Eddie Redmayne Web
Nov 2015

The Hollywood Reporter did this phenomenal article about The Danish Girl and how much it took to get the film made.

Last year’s best actor, Eddie Redmayne, takes on another transforming role, playing the first person ever to undergo a sex-change operation in a film that took 10 years (and as many false starts) to get to the screen.

Eddie Redmayne was about to shoot the climactic battle sequence in Les Miserables — the part where the French Army fires cannonballs into the barricades to scatter the student revolutionaries — when director Tom Hooper calmly strolled across the battlefield and handed the young actor a large unmarked envelope.

“I think he said something simple like, ‘Read it,’ ” recalls Redmayne, 33, recalls of that day in 2011. “Tom has a very gentle manner.”

The pages inside — the screenplay for The Danish Girl — had been circulating among filmmakers and actors in just this fashion for the better part of a decade. At moments over the years, there were even hopes that the film actually might get made — at one point, Nicole Kidman was signed for the lead — but something always went wrong. Financing fell through. Or talent dropped out. Or somebody got cold feet. “It was the subject matter,” says Lucinda Coxon, who wrote the script in the envelope. “It was considered commercial poison.”

Times change. And it’s hard to imagine a more hospitable moment than right now for a commercially viable movie based on the life of Lili Elbe, a Danish painter in the 1920s who — with the help of a supportive wife (played by Ex Machina and Man From U.N.C.L.E. newcomer Alicia Vikander) — became the first person in history to undergo a male-to-female sex- change operation. Far from poison, the subject matter has reunited an award-winning director (before Les Miserables, Hooper won an Oscar for The King’s Speech) and an award-winning actor (after Les Miserables, Redmayne won one for The Theory of Everything) to finally bring to the screen the story of a transgender icon predating Caitlyn Jenner by nearly 100 years.

“I knew the script had a long, tortured history,” says Redmayne, who, in The Danish Girl, which will be released Nov. 27 by Focus Features, undergoes an even more extraordinary physical transformation than turning himself into Theory’s Stephen Hawking (in one sure-to-get-noticed scene in The Danish Girl, Redmayne stands naked in front of a full-length mirror, his genitalia tucked between his thighs). “But it’s a wonderful love story. It reframed my notion of love, that love is not about gender or bodies. It’s about souls. The minute I read it, I wanted to do it.”

Man Into Woman, Elbe’s 1933 memoir, is something of a sacred text in the transgender community (see sidebar, page 94). But the book that has been adapted for the screen isn’t Elbe’s; it’s David Ebershoff’s best-selling 2000 novel, The Danish Girl, a fictional interpretation of Elbe’s memoir. Producer Gail Mutrux happened to come across a review of the novel — “in November 1999,” she very specifically recalls, around the time she was working with Bill Condon on developing a script for the film that would become Kinsey — and optioned the film rights a few months later, the minute the book was published.

“It was such an idiosyncratic love story,” she explains of her attraction to the material. “What struck me was that his wife was willing to help him get what he needed, knowing their relationship would never be the same, that they were doing this together.”

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Nov 2015

Playing a transgender woman gave Eddie Redmayne a taste of what it’s like to be judged, and even made him stress about being pretty enough.

The stares were enough to make him feel self-conscious when he first appeared on the set of “The Danish Girl” in a dress and full face of makeup.

The English actor stars as both landscape painter Einar Wegener — and the woman, Lili Elbe, that the artist transitioned to become in 1920s Copenhagen, an era when doctors branded such aspirations as a mental disorder.

“One of the most interesting things for me was my first day on the set as Lili Elbe and the gaze of the crew members — being looked at and being judged, it really made me nervous,” Redmayne, 33, tells the Daily News of the drama opening Nov. 27.

“Many of the trans women I met had described that feeling when they first went out of being judged, though of course for them it’s coupled with the fear of violence.

“There’s a moment in the film where Lili says, ‘Do you think I’m pretty enough?,’ and it was something that was sort of on my mind as well,” adds the delicate-featured actor, who played a female several times during his school years and professional career.

Redmayne, who accepted the Oscar for “The Theory of Everything” two weeks after he started filming as Lili, wanted to do justice to this pioneer in the transgender community.

The film now seems incredibly topical, but the love story between Lili, who was one of the first sexual reassignment surgery patients and her wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), had faded into history before the 2000 David Ebershoff novel on which the movie is based was published.

“What struck me when I read the script is it’s almost a hundred years since Lili and Gerda’s story and what Lili has to deal with as far as discrimination and violence,” says Redmayne, “but there hasn’t been much progress in a hundred years.”

