the line for the premiere, because I’m currently in New York, and that made a lot of people’s day that day.
Fran: And that comes to my question. I found you had amazing comedic talent and timing in Fantastic Beasts. It’s so good. And you had the same amazing timing and chemistry with Benedict Cumberbatch on the Graham Norton Show. (Eddie chuckles). And I know you worked with him on “The Other Boleyn Girl,” and would you like to work with him again and on what type of project do you think you’d work best together?
Eddie: Ohhhh, interesting. That’s a very interesting question. Thank you for being kind about comic timing. I’m not sure it’s true, but I —
Fran: It is, it’s very much true.
Eddie: But I really enjoyed it on this film, and when you guys who haven’t seen this film and you see it, Dan Fogler is just extraordinary as Jacob. He’s such a comedian, and I learned a lot from him, actually. And it was really fun. Making this film was so much fun. When you’re doing that sort of comedy, which is quite physical, you have to sort of release the inner kid in you that just made the days so enjoyable. But I would love — thank you for saying I had good chemistry with Ben. I adore Ben. I’m frickin’ awful at talk shows, and the last month has been…there are either really good anecdotes or your really funny, and in my family I’m neither the best at anecdotes nor funny, so basically, once you’ve run out of anecdotes on those shows, particularly when you do as many as you do with a film of this scale, you just end up having to publicly humiliate yourself (laughs). And there’s still more to come, by the way. But, I love Ben, and I think he is such an extraordinary talent, and I think — he is a mixture of wonderful comic timing and such authority as an actor. I would love to work with him. I would love to work with him, maybe on stage actually.
Fran: Oh, that would be a dream, I think for everybody here! Certainly for me. Thank you for your question.
Ali: First off, congratulations on the birth of your daughter. As a parent, I know what a big deal that is.
Eddie: Aw, thank you!
Ali: My question is you mentioned being a fan of the Harry Potter books and films before being cast as Newt. As a fan what was something that you found the most fascinating when being on the set of Fantastic Beasts?
Eddie: What was the most fascinating — you know, for all the CGI-ness of the situation and all the things that weren’t there, it was the stuff that I loved — you may have seen the scene where Ali, Alison Sudol and Katherine cooks the strudel. And we’re in this room — these two girls live together, and there’s all this sort of magic going on. So we were doing this scene, and it’s a lovely scene, and it’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie, and we walked in and it was about two hours of working before I realized that it was moving next to the fire this kind of rack of clothes drying was moving, next to the fire, by itself. And I genuinely thought it was magic. And I looked up, and up near the ceiling there were like four puppeteers with invisible wires, and they had been puppeteering without me noticing. And it was that sort of thing — and I’ve said it before in other interviews — but there was a moment in the film where you just see me walking past, Katherine and I just walk past this wand cleaner. And you know back in the day they had shoe cleaners in subway stations in New York, and instead you have this elf at this sort of wand cleaner/feather boa thing. And they actually built this thing that was moving on its own. And I supposed it’s the old school stuff that I love.
Britney: I’m so sorry everybody, but we won’t have time for a second round of questionsBut thank you guys so much.. You guys, your questions are always so great and thoughtful.
Eddie: Absolutely true. They are always the best, and thank you all again for really for being so supportive. It means the world. And I’m sure I’ll see you guys in different places. (Group thank yous to him)
Eddie: Bye, guys.
J.K. Rowling spoke with Eddie at Carnegie Hall for her Lumos Charity.
“What’s happening across the developed world is, disaster hits and families are immediately pulled apart. We’ll take those children from you – now imagine that, in the wake of a disaster, that people come to you and say that child will get fed – only if you give me that child.”
Watch the full 27 minute conversation between J.K. Rowling and Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne at the advance screening of the Warner Bros. feature film ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.
Here is a clip of Eddie’s recent interview with Stephen Colbert in case you missed it!
The star of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ provides a peek into his preparation for the role, which included selecting the perfect magic wand.
Eddie Redmayne of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ gives a public service announcement on a topic that sometimes goes overlooked: Hufflepuffs.
Eddie & his Fantastic Beast co-stars are featured in a spread in the December issue of Vogue.
Eddie Redmayne, star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, offers a glimpse into J. K. Rowling’s delightfully off-kilter universe. Add some sumptuous and ﬁnely wrought fashion, and you’ve got magic on your hands.
Aaand—we’re back! Back in the land of wizards and wands, Muggles and magic. Back, in other words, in the gorgeously fertile imagination of J. K. Rowling, the Walt Disney of the twenty-first century and a delightful companion to children and former children alike.
The movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with an original screenplay by Rowling, could be described as a Harry Potter prequel, but only in the sense that it takes place long before Harry was born. Set in 1926, it tells the story of Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), a former Hogwarts pupil and now a devoted researcher of magical creatures, or magizoologist, to give him his proper title. He will eventually author the book of Fantastic Beasts, a Hogwarts set-text read by all children who study there—including, in decades to come, a trio called Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But that’s far in the future. When the movie begins, Scamander has traveled to New York because he has heard some fantastic beasts may be living there. American wizards currently dread exposure by a fearsome group of No-Majs (American, it turns out, for Muggles), and have to suppress all signs of magic life.
