Eddie Redmayne’s grandma “always knew” he’d play a wizard.
The 34-year-old actor – who portrays magizoologist Newt Scamander in upcoming Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – was “obsessed with magic” when he was young and so his latest role came as no surprise to his family.
He said: “here was this amazing shop called Davenports–the kind of shop where real magicians buy their tricks, the sort of place where you could buy the equipment to saw someone in half. It had a very ‘Potter’ vibe, actually–it was in this slightly grotty subway beneath Charing Cross station in London. When I got cast in this film, my grandma was like, ‘I always knew you could play a wizard.’ She was thrilled.”
Despite playing a diverse range of characters over the last few years, the ‘Danish Girl’ actor insists he has a “really shoddy” imagination, which is why his alter egos are often inspired by people in the real world.
He told United Airlines’ Rhapsody magazine: “I just have a really shoddy imagination. I remember once trying to invent a bedtime story for my niece and nephew, and it was like … and … umm … the end!”
And Eddie’s interactions with the mythical creatures in Fantastic Beasts… were inspired by his meetings with animals off-screen, such as a rhino and an anteater.
He said: “It was so amazing meeting these [trainers] who had a passion for animals and knowledge of all their idiosyncrasies. God, it was fun.”
The Oscar-winning star enjoys playing complex characters because they give him the chance to explore experiences and emotions that are unfamiliar to him.
He said: “I’m a relatively straightforward human being. But I love being able to investigate those parts of characters that you don’t relate to at all, that you have to find a way to. As an actor, you’re given the freedom to explore those things in a safe environment.”