After years of marginalization, it’s a prominent pop culture topic right now: The comedy-drama series “Transparent” cleaned up at both the Emmy and Golden Globe awards, Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” put transgender actress Laverne Cox on the cover of Time, and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner has hurdled criticism on and off TV.

But producers struggled for almost 15 years (with director and producer Tom Hooper on board for half that time) to raise the $15 million production budget that would probably just cover the catering on a big budget film like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“I find it incredible that in seven years, we’ve gone from people saying this film is hard to make and hard to finance to people saying this film is timely,” Hooper tells the News. “It certainly didn’t feel like a zeitgeist film seven years ago.”

For that whole time, though, Hooper knew exactly who he wanted to play Einar and Lili — the actor he first worked with 10 years ago on the British miniseries, “Elizabeth I.” Redmayne had a small part as a noble who was put to death for treason after a failed assassination plot on the titular Queen.

“I remember to this day filming that scene and the raw emotion that was provoked by this death sentence for his character, it was distressing,” says Hooper. “You say, ‘Oh my God, this person really is being sentenced to death, rather than a character pretending.’”

So when the pair worked together again on the 2012 musical drama film “Les Misérables,” Hooper made his pitch.

“I had just finished warbling on the barricades,” Redmayne says. “I came to lunch in my trailer and there was this slightly surreptitious envelope with a script in it.”

After reading Lucinda Coxon’s script, the actor fell in love with Lili.

“I thought it was the most beautiful and unique love story,” Redmayne recalls, “And I said to Tom, ‘Are you offering this to me? I’d love to do it.’

“But he was like, ‘It’s been 12 years since the script has been written, it most certainly won’t get made.’”

While waiting for investors to realize the importance of the project — which didn’t happen until Redmayne became more bankable with the award buzz surrounding “The Theory of Everything” — the duo didn’t remain idle. They spent much of the last three years interviewing transgender women about their experiences, including “The Matrix” filmmaker Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski and activist Cadence Valentine.

That intense preparation is the secret to Redmayne’s success. He accepts fewer roles and pushes for more time for research and training. In order to play ALS-stricken physicist Stephen Hawking for last year’s “The Theory of Everything,” for example, the actor spent several months with a vocal coach and a movement coach, and talking to Hawking and others with the disease.

To properly channel Lili, Redmayne practiced positioning his hands in the elegant poses that he noticed from the real-life Gerda’s paintings of her soul mate.

Even for his lead role in the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — the eagerly-awaited first installment of a “Harry Potter” franchise that should launch him onto Hollywood’s A-list — Redmayne showed the same intensity for his role as Newt Scamander, a wrangler of magical animals.

“I spent a lot of time at animal sanctuaries and meeting people whose job it is to track [animals] and do interesting things,” says Redmayne. “Hearing about their lives, it’s interesting, and who knows if any of it is relevant onscreen?”

All the preparation led to magic of a different kind on the set of “The Danish Girl.”

Vikander, 27, recalls the first time she saw her co-star in all his costumed and made-up glory as Lili, after she had already started camera tests with Redmayne as Einar. “I went to change my outfits and when I came back, I couldn’t find Eddie.

“And then this red-haired woman turned around and I was like…,” the Swedish starlet pauses, her eyes widening to recreate her shock. “The first thing [Redmayne] did was smile. It kind of affects you, that smile. It was such a Lili thing.”


Nov 2015

John Blake Publishing has released an un-official biography about Eddie’s life and career as an actor. Here is the press release about the book. You can get your own copy now from the John Blake Publishing website.

John Blake Publishing is delighted to announce the publication of Eddie Redmayne: The Biography, in which author Emily Herbert delves into the background of an actor who inspired a huge and devoted fan following known as ‘Redmayniacs’.

When Eddie won the Oscar in February 2015 for his stunning portrayal of the scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, he was already a high-profile actor. He starred as Marius
Pontmercy in the award-winning 2012 musical smash hit Les Misérables and in 2016 he will play one of the first known recipients of transgender surgery in The Danish Girl.

Eddie has led a fascinating life. He gained education at the prestigious Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, and quietly worked his way up to the heights of an international film career. In 2014 he settled down with his childhood sweetheart Hannah whom he married in a ‘winter wonderland’- inspired ceremony.

In the book, Emily Herbert offers readers an insight into the little known facts about Eddie, such as his acting debut as a teenager in Animal Ark, his stage work in London while at university and his groundbreaking work in films that confront some of society’s most explicit taboos. This book is certainly an ideal gift for admirers of one of the most exciting actors around today.

