London: Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has revealed he did not know he wanted to make acting his career until he was 19.
The 33-year-old star said being on stage was not a life-long dream to make it his profession, was reported.
“I enjoyed it growing up but it was only when I was about 18 or 19 and did a production of Cabaret at the Edinburgh Festival that I knew I wanted to make acting my career,” he said.
And Redmayne still feels like a “kid play-acting” and compared making movies to going on holiday. “The odd thing about this profession is that you still feel like a kid play-acting. There’s this sense of make-believe and wonder to it that stays with you”.
“Making movies is a bit like being on a summer holiday where you meet people, become friends and then perhaps go away and never meet again.
Playing a transgender character must certainly be one of the greater challenges for an actor. After all, it’s an experience to which few of us can entirely relate, while also something that should be portrayed authentically in a performance. Eddie Redmayne faced these very issues after signing on to star in Tom Hooper’s new drama The Danish Girl, but fortunately the Academy Award-winning actor had a great resource in his corner in the form of Lana Wachowski – who helped steer Redmayne into some key research areas.
In promotion of the upcoming Oscar-hopeful film, Eddie Redmayne recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an extensive interview, and it was during the course of their conversation that they began to talk about Lana Wachowki’s influence. The line of questioning began because the trade noticed that the Matrix co-director was given a “Thank You” credit at the end of The Danish Girl, and Redmayne explained that she pointed him in the direction of some key books that would help him better understand his character. Said the British star,
She pointed me to where to start reading: Jan Morris’ book “Conundrum,” Kate Bornstein’s “Gender Outlaw” and Niels Hoyer’s book about Lili, “Man Into Woman.” I absolutely adore Lana. She’s such a generous human being.
Of course, Eddie Redmayne didn’t just bump into Lana Wachowski on the street and ask her for advice. The actor and director first had the chance to collaborate on the sci-fi action-adventure Jupiter Ascending – which had Redmayne featured as the central villain. It’s not hard to imagine that the two stayed in touch after production on the movie, and clearly that meant good things for The Danish Girl. Based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, and adapted by Lucinda Coxon, The Danish Girl is inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wedener (Alicia Vikander), and the story follows their relationship as Lili becomes a pioneer for transgender people everywhere. The film has played to critical acclaim at both the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and will make its way to theaters here in the United States on November 27th.
Even though it was only a few months ago that Eddie Redmayne took home an Academy Award for his performance in The Theory of Everything, it’s predicted that he will very much be in contention once again in this year’s Best Actor race. We’ll surely be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months – as we get deeper and deeper into Oscar season – so stay tuned not only for updates about the competition as well as our review of The Danish Girl.
Eddie Redmayne spoke about the “extraordinary” and educational experience of starring in The Danish Girl, but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a high-stakes game. During the Toronto International Film Festival, the Oscar winner dished about the pressures of headlining the latest franchise installment.
“The stakes are high because they were so good before,” he told E! News of the previous Harry Potter films. “You don’t want to screw it up.”
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint became international sensations as the faces of the eight-film Harry Potter series. Redmayne succeeds them in this prequel story of Newt Scamander, a wizard and renowned magizoologist who travels around the world to document new fantastical creatures.
“It’s a complete privilege for me,” he continued. “I love J.K. Rowling. I love the Harry Potter films [and] books so for me this is just the most wondrous gift really.”
Redmayne is joined by Katherine Waterston as Tina, Alison Sudol as Tina’s sister Queenie, Dan Fogler as Jacob, Ezra Miller as Credence, Samantha Morton as Mary Lou, Jenn Murray as Chastity, Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty, and Colin Farrell as Graves. The film is written by Rowling herself and is directed by David Yates, who previously helmed Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and both parts of Deathly Hallows.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them began filming in August and is scheduled for release on Nov. 18, 2016.
