“Buzz is worrying because it’s an ephemeral thing. If you read the good stuff, you also have to read the bad stuff. I try genuinely to just put my fingers in my ears and put one foot in front of the other. If you get caught up in listening to what too many people have to say, that’s where madness lies.” —Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne is one of those actors who seems to have just appeared out of nowhere and skyrocketed to stardom overnight, and he’s only going to go higher thanks to the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Here are 25 facts about Eddie Redmayne you may not have known.
25. Color Me Surprised
The actor doesn’t see things quite the same as the rest of us. He’s technically colorblind, though not in the usual sense of the term. “For example, I’m shooting a scene, and you have to hit a mark on the floor, and it’s a red marker on green grass,” he explains. “With my peripheral vision I haven’t got a chance. If I look down I can see the difference between the red and the green, but I don’t know how to explain it to people.” He also admits that his wife sometimes helps him when picking out clothes to wear!
24. Blue Is in the Eye of the Beholder
He might be partially colorblind, but he still has a favorite color, and it’s very specific. It’s IKB: International Klein Blue from Yves Klein. “When you stand in front of those canvases, the color is sublime and dumbfounding,” he’s said.
23. The Theory of Body Movement
Redmayne took quite a while to get himself ready to play Hawking on screen. In addition to losing 15 pounds for the role, he had to change the way he controlled his body and its movements. He spent four months with a dancer, as well as ALS patients, to get those movements exact. He even had a chart that depicted when Hawking’s muscles started to go on him.
22. The Technology Takeover
Redmayne once tried to make the switch from an iPhone back to an “old-fashioned” non-smart phone. He felt like he was spending too much time on his iPhone, and thought that by using an older phone with no access to his email, he would be able to appreciate the little things about life a bit more. Unfortunately, he was spending more time on his computer checking said emails, and wound up going back to the trusty iPhone.
21. A Royal of a Time
Redmayne went to quite a popular and notorious school in England called Eton. That in itself is kind of neat, but it’s who he knew while he was there that makes things even more interesting. Fellow actor Tom Hiddleston was a classmate, and a couple other peers were, quite literally, royalty. Both Prince Harry and Prince William attended Eton around the same time as Redmayne! The actor even played rugby with England’s future king, calling him “a wonderful man,” and adding that he “always felt slightly sorry for him because everyone wanted to tackle the future king of England. He took all the hits.”
20. Kylo Ren, He Is Not
Redmayne tried out for the role of Kylo Ren for The Force Awakens, and didn’t even know he was reading for the role! It was a top-secret project at the time, but things didn’t work out in his favor. He called the audition “catastrophically bad” and says he even tried to do an impression of Darth Vader.
19. Man’s Best Friend
Redmayne said he took the Patronus test on the Pottermore website twice, and both times he got a basset hound as his Patronus. “I felt like that was the world—or J.K. Rowling’s world—telling me that I was, in fact, a basset hound,” he said. “I’ll take that.” He also discovered that he belongs to Hufflepuff, which, by the way, is the same house that this writer belongs to!
18. Freckle-Faced Eddie
We all have things about ourselves that we may not necessarily like, and Redmayne is no exception. He was never a big fan of his freckles. It was only after he was cast as Julianne Moore’s son in Savage Grace, based on his looks alone, that he started to feel better about them.
17. The Apple of His Eye
Celebs are just like us, and have their own favorite celebs, too. In Redmayne’s case, he fan-boys over Allison Janney.
16. And Vogue.
If you think the actor has model-like good looks, you aren’t the only one. He’s previously been a model for Burberry! He’s also struck a pose alongside a couple of other model-turned actors like Cara Delevingne and Alex Pettyfer.
15. The Artiste
After starring in the musical Les Misérables, Redmayne decided to buy himself a piano. Can he play it? Not very well, he admits. But he enjoys it. Same with painting. “I find I’m at my most relaxed when I’m doing either of those things, precisely because they are focusing my mind on something else,” he says.
14. Sugar, Sugar
Redmayne needs a little sugar with his coffee. Or maybe I should be saying a little coffee with his sugar. “I’m either a latte man, or an Americano with a lot of milk and sugar. A lot of sugar,” he says.
