How Eddie Redmayne tamed Fantastic Beasts and became the leading Briton in Hollywood

The beginning of life's journey

Eddie Redmayne was born in 1982 in London. The boy's mother was a logistician, and his father was a businessman. Eddie became the second of three children born into their family. The boy began to show interest in theater from an early age thanks to his grandfather, who loved to read plays to his grandson. Eddie's father decided that his sons should receive the best education and sent them to one of the most prestigious schools in Britain - Eton. Redmayne showed excellent academic results and became a good friend for Prince William, but unfortunately, after graduation, the young people ended their relationship. The young man devoted all his free time from school to visiting the theater, and soon he wanted to become part of the theater world. His parents supported their son’s endeavor and helped him enroll in the High Wacombe theater club.

Childhood and family. First roles

Eddie was born into a prim British family with great wealth and a long pedigree. The head of the family, Esquire Richard, ran a bank, and his mother, Patricia Redmayne, was the owner of a transport company. Eddie was the middle son - his older brother Jim and his youngest Tommy were also growing up in the family.

Eddie Redmayne's family: parents and brothers

His parents had a hand in the intellectual and creative development of Edward John David (that’s what the actor’s full name is), who often took their children to theatrical performances, which little Eddie simply adored. According to the actor, the very impulse that made him think about his stage future was the Shakespeare play he saw at a young age, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

In his youth, Eddie Redmayne had to play women

The love for the theater, as well as the vulnerability and sensitivity of the filial nature, was eventually noticed by the elder Redmaynes. One day they took Eddie to a theater club in High Wycombe. At the age of 12, Eddie first appeared on the theater stage - he took part in the Sam Mendes musical “Oliver!”, and at 14 he played a modest role in the TV series “Animal Ark” (episode “Bunnies in the Bathroom”). This did not fit with the young actor’s sense of self - he saw himself as a rebel like James Dean! Eddie did not dare to pierce his eyebrows or dye his hair some wild color. He was content to dye his hair with henna before filming. Because of this, throughout the week that the series was being worked on, his hair constantly changed shade, and in the end he was kicked out with a scandal.

The beginning of theatrical activity

Eddie's life was busy, as he attended choral lessons, theater, and excelled academically. Thanks to his unusual androgynous appearance, Redmayne often received female roles in the theater, which attracted a lot of attention from the audience. After leaving school, Redmayne went to college in Cambridge, Trinity College. Here he began studying art history. The young man’s unusual appearance allowed him to work as a model in his free time. The orders he received were simple, but still helped him cover his pocket expenses.

In 2002, Eddie for the first time managed to receive an invitation to a casting from a famous theater director. The young man almost immediately won the hearts of the judges and became part of the play based on Shakespeare - Twelfth Night. To participate in the production's tour, Redmayne received a six-month exemption from university.

The beginning of a successful film career

In his free time from performing, did he have to study hard? after all, immediately after returning to college, he had to defend his thesis. The actor's efforts paid off, and he became one of the best graduates of his course and defended his diploma in color theory with excellent marks, despite the fact that he is color blind. After graduation, the young man spent a year searching for the right decision about what he should do next in life. The first work after a long break was the play “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” For his excellent acting in this production, the actor was awarded the Critics Circle Theater Awards.

In 2005, the actor began acting in the series “Elizabeth I”. With the start of filming this project, the actor began to enjoy great success among modeling agencies and became one of the most sought-after male models. Soon he was invited to collaborate with the famous luxury clothing brand Burberry.

Theater works

Even before graduating from Eton, in 2002, Eddie was invited to the world-famous Globe Theater. It was here that the actor received his first professional award from the Critics' Circle Theater Awards for his role as Edward Albee in the play "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia." Eddie's work attracted the attention of the public and critics not only for his acting, but also for the provocative nature of the image - he played a son in love with his father.

