Eddie Redmayne told GQ what he really thinks about JK Rowling and the five Fantastic Beasts movies, revealed the challenges of dressing as a colourblind man (beware green suits!) and talked about his favourite watch as a child as he hosts a dinner to launch the new Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar
Have you always worn a watch?
I have, as a kid I was obsessed with Flik Flak, which was my first watch. But I could actually sing you the ad. [sings] Flik Flaks, they’re water resistant, Flik Flaks, they’re shock resistant!
You could change the bit in the middle, they cost £15, I remember. And then I got into Swatches, and I was weirdly into the Swatch skins, and they’re super thin. And then my dad always had an Omega deVille, a very old classic. It was gold with a leather strap. And so when I graduated to being a grown-up I owned other watches.
I’m wearing the Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar, which is the new model. I’ve been wearing the Globemaster for about a year and a half and this one has the calendar-y bits on the side, which is all new. You only have to change the date once a year, on the 29th of February.
How do you pair your watch with your outfit?
Generally I wear quite muted colours, so I have this one and I have a Globemaster without the calendar which is blue faced. I’m colourblind so in my own life I tend to wear blues, greys, and keep it to muted tones that I know are the right colour. So I went for the blue watch face, and the grey one here, so that it tends not to clash, it works with everything.
What’s it like being colourblind?
It’s weird when you try and describe colourblindness to people. Because they’re like, “what, red-green?”, and you’re like, “yes”, blues and purples I confuse. I go for greys and browns, and no, I don’t see in black and white, you actually see in colour, it’s just confusion of colour.
I almost feel like a bit of a fraud when I say I’m colourblind, because I see in colour. [I have problems when], for example, I’m shooting a scene, and you have to hit a mark on the floor, and it’s a red marker on green grass. With my peripheral vision I haven’t got a chance. If I look down I can see the difference between the red and the green, but I don’t know how to explain it to people.
Has that ever affected your clothing choices?
The first time I knew about didn’t involve clothes, but I was painting something while I was at school. I was painting a cloud scape, and I thought it had gone alright. And I showed it to my mates and they just said “that’s a load of s**tty green clouds.” I thought they were all grey!
I also remember going to the Theory of Everything premiere in Toronto, and I picked out a suit by Burberry, and it was, I had been told it was green, but I was told it was a subdued green. I told my wife I was going to wear a green suit and I walked into the room and she said “Oh my Christ! That’s not just green, that’s serious green!” Unfortunately I didn’t have anything else so I went out into the world. I did have to just genuinely put my shoulders back and try and own this mint green suit.
We do a best dressed readers vote at GQ, how do you feel about losing out to Tom Hiddleston, and Zayn as the ultimate winner?
Well Tom Hiddleston is a stylish fella. Oh god! Well I’ve got to say, I saw a photo of Zayn Malik wearing a metal armpiece and I thought that’s pretty extraordinary. He definitely should be winning prizes [for that]. I’m not sure there are that many people that could pull it off, would my robotic arm work, do you think? [Zayn] made it work.
Tell me about appearing at the Met Ball?
I’ve been a couple of times, and I’ve always worn a tuxedo and white tie one year. It’s kind of extraordinary the Met Ball, you feel like you’re going into one of those fantasy balls, from a different era that don’t really exist anymore. You walk up this huge parade of steps, and then you get to walk through the Metropolitan Museum itself, which is closed for the event. Everywhere you look at people who are dressed to the nines. It’s quite a surreal experience. It’s like a mix between the Cinderella ball and A Night At The Museum.
Do you ever feel intimidated sometimes when you go to those events?
The lucky thing about being an actor is you get to go to fashion houses, and there are people there whose job is to say, “wear this.” And “this looks good on you”, and you go “Ok!”
I do feel that a good well tailored suit makes me feel more confident. There’s something so surreal, and it never gets less surreal, about standing on a red carpet, and facing the cameras.
Have you picked up any black tie dress code tips?
I find that the major thing is fit. The most important thing if you buy a suit off the shelf, is getting is tailored. Weirdly, one of the places that people don’t get tailored is the arms. The back of the arms. There’s my random tip! Because you can have your torso tailored well, and if the arm is then baggy, it looks silly.
How do match a watch to a shirt? Particularly thinking about the cuff.
You find one shirt. In life, when you find one shirt, you should only buy that shirt and wear it all the time. A couple of years ago I found a Thomas Pink shirt, slim fit, and a good collar, and I basically wear that all the time. I have two of them. Because then if you get your cuff length working it’s all good.
The plan is to make five Fantastic Beasts movies, what do you think about that?
My thoughts on it are, they will only be made if people enjoy them, firstly. And secondly, when you meet JK Rowling you realise that for her it’s all about telling her story. That’s all she wants to do, she has no other agenda. She is an incredibly wealthy, incredibly generous human being telling this story because she has a story to tell. And that excites me, because if you’re going to make more films – and I have no idea what those stories are, or what my role would be within it – and you’re gonna jump into the dark, without knowing what the future is, doing it in the hands of one of the great storytellers of our generation feels like quite a good play.
The story that she wants to tell, she had always planned out. And she realised when she was plotting the scripts for it, that it would be five films rather than four, which was her original plan. And if people enjoy this one, and hopefully the next one, then we’ll see what happens.