Jury, headed by TheWrap film critic Alonso Duralde, also gave a special mention to Kuba Czekaj’s “Baby Bump”
“The Danish Girl,” starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as early-20th-century transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, has just picked up one of its first awards as Oscar buzz for the movie builds at both Toronto and Venice film festivals.
Director Tom Hooper accepted the Queer Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival on Friday for the movie’s “straightforward and honest portrayal of gender issues within a marriage, presented in a handsome production that will bring its important message to a wide audience,” organizers said.
The Queer Lion is awarded annually to the “best movie with LGBT themes and queer culture” among those presented at the Venice International Film Festival.
The 2015 Queer Lion jury, headed by TheWrap’s film critic Alonso Duralde, also gave a special mention to Kuba Czekaj’s “Baby Bump,” a Polish film about a young teenager struggling to accept and understand the changes in his body.
The Oscar-winning actor, who plays the part of Ryan in the new film, has revealed how ”absurdly excited” he became after meeting a model of his character.
Eddie said: ”I got to meet my engine, which is amazing. When you go there, they sort of introduce you to a model of him. Your inner six-year-old is having a disco. It’s amazing. Absurdly excited.
”But I was kind of upset that I didn’t get to act alongside other actors. I know Olivia Colman was doing it. We crossed paths in the green room.”
Eddie also explained the unique challenges of playing a voice-only character.
He told Entertainment Weekly: ”I’ve never ever voiced any form of cartoon character in my life and it was an extraordinary thing.
”It’s all the weirdness that you hear it is. You stand by yourself in a booth, and you have a Thomas voice coach, who specifically coaches everyone on how to adhere to the Thomas world.
”What was interesting was, having never really done a voice, I started by playing it quite naturalistic. I started off doing it quite simply, and quite close to my voice, and in the end I think I was about 17 octaves higher.”
The trans community gets a lush and slightly stiff prestige movie to call its own, buoyed by Redmayne and Alicia Vikander‘s powerful performances
Following the hidebound, Oscar-friendly stodginess of “The King’s Speech” and “Les Misérables,” director Tom Hooper shakes things up a bit with “The Danish Girl,” proving that he’s capable of making a movie that’s both steeped in awards-season prestige and in possession of a pulse.
Arriving at an interesting moment in pop culture’s representations of the transgender movement, “The Danish Girl” offers a lush and somewhat stodgy aesthetic that will nonetheless reach an audience who could benefit from it; grandparental types who would never watch “Transparent,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “I Am Jazz” or even “I Am Cait” might find themselves settling in for a Sunday matinee and coming out having learned something about gender identity.
Not that “The Danish Girl” wears its messaging like a shroud; at its heart, it’s a portrait of a marriage, one in which the husband comes to understand that he’s really been a woman all along, and in which the wife’s responses are more complicated that an outside observer might imagine. In 1926 Copenhagen, Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) is a portraitist living in the shadow of her much more successful husband, landscape artist Einar (Eddie Redmayne). The two adore each other and are trying to have a baby, and they own one of the most adorable dogs in the history of cinema. When their prima ballerina pal Oola (Amber Heard) blows off a portrait sitting, Gerda asks Einar to slip on some stockings and high-heel shoes so she can do some work on the painting in the subject’s absence. Holding Oola’s dress on top of himself and wearing the hosiery, something begins to click inside of Einar; when Oola shows up late with a bouquet of flowers, she laughingly dubs Einar’s female identity “Lili.”
Einar starts wearing Gerda’s underthings beneath his suits, and his cross-dressing becomes a naughty turn-on for the couple. It isn’t until Einar attends a ball in full Lili drag — and attracts the amorous attentions of Henrik (Ben Whishaw) — that he begins to acknowledge that Lili isn’t a mere construct, but rather a part of his own personality. A part, in fact, that slowly comes to represent the whole.