About The Author: Emily Herbert is an experienced author and journalist. She has written biographies of numerous celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Robin Williams and Lady Gaga, and contributes to a range of national newspapers.

Eddie Redmayne: The Biography by Emily Herbert is out now, published by John Blake Publishing on 5th November 2015 in hardback at £16.99

Nov 2015

Eddie spoke with Page Six on how he prepared for his role in his upcoming film “The Danish Girl”.

Last year Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar as nonmobile physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” This year, as a transgender person in “The Danish Girl” he again shows his talent — plus his nonclothed everything else.

Publicist Peggy Siegal arranged our chat, but when the restaurant grew crowded, a bathroom entryway seemed our only quiet spot. Needing the john, Eddie refused the ladies’ room. I wasn’t into sightseeing the gents’.

Organizing this special transgenderville-film interview was like readying for today’s men’s room/ladies’ room/unisex room toiletgate.

Eddie: “To prepare for this part, I read people’s stories, studied their art, collected their thoughts, met transgender communities in LA. I immersed myself in their lives and knew every transgender woman I could. I met their partners.

“Everyone’s generosity in educating me was enormous. Very giving, they’d say, ‘No question I won’t answer in order to explain to you.’

“This true story took place in 1920. No known predecessor or community then. Nobody could comprehend this.

“In the beginning, these ladies said they’d use too much makeup. Their clothes, like for a teenage girl, were too feminine.

“All knew early they’d been born into some different-gender body and to unravel herself each tried to work out who they were. Living as a man, they wore high starched collars, tailored suits, like some scaffolding of masculinity.”

We sat scrunched at a mini table inside the windy street exit. Tieless, jacketless Eddie fortunately wore a sweater. He said: “A high point is when, still a man, my character’s at a peep show and relates to the woman dancing. The scene’s in the movie.”

Talented, handsome, a hot 33, when he’s older and maybe bent and grizzled — will he still be “Eddie”? He laughed. “Edward Albee said I should become Edward. I’m Eddie to my friends. I think . . . who knows . . . I’ll probably stay Eddie.”

One more question before the door reopened and I froze to death — where’s his Oscar? “On a little side table in my London home. That whole experience was such a frenzy. I keep staring to make sure it’s real. I actually shine it.”

An English male, his movie is “The Danish Girl.”

Nov 2015

Yesterday Eddie & Tom attended the Official Academy Screening of The Danish Girl and thanks to my friend Claudia we have images in our gallery from the event!

Gallery Links:
Eddie Redmayne Web > 2015 > November 7 | Academy Screening of The Danish Girl
Eddie Redmayne Web > 2015 > November 7 | Academy Screening of The Danish Girl – Presentation

Nov 2015

The brand new issue available now from Entertainment Weekly features all of the new info from the set of Eddie’s film Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them. It is a great article and you should go grab your own copy now!

Gallery Links:
Eddie Redmayne Web > 2015 > November 13 | Entertainment Weekly

Nov 2015

Every year Entertainment Weekly releases an issue featuring all the new movies to be released in November and December for the Holiday Season. Eddie’s film The Danish Girl is featured this year.

Gallery Links:
Eddie Redmayne Web > 2015 > November 6 | Entertainment Weekly

Nov 2015

Eddie spoke with Cinema Blend about joining the world of Harry Potter with his new role as Newt Scamander.

It should have been impossible for Eddie Redmayne to ever top his Academy Award winning performance in The Theory Of Everything. But the fact that he’s done just that with The Danish Girl within a year of picking up the Best Actor gong proves the wealth of talent that Redmayne has at his disposal.

Things are only going to get bigger and better for Eddie Redmayne, too, with his starring role in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. And since he is currently shooting the Harry Potter spinoff I wondered if he’d had the chance to ask his predecessor, Daniel Radcliffe, for some advice on how to delve into the magical universe. Luckily, at the end of October, I got the chance to sit down with Redmayne to talk about his wonderful work on The Danish Girl, during which I asked him whether he’d chatted to Daniel Radcliffe about Fantastic Beasts. To which Redmayne answered:

“Do you know? I haven’t, actually. I haven’t. I know Dan a wee bit, and I … at some point, I should focus on making this [movie] right first, and live up to what he’d done already.”

