As Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit theaters today, the film’s star, Eddie Redmayne, opened up about the experience of making the J.K. Rowling-penned film, sharing details that will interest and delight hardcore Harry Potter fans. Among the secrets revealed by Redmayne comes the confession that one of the film’s props frightened him so much that he experienced genuine stage fright. Redmayne also reveals that some scenes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were so intense that there was a real risk of injury from throwing oneself too deeply into the part.
It Wasn’t One Of The Fantastic Beasts That Shocked Eddie Redmayne
Joining the Harry Potter universe was a big step for Eddie Redmayne, who is a big fan of the J.K. Rowling novels and film adaptations, but, as he tells Us Weekly, he never imagined that he would get stage fright on the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Redmayne is so well versed in the Harry Potter universe that he assumed he would feel right at ease as Newt Scamander, but he now reveals that one item caused him to freeze upon touch.
“I picked up the wand, and then I got complete stage fright! I was like, ‘Wait a second, I’ve always thought that I’d be a natural with a wand, but I’m completely not!'” confessed Redmayne.
Eddie also revealed that both he and his Fantastic Beasts co-star, Colin Farrell, discovered that it was possible to get too wrapped up in their roles. There are hazards in playing the part of a wizard, warns Redmayne, as he describes the new injuries experienced in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them world.
“Colin Farrell and I compared notes for wizarding injuries,” says Eddie Redmayne. “You got things like wand wrist and wizarding elbow from too much ferocious use!”
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Led Eddie Redmayne To An Anteater Farm
Eddie Redmayne is meticulous about preparing for his roles with real-world experience, but, when dealing with the magical world of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, where does one begin? Redmayne told Variety that his research led him to animal trainers, so he could seem well educated in the tracking of his own magical beasts. Among all that he learned about animal behavior, Eddie says the most important thing is not to make any noise when tracking a creature. The Fantastic Beasts star says there’s a trick to it. Each step must be taken deliberately, putting the foot down at an angle, so nothing is disrupted as you walk.
Redmayne adds that some of the things he learned found their way into Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as Eddie shared what he learned with director David Yates.
“I met this woman who was handling a newborn anteater and feeding the anteater,” said Redmayne. “The way to make the anteater relax was to tickle her. I could bring little things like that to David, and said: ‘How about with the Niffler, when it tries to protect its pouch, I tickle him.'”
Also in preparing for the role, Eddie says that, while he didn’t rewatch the Harry Potter films in their entirety, he did use scenes in which Dan Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes, and Emma Watson used their wands. Redmayne says it was a big help to copy their actions when he was faced with that stage fright.
Mr. Redmayne was also asked if wand usage grew more comfortable as filming progressed, but the Fantastic Beasts star revealed that there’s only so much ease one can feel in handling such a blatantly obvious phallic symbol.
“It’s an odd thing, there’s nothing more weird, without spoiling the scene, when [a character] is whipping you with electricity,” says Redmayne. “It’s like ‘Fifty Shades of Wand.’ There’s no way to talk about wands without going to catastrophic innuendo.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, and Alison Sudol, is currently showing in theaters.
[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]