Eddie Redmayne dishes on the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” his character Newt Scamander and being part of the Potter world.
Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, a socially inept “magi-zoologist” wizard who visits New York City in search of more magical beasts for his suitcase collection. Along the way, Newt gets mixed up in a whole host of magical trouble and finds himself becoming an unlikely hero.
For the Oscar winning actor, being part of J.K. Rowlings “Potter” world was something he was truly excited for.
“What was amazing about the script was that J.K. Rowling had managed to weave a sort of thriller element to it and then this kind of darkness. But also, there’s this kind of buddy movie in the middle, as well as romance and the heart, that I’d loved in the Harry Potter films,” Redmayne told Uproxx. “And yet, weirdly, I found myself crying when I read the script – like when Dan’s [Fogler] character sort of went out in the world. And I couldn’t quite get over the fact that she’d managed to weave all these genres together in something that felt whole and complete.”
In the Potter prequel, we follow Newt Scamander, in 1926 New York, having just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
Potter fans, according to Redmayne, a self-professed fan, will love the references to the names of characters from the Potter films and how worlds collide. His character, Newt, in fact was expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry against Dumbledore’s decision.
“I can say nothing further about that,” Redmayne tells MTV of his character’s past. “But Newt is much better at communicating with beasts and spending time with his creatures than perhaps he is with human interaction. On the journey of this film, he begins to find connections with people but he’s not exactly a people-pleaser. What I love about Newt Scamander is that he’s his own person. He’s a passionate man and he’ll do anything for those beasts.”
Redmayne also thinks fans will experience some surprises in the film. “One of the things that I found quite extraordinary about the script when I read it is that it’s there are moments that feel like a thriller,” he tells EW.com. “There is a dark aspect to it. There is a kind of comedic quality to it, and sort of romance. We have all these different genres, and yet somehow J.K. Rowling has managed to weave them together. I think it’s surprising about how moving it is. All I have when I read scripts is that instinct, and I was really moved by it. So that should hopefully be surprising.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in theatres on November 18.
—by Toni-Marie Ippolito