Eddie Redmayne Says He’s “Really Up for Traveling” in Fan Interview
Eddie Redmayne has won nearly every award and honor an actor can win and is starring in two major 2018 films (Early Man and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) – but he still has time for his fans! In advance of Friday’s Early Man release in the United States, Redmayne hopped on the phone with four fans who manage the most active social media accounts and fansites about him to chat about his recent roles, the effect his growing family has on his career, and gender issues in Hollywood.
Redmayne spoke about the coincidence of the arrival of his daughter, Iris, and his recent roles in family-friendly films. He said he didn’t choose these films on purpose for Iris’s sake, but rather couldn’t turn down the great opportunities to work with J.K. Rowling and Nick Park.
I’ve been asked actually that sort of thing — whether the choice to do Early Man or [Fantastic] Beasts or the chance to do more family-centric films stems from Iris arriving. To be absolutely honest, it was not that. It was purely because J.K. Rowling is one of the great storytellers, and Nick Park — certainly in the UK — is such an institution. He is one of the great storytellers. And so it would be madness to say no.
He also spoke about working with Nick Park as a director and the unique experience of voice acting.
They had already showed me this kind of sketchy animation and this test of how [the character Dug] moves, and so it was more about my voice fitting with him than the other way around…Nick is one of the most generous directors I’ve worked with but also one of the most specific, and what’s so lovely is…you do hundreds of takes, which I love, but occasionally I’d go, ‘Nick, would you say it?’ Weirdly, [with] so many of his characters, you can see his face literally turns into those characters — to Wallace and Gromit — and his voice sounds so brilliant. More so than with any other director I’ve ever worked with, I’d take what he said, and then I’d try to copy it.
Redmayne said that, in addition to working with Nick Park, one of the things that drew him to Early Man was Dug’s eternal optimism.
He has an absolute optimism…And I love that in him, and I love that in Nick Park’s work — the joy and the warmth. And when it’s a tricky time, just reminding young people, people of all ages, that you need to find that child-like enthusiasm in life because you’ve only got one.
He also laughed at the idea that he had chosen these recent roles because the filming schedules were convenient for his family. In fact, he and his wife, Hannah Bagshawe, have been hoping for opportunities to travel more with his work.
Early on in my relationship with Hannah, I said, look…our life is going to involve a lot of traveling…And Hannah, she loves that and is super up for that. Ever since then, every single film — like Les Mis, she was, ‘Are we going to Paris?’ And I was, no. And Fantastic Beasts was set in New York, and she was, ‘Please, tell me…’ and no, she can go to Watford [the Warner Bros. Studio location outside London]. For the second Fantastic Beasts, when Jude [Law] got the part [of Albus Dumbledore], I emailed Jude saying, ‘Please, if you haven’t signed your contract, will you demand that they shoot at least some of it in Paris?’ And we shot it all in Watford. And so the answer is: We’re really up for traveling, it’s that no one else is.
Redmayne, who has been vocal about the need for gender equality in Hollywood, also spoke about recent shifts in the industry.
I’ve worked with many formidable women, but certainly when you go on a film set still you see that it is a male-centric place…For a long time, people would say, oh, perhaps that female-centric films weren’t as commercially successful. But the top three films of the last year were fronted by women, some of them directed by women. It’s just not a valid excuse any more.