Eddie Redmayne played on the stage of the best theaters in London. This was followed by work on the stage of the Royal Court Theatre, where Eddie played in Christopher Shinn's play Now or Later. In 2009, viewers saw the talented actor in the play by Michael Grandage, which told the story of the abstract artist Mark Rothko. Eddie played the role of Mark's assistant, Ken, and was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for his supporting role. Subsequently, this drama was also staged on Broadway. Eddie also took part in the American version, which earned him a Tony Award (the theatrical equivalent of an Oscar).

Tony Award winner The play itself was awarded six Tony Awards in 2010, including in the category “Best Dramatic Work of the Year.” For Eddie, working in this play turned out to be quite difficult, because he not only had to conduct long, lengthy dialogues on philosophical topics, but also work with paints, and the actor is color blind, so he constantly confused red and green.

It's no secret that Eddie Redmayne is colorblind. After success on the theatrical stage, Eddie decided to turn his attention to cinema, choosing a topic close to him - the history of England. The mini-series “Elizabeth I” with Jeremy Irons and Helen Mirren was a good start to work on the set.

Search for theatrical classics in cinema

In 2006, a film starring Redmayne, Reading Minds, was released. The actor's character, Alex, found himself in the dock due to charges of murder, which he, according to him, did not commit. It soon turned out that the young man was part of the ancient Templar order, which still carries out bloody rituals to this day. After the release of this film, Eddie got the opportunity to star in amazing films alongside famous contemporary actors such as Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie and others. Most of the projects in which the actor took part were historical, which created some kind of connection with classical theatrical productions.

Significant career milestones

In 2006, Eddie tried his hand at the spy thriller The False Temptation. The film also stars Matt Damon, Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie and Oleg Stefanko.

Eddie Redmayne in the film “False Temptation” The next work was the role of Alex in the detective drama “Reading Minds”. The following year, 2007, Eddie appeared on screen in two films - “Savage Grace”, in which he played a gay man who is trying to persuade his own mother (Julianne Moore) into a sinful relationship, and the historical drama “The Golden Age” with Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen.

Eddie Redmayne's photo shoot for Interview Magazine The theme of English history continued the following year: the drama The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana, as well as the film adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, in which Redmayne played main role. In the same year, Edward took on another challenging role in the film “The Yellow Handkerchief” - he played teenager Gordy, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome and is in love with Kristen Stewart's character.

A still from the film “The Yellow Handkerchief of Happiness” In 2009, Eddie took part in the filming of the historical film “1939” and the drama “Oxide”. This was followed by work in the historical series “The Pillars of the Earth” and the thriller “Black Death” in 2010, and in 2011 Eddie starred in the film about Marilyn Monroe – “7 Days and Nights with Marilyn.” Eddie Redmayne in the show “Good Day LA” In 2012, Redmayne was invited to the film adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables. A whole galaxy of Hollywood actors took part in the film with him: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter. Eddie got the role of the rebellious student Marius.

Marius from “Les Miserables” After Redmayne did not appear on screens for a whole year, but in 2014 he impressed with his performance in the film “Stephen Hogging’s Universe.” For the main role in this film, Eddie was awarded a number of awards, which are an honor for every actor: BAFTA, Oscar, Golden Globe and, what was most important for Eddie, Stephen Hawking himself gave a positive review of the film.

Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Hawking In the same year, the actor starred in an unusual genre for himself - the science-fiction action film Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. In 2015, Eddie proved that for him there are no roles beyond his talent - in the film “The Danish Girl” he played a transgender man, the husband of a famous artist, for whom he agreed to pose in women’s clothing. “The Danish Girl”: Eddie Redmayne in the role of a transgender In the same year, the actor’s services on the theater stage were awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

The actor received an Oscar quite young

World recognition. First Oscar

Everything changed on the day of the premiere of the film “Stephen Hawking’s Universe” in 2014. This film turned the consciousness of the whole world and revealed the story of the famous physicist Stephen Hawkin. A melodrama about love and friendship, about the desire to live and strength of character, did not leave anyone indifferent. The actor managed to transform into a new person and show the world the whole range of emotions that his character experienced. The actor’s incredible talent was appreciated, and he was awarded the first Oscar and Golden Globe in his career.

