Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has become a steam train.
Redmayne is developing a reputation for stretching to physical extremes, after his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. However, for his upcoming role, Redmayne did not actually contort his slender frame into a steam train for this role. It was not The Transformers.
The plummy Eton tones of Redmayne's voice were all that was required on this occasion.
Playing a part in the Thomas and Friends special children's DVD release Sodor's Legend Of The Lost Treasure Redmayne, 33, provided the voice of an engine named Ryan.
Redmayne has gushingly commented about the animated steam trains, one of which was famously voiced by a member of The Beatles, drummer Ringo Starr.
"I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures. I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was. I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast."
Disappointingly, Redmayne as a steam train had a blast, not a toot.
It's been reported that Eddie was joined in the Thomas And Friends cast by veteran actor John Hurt and Twilight star Jamie Campbell Bower, not that they were likely to have worked all that closely together.
In case he's beginning to feel ignored, Redmayne's performance in The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking will probably gain some extra recognition at the upcoming Empire Awards. Up to now, he has only been recognized in the form of a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, a Screen Actors Guild award, and an Oscar – which happened mere days ago now. It's something of a drought for Redmayne.
At the Empires, Eddie is up against sniper Bradley Cooper and computer scientist Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as The Hobbit's Richard Armitage and hero ape Andy Serkis, for his role in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
More frightening to Serkis might be if Redmayne appeared in character two stones lighter as transgender artist Lili Elbe, as he is set to appear for upcoming movie The Danish Girl.
[Image - PA]