And, even above all, this can also seem like a strange display of humility. Eddie Redmayne started, so to speak, at the top, with a small part in a production of Oliver, starring Jonathan Pryce and directed by Sam Mendes, when he was only 11 years old. Then, when she was still studying at Eton, she played Viola in Twelfth Night, starring and directed by Mark Rylance. Her best-known early film roles—Hawking and, a year later, the transsexual artist Lili Elbein the danish girl— earned him, at the age of 30, numerous award nominations (The theory of all It also got him a BAFTA and a Golden Globe). After those two movies, in particular, she seemed well on her way to becoming his generation’s answer to Daniel Day-Lewis or Ralph Fiennes.
But then, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, of 2016, separated him in a certain way from that path. Suddenly, Eddie Redmayne found himself immersed in the franchise of Harry Potter big budget and big effects, surrounded by larger-than-life talent like Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Mads Mikkelsen. What kind of preparation can be done for that? Actually, you can’t sign up for a crash course on magic and Hogwarts. Redmayne doesn’t say it like that, of course. When he talks about the saga, he is nothing but generous: “When I entered that world,” he says, “I knew I was joining a machine that was so much bigger than me. It has given me so much and I have loved working with some of the best and happiest actors in the world. Being able to go back to that every two years — in an industry that is nomadic and circus — that continuity has been wonderful,” but that continuity was on a human level, he says, not necessarily on an acting level, a fun ride, but maybe not a place where I would continue learning. “What has become clear to me is that comfort and I do not go very well together,” he says. Eddie Redmayne“so I’m always looking for ways to get out of my comfort zone.” fantastic animals It’s also been dogged by extracurricular controversies—JK Rowling’s outrageous views on gender identity, the Jonny Depp defamation case, Ezra Miller’s recent arrests—and declining box office receipts. Although Redmayne doesn’t want to talk about any of it, she can’t help but let her decision to focus on most intimate movies What The Good Nurse be easier.
Throughout our conversation, Eddie Redmayne he has reflected a little on his own creative ambivalence, his “cynicism” and “pessimism”. When I ask her where that feeling comes from, she is careful not to attribute it to any particular project, but she tries hard to locate its real source. “Acting is a weird mix of control and freedom,” she says, choosing his words: “When you make movies, you lose control. You’re a cog in that thing. You can work on the script for years, but there comes a time when you have to give it away, and that’s a complex thing, you know? In the best of cases, you do it with someone you trust and, therefore, you feel completely free. But it doesn’t always work that way.”
Yes Eddie Redmayne he has always worked hard, also, by his own admission, he has not worked very hard. And thanks to Cabaret Already The Good Nurse, now he hopes, perhaps, to work even less: “What he has done this year is to make me more demanding,” he says, laughing again. Unlike most artists, he’s not quite sure what he’s going to do next. But having finally worked with a friend, he would like to do it again. Perhaps with one of your lifelong British colleagues, like Ben Whishaw or Andrew Garfield. Maybe with his co-star CabaretJessie Buckley. Maybe adventure, maybe even a comedy—the kind of movie where it helps to have gone to clown school. “I was shaken up,” she says, “and felt a new love for what I was doing, which maybe I had lost a little bit.”
Article originally published in GQ UK.