Eddie is featured in the October 2013 issue of British GQ for his win at their Men of the Year Awards. This photo shoot is one of my all-time faves!
Don’t be fooled by the fresh-faced features of Eddie Redmayne. Although he’s still regularly asked for ID at his Sainsbury’s Local, Redmayne (who was in the same year as Prince William at Eton) is actually 31 and, given that he landed his first job (and agent) while still at Cambridge, he’s actually something of a veteran.
Nevertheless, it’s only in the past year, after standout turns as the young Colin Clark in My Week With Marilyn, the singing revolutionary Marius in Les Misérables and First World War soldier Stephen Wraysford in Birdsong, that the wider world has caught up with his youthful promise and seen him bag GQ’s Rémy Martin Breakthrough Of The Year award.
This first manifested itself in his portrayal of Viola in Mark Rylance’s cross-dressing 2002 production of Twelfth Night (for which Cambridge gave him a term off). One critic excitedly declared that Redmayne could “bring out the bisexual in any man” and the production also won him the big-hitting agent Dallas Smith, best known for representing English roses such as Kate Winslet. “I always thought it was slightly worrying that I was dressed as a girl when he took me on,” he says.
Not that every acting venture he undertook at Cambridge, alongside contemporaries such as Rebecca Hall and The Kite Runner actor Khalid Abdalla, was similarly golden. “Oh God,” he groans at the memory of a “rancidly bad” production of Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade. “I had a wooden post attached to my crotch and had to sit in a corner pretending to masturbate. All my friends loyally came to watch, but even they didn’t stay for the second half.”
Even more distressing was a later stint as a waiter at the British Soap Awards when he was again stuck in a room with a bunch of sex-obsessed halfwits (technically the well-refreshed cast of Hollyoaks), one of whom attempted to fill his tray with glasses until it crashed to the floor. “An absolute nadir,” Redmayne recalls, glumly.
Much better times have followed, most recently shooting Jupiter Ascending, with “geniuses” Lana (formerly Larry) and Andy Wachowski alongside Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, soon to be followed by an Oscar-bait role in Theory Of Everything, which will see him play a young Stephen Hawking.
“The thing about acting,” he reflects, “is that it’s something I did as a kid, but I never thought I could do it seriously. Then suddenly it’s your career but you still feel like a 15-year-old messing around after school. There is a Peter Pan thing going on.”