Unfortunately, Scamander has brought with him a special suitcase full of creatures from his travels who escape, and so he has to team up with a pair of wizarding sisters, Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol), as well as Jacob (Dan Fogler), a friendly No-Maj whose dream is to open a bakery. Together they must catch the beasts while evading detection. As with the Potter films, the movie touches on serious subjects (in this case, prejudice and child abuse) and suggests that we Muggles live unknowingly next to the truly fantastic.
To celebrate the return of Rowling and her magical mind, Vogue has brought the four leads back together in their original costumes on the original sets at the Warner Bros. lot near the decidedly unmagical London commuter town of Watford. But inside the studio we’re on the cobbled streets of 1920s New York, lined with shops and secret passageways.
“This feels very Hopper,” Annie Leibovitz says as she photographs Redmayne and Waterston having a drink in the speakeasy.Continue Reading
Another new article, this time from USA Today. Eddie answers a ton of questions about Fantastic Beasts.
LOS ANGELES — Ever met a Niffler?
Eddie Redmayne has, and he learned one of the magical animal’s secrets from an earthly anteater.
The Oscar winner grabs a wand in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in theaters nationwide Friday, with preview screenings Thursday night) and took his Muggle self to a wildlife park in England to prepare to play a magizoologist.
“There was this anteater that had just been born, and people were trying to feed her and she kept scrunching herself into a ball. The way they would make her uncurl was to tickle her belly,” says Redmayne, 34, whose floppy-haired wizard surreptitiously transports magical animals to the USA inside a bottomless travel case.
On screen, the actor copies that trick to relieve an adorable, kleptomaniac creature called the Niffler of its horde of pocketed gems in Fantastic Beasts, a Harry Potter spinoff that meets Newt Scamander as he disembarks from a ship in New York City, 70 years before Potter’s story starts.
Let’s start with the basics: In Fantastic Beasts, set in America circa 1926, the non-magical sort are called No-Majs instead of Muggles, and this era is plagued not by Voldemort but by the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who has vanished after terrorizing half of Europe.
Set in a period of Prohibition, with fascism growing abroad, there’s a power struggle going on inside the Big Apple, with a witch-hunting sect known as the Second Salemers threatening security for a magical community bent on keeping wizarding under a cloak of secrecy.
Redmayne was attracted to how Rowling set the tale amid real-world events. “What I loved about the Potter films was the idea that you could be living coinciding with this whole other thing going on,” says the actor, whose wizard is joined by brand-new sidekicks: an American witch named Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who was recently sidelined from her job as an Auror, and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a No-Maj baker who stumbles into Newt’s frantic search for his beloved, erratic creatures.
With Rowling on board as screenwriter, the new film is the author’s way into “telling a much bigger story of an epic battle of good vs. evil and of sort of segregation and repression and this big idea that this Grindelwald character believes in a superior race, and that wizards should be ruling over the world,” Redmayne says.
The seed of Fantastic Beasts, as fans know, comes not from best-selling novels but from one of Harry Potter’s textbooks (which bears same title as the new film), published as a supplemental one-off by Scholastic in 2001.Continue Reading
Such a great interview with Reuters!
With his peacock-blue coat, bow tie and battered suitcase, Eddie Redmayne stars as J.K. Rowling’s latest magical hero in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Redmayne spoke with Reuters ahead of the movie opening on Friday about his favorite beasts and his hopes for his character, Newt Scamander. The following are edited excerpts.
Q: How much of Newt came from you and how much from J.K. Rowling?
A: Newt was wonderfully well defined on the page and then it was about hearing where Newt came from in her imagination. She wrote that Newt walks his own walk and that he has a Buster Keaton-eseque quality. So I met a man who tracks animals for a living, and he said that if you are trying to be absolutely silent, you turn your feet out. So I brought in that open-toed stance, which was great until I had to do stunts running like that and I kept pulling muscles.
Q: Do you know if you’re going to be in all five of the “Beasts” movies?
A: No, I don’t. The whole production is so top-secret that at nights our scripts would get locked up and put in a safe. Jo has kept the story very close to her.
Q: How do you feel about becoming a young adult icon, like Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter?
A: I don’t really know. How does one prepare for that? There’s nothing you can do really. A few more people ask for selfies and that’s about it. I think?
Q: What was it like acting against the computer-generated beasts?
A: With the erumpent, we had some of the guys who worked on “War Horse” make a huge puppet that I rehearsed with for a few weeks. Then when it came to shooting, it would go away and I would have the sense memory.
Q: Did you have a favorite beast?
A: I think Pickett was my favorite. He has got attachment issues and he just wants a bit of a hug. He is bullied by the other bowtruckles.
Q: Where would you like Newt’s character to go in the second film?
A: You get a sense when you see Leda Lestrange’s photograph that this girl has clearly had an effect on him, so that would be interesting to see. Also you hear that Newt has spent a year out in the field in Equatorial Guinea. I would love to see him out with his sleeves rolled up, wrangling some of these extraordinary creatures.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Friday Eddie and his castmates participated in the The Build Series Presents Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them in New York City. Pics from the event are now in our gallery.
– Eddie Redmayne Web > November 11 | The Build Series Presents Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them
– Eddie Redmayne Web > November 11 | The Build Series Presents Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them – Panel