Eddie Redmayne Talks “Fantastic Beasts” and “The Danish Girl”

Eddie Redmayne who will be portraying Newt Scamander in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films recently sat down with Parade magazine to discuss some of his recent projects. Among these is his portrayal of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery in the 1920s.

Redmayne received advice from transgender women about his role in the film. He shares,

Because the time frame is condensed in the film, it was really about Lili finding herself. Some of the trans women I met spoke about this period in their lives. They described it as “hyper-feminization.” As they were beginning to transition, perhaps they wore too much makeup or dresses that were perhaps a bit too much. They described it as being like a girl’s adolescence.

When asked if he had any doubts about taking on the role, Redmayne states,

When I read the script, I found it the most passionate love story, a story of identity and authenticity. As I started to research Lili’s life, I thought she was the most extraordinary person. So there wasn’t really any question in my mind.  It felt like a great privilege to get to play the part.

On deciding how to play Lili, Redmayne says,

Our film is based on the truth about what Lili and Gerda’s life was. After Lili died, a book, Man into Woman, was published, which is meant to be some of her writings, although it was edited by someone else, and people don’t know if it’s an entirely reliable source. So you have that sort of history, and you then have The Danish Girl, David Ebershoff’s fictionalized version, and then you have the scripted version.

When asked about the different types of roles he prefers, Redmayne shares,

I’m doing a film at the moment, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which couldn’t be more different from playing Lili but definitely has its own challenges. The thing that drives you as an actor is getting lucky enough to be able to choose to play interesting people, whether they’re real or fictional. I’ve been pretty blessed.

On Fantastic Beasts spoilers, Redmayne admits,

You know what? Whenever I hear someone ask about Fantastic Beasts, I feel like there are dudes from Warner Bros. with wands snipering from buildings. All I can say is that J.K. Rowling has written something that is totally fantastical. When I read it, it just made me smile. I had a massive smile across my face as I read it, so I hope we can do it justice.

You can read the full interview with Parade magazine here.

Did you see The Danish Girl? How excited are you for Fantastic Beasts? Let us know in the comments below!