“Entertainment Weekly” Interviews Eddie Redmayne on Playing Newt Scamander

Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premieres in theaters in just a few short months, Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, sat down with Entertainment Weekly for an in-depth interview. Without revealing major spoilers or plots, Redmayne discussed his thoughts on playing Newt:

Newt’s been damaged by human beings, and at the beginning of the film, he’s someone [who]’s pretty content in his own company and the company of the beasts. He enjoys his solitude, and he’s also spent a year out in the field. So he really hasn’t had to deal with people. And when he arrives in New York, there are more people than he’s ever imagined.

Redmayne also shared how he trained for the role of a character who is more comfortable around creatures than around humans:

Going out to these amazing zoos, to parks, and going into cages with animals and meeting their keepers and hearing what their lives are. I spent a day or two with a gentleman who lives in the forest … it’s all about using all of your senses – from smell to sight to peripheral vision to sound … When he [Newt] first arrives in New York, you see him walking down the street, and the way he’s observing the city is the way that he would observe a natural habitat. He’s kind of smelling it; it’s as if he were in the jungle.

In addition to training with animals to prepare for the role, Eddie explained he bumped into actor Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort in the films. Fiennes was kind enough to share with Redmayne a few words of wisdom regarding filming a movie with director David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films and has been confirmed to direct the first two films in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy.

Ralph said that what’s extraordinary is, amongst all the huge scale of the operation is that Yates has an incredibly acute eye for every single detail of performance. He’s an actor’s director, and that was lucky to know.

Throughout the rest of the interview, Redmayne talked about what Newt’s favorite magical creature would be, stating,

The Niffler — they have this wonderful love-hate relationship. It’s just incredibly aggravating and wonderful at same time. He’s a complete nightmare, yet Newt gets off on his playfulness and single-mindedness. And the Bowtruckle, Pickett, I love him. There are many [B]owtruckles in the film, but Pickett has attachment issues. Newt knows he shouldn’t have favorites, but he loves Pickett.

Eddie also revealed whom Newt would like to meet from the Harry Potter universe, which is sure to spawn yet another fan fiction:

To meet in a future film? That’s really an interesting question. I think a Newt and Ron scene would be quite enjoyable. I think those guys would find each other quite intriguing. Ron and Newt would have quite a good time. I’m not sure a huge amount would be achieved.

Redmayne even shared his own excitement of being sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore, saying,

… that would be really depressing for me to find out that like I’m not actually Hufflepuff, and then it [S]orted me [into] Hufflepuff. I literally was by myself at home, and I yelped with excitement that I got Hufflepuff. I was like, ‘the magic exists.’

You can read the full Entertainment Weekly interview here.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie tickets are available for pre-order now! Based on Redmayne’s interview, what are your predictions for the movie? Let us know in the comments below!