Eddie Redmayne Talks “Fantastic Beasts”, “The Danish Girl” in “GT” Interview!
For its November 2016 issue, Gay Times (also branded as GT), a British magazine geared toward gay men, has an exclusive look at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! With actor Eddie Redmayne pictured in character as Newt Scamander on its cover, the magazine interviewed members of the film’s cast, including Redmayne himself!
The article on Fantastic Beasts includes a mention of author J.K. Rowling’s tweet to a fan from December 2014:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 16, 2014
Attached to the tweet is an image with the quote, “If Harry Potter taught us anything[,] [i]t’s that no one should live in a closet.”
Rowling’s support of the LGBTQ+ community continues to be a theme throughout the article, particularly because of her revelation that Albus Dumbledore is gay. Because the Fantastic Beasts films will follow the rise of Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, to whom Dumbledore was once romantically linked, it is possible that we could see some of their relationship play out on screen in the films to follow.
Eddie Redmayne explains that the news of Dumbledore’s sexuality never shocked him, however:
It has certainly never been news to me that a brave and brilliant man could love other men.
He goes on to add,
There’s a sense in all of the books and films, and certainly in this film, that [J.K.] is interested in the idea of people who’re outsiders, and the notion of inclusivity is essential to all of it.
This, he shares, is true of his character, Newt Scamander:
He’s much more content in the company of his creatures and is deeply passionate about them. He doesn’t have any interest in human interaction, but gradually, throughout the course of the film, one of the things he does is find his place with friendship, support and kindness.
Redmayne also admits that one perception is that he is often typecast as the “outsider” in his roles. He notes, however, that he doesn’t see himself that way:
Quite often I get people saying, ‘You always play outsiders,’ but I don’t think one ever views oneself as an outsider – it’s how people look at you. But I also know I would not necessarily want to fit into everyone else’s sense of homogeny and what being an insider means. I’d much rather be my own person and my own soul rather than fit into some sort of generic type.
He also discusses his role as a transgender woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, saying,
It’s been an extraordinary time as far as the trans movement is concerned. I think they’d been working on the film for 10 or 15 years, but it came out at a time when there’d already been so much progress. The tipping point had occurred, and things were moving on, so the film came out at a time in which the world was moving forward.
One well-known member of the Harry Potter fandom community is Jackson Bird, a transgender man who works as the Harry Potter Alliance‘s communications director. Bird, who was also quoted in GT, says of the fandom,
They are a warm, loving, inclusive community, and many of them are queer or trans themselves.
Something about Harry Potter’s insistence on befriending people – or magical creatures – who’re different from himself and systemically discriminated against, I think, resonates with a lot of people who experience that in our own world.
What do you think of “outsiders” within J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!