In 2014, eligible bachelor Redmayne married his PR manager Hannah Bagshawe, with whom he had been in a relationship for two years. The girl supported Eddie in difficult situations and helped him during times when his color blindness interfered with his work.

Biography of Eddie Redmayne

British actor Eddie Redmayne gained wide popularity and praise from famous film critics for his role as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in the biopic “Stephen Hawking's Universe.” In 2021, he played the magical zoologist Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Winner of Oscar, BAFTA, Tony and other prestigious awards.

British theater and film star Eddie Redmayne

An incredible skill that has been recognized

In 2015, another incredible film, “The Danish Girl,” was released worldwide. The actor's unusual androgynous appearance came in handy when creating the incredible image of the world's first transsexual. The story tells of a man who decided for the first time in human history to change his gender through surgery. The film is full of emotions and incredible grace, the struggle for the right to live in this world as a person wants. Incredibly, for the second year in a row, Redmayne was awarded the honor of becoming an Oscar and Golden Globe winner. The actor's talent became undeniable to film critics and brought him a huge number of positive reviews.

Last works

In 2021, the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” appeared on screens worldwide. This film returns viewers to the beloved Harry Potter universe. Magic and an incredible, exciting world of adventure shows the audience the life of the scientific magician Newt Scamander. He arrived in New York to expand his collection of magical creatures, and write a complete book on how to behave with these magical creatures.
The actor was able to cope with the task perfectly, despite the complexity of the game due to the large amount of computer graphics. The end result is a high-quality work for viewers that can easily lose touch with the real world. In the same 2016, Eddie Redmayne became the happy father of his daughter Iris Mary. At the moment, the second part of the story about fantastic creatures, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2,” is being prepared; the premiere is scheduled for 2018.

"I'm Just Like a Grandma" by Eddie Redmayne about creatures - fantastic and real

On Thursday, November 17, the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be released, which is based on the events that preceded the story of Harry Potter. The film, in which JK Rowling appears for the first time as a screenwriter, will be the first in a new pentalogy. The place of the young wizard in the film is taken by the unlucky magizoologist of the magical world, Newt Scamander, from whose oversized suitcase several fantastic animals he collected from all over the world accidentally escape. The appearance of touching, but not at all harmless creatures on the streets of New York in the mid-20s threatens exposure to the entire magical community and, as a result, a global catastrophe. met with Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt, and talked to him about his childhood passion for magic, working with Rowling and about creatures - fantastic and real.

“”: Eddie, they say that in your youth you auditioned for a role in the film about Harry Potter, now can we say that your dream has come true?

Eddie Redmayne:

To be honest, as a child I was simply obsessed with magic. In the center of London, in the underground labyrinths under Charing Cross railway station, there is an absolutely fabulous store called Davenports. The atmosphere is very reminiscent of the Harry Potter films - even the place itself is somehow mysterious, almost unreal. The store sells everything related to magic, and I really loved going there. And I also went to visit my grandmother in Scotland, and there we were also constantly in search of such “fairy-tale” places. So when I got the role of Newt Scamander, my 95-year-old grandmother was just happy. She said that she always knew that sooner or later I would have to play a wizard. So, in terms of magic, my preparation was quite serious. And then, as a student, before I even started acting seriously, I auditioned for the role of young Voldemort, and it, of course, was a complete failure. They were looking for a suitable actor almost all over England; I think the seventh assistant director was present at the casting. Before I had even read two lines, they asked me to stop. Apparently, then my time simply had not come yet. As you can see now, when I learned to play reasonably well, everything went much better.

