USA Today did a nice feature back in December on Eddie & Amanda … great interview! It isn’t brand new but thought it was fun for all Redmayniacs! Here is the part about Eddie …
Thanks to Jan for the heads up!
Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried take on the star-crossed lovers Marius and Cosette.
Eddie Redmayne, 30, as Marius
Musical background: Redmayne began on stage, earning a 2010 featured-actor Tony for Red, a play about painter Mark Rothko. But his first brush with musicals came at age 11 or so, when he was in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oliver!, directed by Sam Mendes. He has done TV (including HBO’s Elizabeth I, directed by Les Misérables’ Tom Hooper) and films including The Other Boleyn Girl and My Week With Marilyn.
Q: You have some music in your background, but until now, your résumé barely reflects that.
A:I did Oliver! onstage during the 1994 revival in London. For a long time, I always claimed I worked with Sam Mendes. But the reality of it was, I was workhouse boy No. 40, and I never met Sam. I always sung as a kid at university, but then I focused on acting.
Q: When did you first see Les Misérables?
A:My parents took me to see it when I was about 7 with my brother. We went as a family, and the CD was always on in the car. I grew up listening to it. When I found out they were doing a movie, I was actually in North Carolina doing a film and was in my trailer. I decided to do an audition tape on my iPhone. I sang Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. From there, it became a very rigorous process, sort of like American Idol or X Factor. Originally, it was just Tom and the casting director, but by the end, it was a whole big panel including Cameron.
Q: Why does Les Mis affect people so deeply?
A:It is so multifaceted. Whatever age or sex you are, there is something you can passionately connect to. When I was 7 and saw this, I just wanted to be Gavroche (the young boy who hangs out with the students). I thought he was the coolest little kid. He was strong and brave and got to run around the barricade and hang out with adults. It was the same way that girlfriends of mine wanted to be the little Cosette, being beautiful and singing about castles. There is romance, action, moments everyone can tap into.
Q: You were worried that Marius might come off as a drip on-screen. How did you avoid that?
A:There are a lot of aspects to his character that are deeply irritating. Various extraordinary people die for him. Everyone is giving up their lives, and he is sort of blindly going through. In our adaptation, he is this romantic prototype, but there needed to be something else in him so that the audience doesn’t want to slap him from the word go. We went back to the novel, where he ends up taking a keg of powder and is willing to kill himself and all the people around him for the cause. We added that back in. He’s not in any way a hero. He is complicated. So in the end, he is human and flawed but goes through this extraordinary transition from boy to manhood. That’s what I cared about.
Q: One of the scenes in the film that you probably wished was done more like the play is when Hugh as Valjean is forced to carry your limp, injured body through sewers awash in slimy liquid — which aren’t part of the stage version.
A:Tom tried to pretend it was chocolate, but I was not so sure. It was a horrible, grotty mix of stuff. Halfway through the day, it was freezing cold. Hugh had to go through so much. He had to carry my lumpen load through all that stuff. I was just there playing dead. It was hard and grueling. My makeup artist said it was made of clay, and it was going to be good for our skin. Like I give a toss.
Q: Amanda says you sneaked in a kiss during the wedding scene that was not scripted.
A:Yeah, she blamed that one on me.