Gerda is taken aback by Lili’s emergence, but in the screenplay by Lucinda Coxon (adapting David Ebershoff’s fact-inspired novel), her response is layered. For one thing, Gerda mentions that the first time she kissed Einar, “It was like kissing myself,” acknowledging that part of her attraction to her husband was an attraction to Lili. On top of that, Gerda’s paintings of Lili make her the toast of the Danish, and later French, art world. Hooper’s stately storytelling style matches the material, since there are so many stages and intermediate steps involved in Einar fully becoming Lili, who goes so far as to undergo one of the very first gender-reassignment surgeries. And while the movie could have gotten more out of its supporting characters — there’s no doubt much more to know about Oola, Henrik and Einar’s boyhood friend Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts), who grew up to be a Paris art dealer — the delicate dance by which Einar becomes Lili and Gerda comes to love and accept this new person while mourning the loss of her husband remains fascinating all the same. After all those wretched tight close-ups in “Les Misérables,” it’s a relief that Hooper and his usual cinematographer, Danny Cohen, allow these characters, searching for a way through their own lives, to get lost in vast spaces like hospital corridors and city blocks of Danish row houses. (We also get some nicely painterly moments, like a ballet studio where tutus hang in the rafters like indoor clouds.) Cohen and Hooper also make it a point to shoot Redmayne like Josef von Sternberg filming Marlene Dietrich, finding the androgynous actor’s best angles and lighting him like a screen queen of yore.
Redmayne fully inhabits the character, and it’s interesting to watch an actor going through his processes as part of the work; Einar himself must learn to navigate the world as a woman, and when we see him duplicating a lady’s subtle hand gestures, or learning how to walk in her shoes, it provides a glimpse into what must have been Redmayne’s own preparation for the role. For her part, Vikander adds smoke and shading to a character who could have easily veered into being just one thing, or at least just one thing at a time; she juggles pride and anguish, affection and disappointment, and longing and empathy with great skill. For all its period setting and opulence, “The Danish Girl” is less removed from our own era than you might think; the physical violence and medical ignorance that Lili faces over the course of her evolution remain in place today. And while this film should by no means be the last word on an under-explored subject in mainstream cinema, it makes an interesting guidepost toward bolder stories in the future.
Eddie Redmayne has told EW that getting cast in the new Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was an “extraordinary” experience
“Like many people, I read those books, I watched those films, and became completely intoxicated by J.K. Rowling’s world,” said the British actor and Oscar-winner. “The idea of getting to tiptoe into it felt truly exciting. I hope it’s going to be quite a ride.”
Fantastic Beasts began filming last month at the U.K.’s Leavesden Studios, where all eight of the Harry Potter movies were shot. Written by Rowling and directed by Potter franchise veteran David Yates, the film stars Redmayne as Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s leading magizoologist, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures.
While Redmayne was happy to discuss his excitement about the project he declined to elaborate further about the film itself, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on Nov. 18, 2016. “I’m allowed to say absolutely nothing!” he explained.
Redmayne won the Best Actor Oscar earlier this year for playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and is likely to be in the awards conversation again this fall thanks to his role in The Danish Girl, which will be released Nov. 27.
The actor will next be seen — or, rather, heard — voicing a train named Ryan in the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, Thomas & Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure (out on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 8).
The first trailer for The Danish Girl premiered on Tuesday, starring Eddie Redmayne as transgender woman Lili Elbe. Watch below.
The trailer shows the evolution of Elbe’s relationship with Gerda as she goes from male to female. “I believe that I am a woman,” she says at one point. At another point she announces, “This is not my body. I have to let it go.” The project, which was first teased with a photo of Redmayne as Elbe earlier this year, is the actor’s first since his Oscar-winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
Tom Hooper, who won the Best Director Oscar for The King’s Speech, directed the film based off a 2001 novel that presented a fictional account of Elbe’s life. The movie, which also stars Amber Heard, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival before opening in theaters on November 27. Check out the trailer below, and tell us if you think Redmayne could be looking at back-to-back Academy Awards wins for Best Actor.