Eddie Redmayne Chronicles Early Career in New Interview
The Potter community may have taken notice of Eddie Redmayne relatively recently, but his climb to super-stardom has been a long one. In a recent interview with CBS, Redmayne discusses his acting method and some of his early acting experiences, including his time working in a pub! We may have followed the stars of the Potter films since they were practically babes in arms, but we’ve got a lot history to catch up on for our new Fantastic Beasts favorites – and Redmayne seems like a pretty good place to start!
The interview starts at the very beginning of Redmayne’s professional life, noting that the actor’s parents were very supportive of his career, despite not being involved in show business themselves. In fact, Eddie’s acting engagements sometimes created some pretty awkward family viewing experiences:
One of the early plays I did was The Goat, which was written by the late Edward Albee. And there was a moment in it in which my character was playing Jonathan Pryce’s son. And there was a moment where this character’s so sort of lost that he ends up kissing his dad. And so my brothers would come with my dad to watch the play in order to watch my dad’s reaction, as I was having to kiss my father on stage.
And then similarly I did a film called Savage Grace with Julianne Moore, true story about the Baekeland family, and this son who may have had an affair with his mother. And so my brothers would come to watch my mother’s reaction! So they got a lot of joy I think from watching me put my parents into sort of awkward circumstances.
Redmayne is known for his work on films like The Theory of Everything and The Danish Girl, which required intensive preparation. It’s a skill he learned early on, and one that he tries to bring to every role he tackles. He described his process using a pretty great analogy about his days writing papers in college:
I remember when I was at university I would sort of get through doing weekly essays, and they would be fine, they’d be okay. And then at the end of the first year at university I did a big, large essay on Brâncuși, a sculptor. It was on a tiny aspect of his work. And for one moment you become, like, the world knowledge on this tiny thing. And what it forces you to do is, you you take pride in that and you feel great. And so when I started doing essays after that, you didn’t wanna go back to those kind of slightly boring generic ones.
Of course, even Eddie Redmayne had to start somewhere, and the start of his career had its difficult moments:
Compared to many actors I’ve had a remarkably lucky and easy run of it. But you feel the struggles. I was working in a pub for a while, going and auditioning, endlessly auditioning for things on camera and not getting them because I hadn’t got into acting through theater, really, and had no idea about film. I think it was about three or four years before I got anything properly on screen.
Speaking about the making of Savage Grace with Julianne Moore, Redmayne relates how the financiers hesitated to take a chance on him because he wasn’t a big enough star. It’s interesting to read his thoughts on being commodified, knowing that Fantastic Beasts is about to launch his career to a whole other level.
And [auditioning for Savage Grace] became this battle in which you were totally aware of the fact that you’re a commodity. Either you’re just a commodity who’s not bankable enough, or there is someone who doesn’t agree. It’s beyond the creative people. It’s into a money place.
I have a feeling Eddie is definitely bankable enough now! Delightfully, Redmayne also takes a moment to acknowledge the change that fatherhood has brought to his life after the birth of his daughter, Iris:
It makes you different in all the formidable clichés that you hear of — your heart open in different ways, and that mixture of complete fascination, and the astonishment that the two of you have created something, and that they managed to stay alive throughout the night, but also just the joy of the minutia. I remember being, like, riveted — baby’s hands are so formidable. They come so fully formed. And I remember just looking at her hands. It’s like a whole dance in itself. But no, [Iris has] just been heaven.
It’s quite a long interview with lots of interesting stories from Redmayne’s life – we suggest you take a look for yourself!