Frame: the film “The Danish Girl”

Director David Yates said that you are very zealous about details; Professor Hawking turned out to be especially realistic. Did you work just as hard on the character of Newt Scamander?

Well, after all, in “Stephen Hawking’s Universe” I had to play a man suffering from amyotrophic sclerosis, and this, you know, is no joke. But in general, I really love the process of preparing for a role; I would say that this is my favorite part of the acting profession. The irony is that usually 99 percent of all work turns out to be a waste of time. Regarding this role, I received the most valuable and comprehensive information about my character from JK Rowling. But also, in order to be more confident in handling my magical charges, at the request of the director, I traveled to national reserves, where I met people who study the habits of various animals. From them I learned a lot of very specific things, only a small part of which was useful later. For example, did you know that if you pet a rhino just below the knee for fifteen minutes, he calms down and usually lies down? It’s not entirely clear why this information is needed, unless you are going to make a separate film about it. And the puppets actually helped - we rehearsed with the puppeteers for quite a long time. I’m not very good with chromakey at all; I need to see something in front of me to represent the character I’m communicating with. Sometimes it was just a small doll, and sometimes a huge structure, such as was used on the set of the film “War Horse”. Well, in the case of the lechura - it’s something between a plant and an insect - during rehearsals it existed only in my imagination. Sometimes on the subway I caught myself talking to him, I realized this only when people were already starting to stare at me.

So do you still ride the subway?

Basically yes. How else can you get around London? Especially during rush hour. By car it will take several times longer. I also like to ride a bicycle, but mine was recently stolen - right in front of the house. It's a shame!

Let's get back to the movie. It must be a big responsibility to be the new Harry Potter in a sense. It was necessary to create a completely new image.

To be honest, we weren't very inspired by the Harry Potter films, because the idea of ​​the film is very different, and my character is also very different from Harry Potter. Newt Scamander, of course, is the same outsider, in fact, like all four main characters. And what I especially like about my character is that he doesn’t try to seem like a hero, there’s little heroic in him at all, he’s just a very passionate and dedicated person. Meeting other characters in the film helps him express himself in a new capacity; one might say that they all learn something from each other.

So, how do you feel about the prospect of playing Newt in four more sequels? Aren't you afraid that you will have to refuse other, perhaps no less interesting roles?

Until the viewer sees the film, I think it’s too early to think about it. I also like the script because it is self-sufficient and does not look like a story that requires some kind of continuation, and I think it will be interesting not only to Harry Potter fans. On the other hand, acting in films of this magnitude is the dream of any actor. JK Rowling is one of the greatest writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, and it is a great privilege to work with her.

Do you and Newt have much in common?

Well, maybe just freckles and reddish hair. I even like the fact that we are so different. I usually worry about everything - by the way, I’m just like my grandmother in this regard. One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Newt tells Jacob, “Worrying makes you suffer twice.” In this sense, I would like to learn from him. It seems to me that the viewer is so close to the characters invented by Rowling because almost all of them are rejected by society, and sooner or later everyone feels vulnerable, even the most arrogant and self-confident person at first glance.

What are you most worried about?

On the set - about the fact that the scene may not work out. With theater it is much simpler: you play the same role for, say, six months, and at least there is hope that over time you will understand how to play. In films, you only have one day at best to be on stage, and you try to give it your all. Because there is nothing more annoying than thinking on the way home: “I should have done it differently” - and then having to wait another seven months to see my mistakes on the screen.

How much does David Yates listen to actors? Did you come to the set yourself with any suggestions?

For example, when Jacob is bitten by the Goregub, and Newt prepares an antidote for him - at first it was assumed that it would be just a pill, but it seemed to me that it would be more logical if Newt uses medicinal plants, because that is what zoologists use in natural conditions. David Yates is a great director, he always listens to other people's opinions, and the best idea, no matter who it is, wins.

Since you're talking about animals again, who is your favorite?