13. The First of His Kind
When he won the Best Actor Oscar at the Academy Awards for his role in The Theory of Everything, Redmayne accomplished something we wouldn’t really think about: he became the first millennial male to win a coveted acting Oscar.
12. The Highest of Praises
Stephen Hawking was incredibly impressed with Redmayne’s portrayal of him in The Theory of Everything. Who wasn’t? He even won the Oscar for Best Actor for that performance! Hawking went even further though, emailing the film’s director, James Marsh, to praise the work on the film. Hawking said there were a number of times he thought he was truly watching himself on screen, not someone else.
11. Toilet Talk
Just to prove he’s even more like us than we think, there was one time that Puff Daddy saw Redmayne in a washroom and remarked to the actor how much he liked his work. After that, Redmayne says he had trouble, well, going.
10. Mining the Redmayne Name
One of Redmayne’s great-grandfathers has a cool story. Sir Richard Redmayne (yes, we did say “Sir”) is pretty well-known in the British mining engineering world. He played a big part in helping to improve safety for everyone in mines, even becoming the first-ever Chief Inspector of Mines.
9. Quick as Lightning
Think about this for a second: what power would you choose to have, if you could? For Redmayne, he has two different ones that he goes between: invisibility and speed. “I’d love to run really fast,” he’s said. But he also says, “I always say invisibility, because I’m nosy. I’d like to go and listen to other people’s conversations, which I don’t think would end well.”
8. A Miniature Obsession
He has a weird obsession with taking those mini shampoos from hotels. During one interview, he admitted that he had a whole heap of them in his suitcase and absolutely no idea what to do with them. I’d suggest washing his hair?
7. Better Late Than Never
Was he concerned when his (now) wife, Hannah, showed up half an hour late to their wedding? Not at all! He says that she’s notoriously late for just about everything, so he had no worries on their wedding day when she stayed true to her fashion.
6. But Never Late Is Better
Picture this: that awkward moment when you’re the first to the party. That happened to Redmayne and his wife one year at the Oscars. He was told to be there early, since the red carpet arrivals start at a specific time, and he was to be performing with the rest of the cast of Les Misérables during the show. Just one problem: they got there too early. “As we neared the venue I called the publicist to say we were arriving, and she said, ‘What? You’re 45 minutes early. No one is here. Stop! Stop!’” They had to hang out and wait around Hollywood Boulevard until the event actually started.
5. A Little Lioness
Quick: who was your first crush? Maybe the boy or girl you sat next to in first grade, or maybe a celebrity or singer? If you asked Redmayne, his answer would very likely surprise you: it’s Nala from The Lion King. “I loved The Lion King when I was younger and I had a weird obsession with Nala,” he said. “Look at her face! She’s so sweet.”
4. Quit Horsing Around!
Okay, hands up. Who’s lied about something on their resume? If you answered yes, you’d be in good company with Redmayne. He once said that he was familiar with horseback riding to get a role for a mini-series. Truth was, he really wasn’t acquainted with it at all. “I almost killed myself, almost killed half of the crew,” he said of the experience on set for Elizabeth I. The director, Tom Hooper, called him out on it over the loudspeaker, calling Redmayne a liar.
3. Riddle Me This
He tried getting into the Harry Potter films earlier on than Fantastic Beasts. He auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle, but it didn’t work out. “I properly failed and didn’t get a callback,” he said. Apparently, he only read a single line when the casting director had had enough! Even so, he hoped the casting directors would call him up to be a member of the Weasley family, but no such luck. Newt Scamander is nothing to be ashamed of, though, Eddie! The actor was even the first (and only) choice to play the beast-loving wizard.
2. Classic Case of Wrong Place, Wrong Time
He once threw up in the hallways of the Royal Opera House during the BAFTA awards. In his defense, he was dealing with food poisoning, and probably couldn’t make it to a bathroom—or even just a garbage can. “It was one of the worst nights of my life,” he says.
1. Flying High
All actors seem to have a lightbulb moment when they realize they’ve become a famous name. In Redmayne’s case, he was thousands of miles up in the air when this happened. He had fallen asleep, and when he woke up, the person next to him asked if he was someone important. The reason he asked? Apparently, the flight attendants had come by during his nap and were watching while he slept.
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