Eddie Redmayne says he got 'complete stage fright' using a wand for the first time in Fantastic Beasts

Eddie Redmayne says he got 'complete stage fright' using a wand for the first time in Fantastic Beasts

Eddie Redmayne would've liked to have had at least a few years of studying at Hogwarts before picking up his wand in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The actor, who stars as magizoologist Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spinoff series, revealed that he suffered from "complete stage fright" after he picked up his wand for the very first time.

"When we started on the first Fantastic Beasts, there were things that were very stressful," he explained in a recent Vanity Fair video. "Like, having a wand is like your childhood dream, but suddenly you're presented with this thing and you get complete stage fright. I don't have a clue what to do with it."

As a result, Redmayne shared that "wand school was created" to teach the cast how to swish and flick with style. The star noted that he also attended "apparating school" to make sure that he nailed the "disappear into the mist" look that the teleportation spell required.

Over time, the eccentricities of the wizarding world became second nature to Redmayne. "You became very blasé about that stuff and about the kind of everydayness of having a wand," he explained. "But then, the joy of those films was getting to watch new actors come in and be presented with their wand and watching the inner kid just reveal itself, from everyone and anyone, however extraordinary the actor."

He holds a similar sense of enthusiasm and wonder when it comes to his character Newt. "I love Newt. I loved him as a character from the second I read it. He was eccentric, he was unique, he had extraordinary empathy, and he was passionate," he shared. "Passion is an interesting thing. It's a thing that's not often celebrated. It is quite often uncool to care."


Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

But, Redmayne maintained, there was no one who cared more about the world of Fantastic Beasts than its cast and crew. "I loved the trio of actors that I was cast with: Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and the wonderful Katherine Waterson," he said. "It was an amazing thing to get to work with these guys and on a scale that was unlike anything I'd ever seen."

He added, "My main takeaway from those movies was just this wonderful group of actors and crew who [had] Invention was just spilling out of them."

Watch Redmayne discuss Fantastic Beasts — and auditioning for Les Misérables in a cowboy costume — in the clip above.

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