Probably the lechuria named Pickett, it’s something between a plant and an insect, I just love it, although it requires a special approach. I also like the Niffler, however, I would not recommend you bring it to your home - it will steal all the shiny objects that are not lying well.

What was it about Pickett that you loved so much?

This is a very devoted and touching creature, he needs someone to love. Nyukhl, on the contrary, will condescendingly accept your love, in this he is more like a cat.

Frame: the film “Stephen Hawking's Universe”

No matter how cute the magical creatures are, this is still an allegory. Who do they represent in real life?

I would say that they reflect our attitude towards nature. JK Rowling is also a genius because she manages to easily and figuratively express global phenomena. In this case, for example, oppression and segregation are very relevant issues of our time, and the magic in this story represents our fear of something unknown.

Your character in the film fights known and unknown evil with the help of a magic wand. What did you feel when you held it in your hands for the first time?

I just have something to say about this. It happened at an audition, I picked up a wand - here, it would seem, it was time to awaken that enthusiastic, magic-obsessed boy I was at eight years old - but, to my horror, this did not happen, so I completely confused. And apparently I wasn’t the only one, because all of us actors were sent to a special school for Alexander Reynolds, who taught us to move objects with a magic wand. Well, that is, they moved mainly in our imagination, and, of course, we watched excerpts from the Harry Potter films and learned from our colleagues.

Eddie, you just returned from a vacation you took after the birth of your daughter. What kind of father did you make? Perhaps now you will try to take breaks from work more often?

These were several unforgettable months, the first such long vacation after several years of intense work. Iris was born shortly after The Danish Girl finished filming and we went traveling. And yes - as a father, I try to actively participate in everything. Yesterday we flew in from New York - when you find yourself with a baby in a closed room, you don’t feel very comfortable, she doesn’t just cry, she screams at the top of her voice. In fact, everything turned out to be not so scary, we were flying with almost the entire cast, our Iris was the center of attention - everyone wanted to hold her in their arms, Ezra entertained her as best he could. It felt like our baby had a big new family. My wife Hannah and I looked at each other: “Hey, life is wonderful!”

Interesting Facts:

  • Eddie is close to the British royal family. His uncle is the Queen's personal librarian, and the actor himself studied with Prince William at Eton. And the actor’s brother is with Prince Harry.
  • Eddie is colorblind. His wife helps him choose a wardrobe for premieres or social events.
  • The iPhone helped the actor get an audition for the musical Les Misérables. When Eddie found out that the film's team was preparing for casting, he recorded the musical part on his phone and sent it to his agent. It was this recording that helped me take part in the filming.
  • More than 40 actors competed for the leading male role in the drama “7 Days and Nights with Marilyn Monroe.” The producers' choice fell on Eddie, since he, the only one of all the candidates, received the same education as the hero of the film: he graduated from Eton and then Cambridge.


Together with his brothers, Eddie first attended Colet Court Primary School and then entered Eton College. Traditionally, children from the aristocratic families of Great Britain receive knowledge in this educational institution. For example, Prince William studied in the same class with Eddie, older brother Jim misbehaved during breaks with the future Prime Minister of Great Britain, and the younger Tom studied with Prince Harry.

The future actor studied at Eton College. In college, Eddie did not forget about his childhood hobby and began attending acting courses and taking part in performances. At the same time, he first appeared on stage as a woman, playing the role of Viola in Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night. Eddie was also involved in musical self-education: he played the piano and sang in the college choir. For special musical merits, he even received a scholarship, while the future actor managed to fulfill the duties of the head of the faculty and participate in fashion shows.

In his youth, Eddie Redmayne worked part-time as a model. However, studying at Eton did not bring Eddie moral satisfaction, and he, risking the wrath of his parents, decided to apply to drama school. Richard and Patricia had a lot of difficulty persuading their son to receive a classical education at Trinity College, Cambridge University. Eddie chose a specialty close to his interests - art history, namely an in-depth study of art history in England and France in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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