Since Daniel Radcliffe was only a young whippersnapper when he was cast to portray the titular wizard in the Potter series, he probably wouldn’t have had too much advice to give to Redmayne. But just the image of the two actors talking about the universe, their acting methods, and the pressures that come with leading such a film and franchise, is enough for Harry Potter fans to instantly smirk over.

There certainly will be quite a heap of pressure on Eddie Redmayne and everyone involved in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them to match the $7.723 billion grossing antics of the Harry Potter series. While Redmayne has already found enormous success thanks to his Oscar-winning efforts, as well as the fact that he’s an all-round charming sod, his status is only going to rise exponentially once he’s completed his work on the Harry Potter spin-off, which has been written J.K Rowling and is already anticipated as a massive new franchise.

In Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them, Eddie Redmayne stars as the fantastically named Newt Scamander opposite Katherine Waterston’s Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein, while it’s only relation to Harry Potter is that it is set in the same world, just seventy years earlier and in 1920s New York.

You can check out the clip of myself and the delightfully affable Eddie Redmayne discussing his upcoming performance in Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them below. Warning: It’s incredibly British.

We’re now just over a year away from Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’s release date of November 18, 2016. But those of you looking for your Eddie Redmayne fix will be able to get it when The Danish Girl hits cinemas later this month on November 27. Something that everyone should do because Redmayne is even more spectacular in it than you could possibly imagine.

Nov 2015

Exclusive: Here’s the basic set-up (spoiler free) of the eagerly awaited film

How do you make a movie of J.K. Rowling’s slim 2001 catalog of creatures Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

Well, you make a faux documentary about the book’s “author” Newt Scamander tracking all sort of magical beasties.

At least, that was Warner Bros.’ first idea.

Then Rowling came up with an even better one, and penned her first-ever screenplay for next year’s eagerly anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the Harry Potter author had creative imput on all the previous eight movies, but the 1926-set prequel Fantastic Beasts is her first actual script).

The plot of the film has been kept ultra secret, with the cast under an Unbreakable Vow to not reveal any details. EW’s current cover story contains the first description of the film’s set-up. This description does not reveal spoilers per se — the movie is primarily about what happens after this. But if you prefer to watch the film not knowing anything at all, by all means stop reading here.

Eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) comes to New York (for a reason we won’t disclose) with his trusty weathered case. This case is one of those way-way-way-bigger-on-the-inside magical devices, and within are expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt’s travels around globe. He discovers the American wizarding community is fearfully hiding from Muggles (who are called “No-Maj” in the States, more on that) and the threat of public exposure is an even graver concern than in the UK (remember the Salem witch trials?). Fantastic Beasts is the story of what happens when this uniquely skilled English wizard travels to wiz-phobic America and a variety of his creatures, some quite dangerous … get out of their case.

And that’s what Fantastic Beasts is about. Excited?


Nov 2015

The Danish Girl is about transgender pioneer Lili Elbe, who was born Einar Wegener in 1882 and in the 1920s became the first known recipient of sex reassignemnt surgery. Eddie Redmayne, the reigning Best Actor Oscar-winner for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, plays Lili in the film (out Nov. 27), and spends more than half of his performance identifying as a woman. The movie, based on David Ebershoff’s novel, focuses on Lili’s struggle with her own identification, especially at a time where such an expression could result in harassment and institutionalization.

For the scenes in which Redmayne is portraying Lili as the woman she was, director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) and cinematographer Danny Cohen (who also shot Room, in theaters now) devised a subtle but effective adjustments to shoot the actor so that his feminine side came through, thus making the emotional journey of the story even more powerful. The camera’s height — something which audiences rarely consider unless the position is very low or very high — was raised slightly above Redmayne’s eye line, offering an angle that changed the contours of his face.

“That was one of the things that Tom [Hooper] hit on,” Cohen explained to EW. “Just one or two inches on the camera height and that did a lot of favors to Eddie’s look and his fantastic bone structure. It shouldn’t really be apparent​, and inevitably we were inconsistent, but we did always try to get that perspective. It definitely affects how the audience views the film.”

The Danish Girl is an almost expressionistic film of rich, painterly imagery — though Hooper is quick to point out that the technical elements Redmayne’s performance, which could make him only the third actor ever to win consecutive Best Actor Oscars, were only a small piece of his devotion to the role.

“For Eddie, what was going on inside Lili’s mind was always the primary concern,” says the director. “He’s an extraordinarily conscientious and empathic actor and I think everything flowed from inside to out. The emotional journey led to getting the physical stuff absolutely right. For myself and Danny [Cohen], Eddie’s performance was a great inspiration and encouraged us to do our best work.”


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