Eddie Redmayne returns as Newt Scamander this Friday
He talks about a new character Theseus Scamander, the challenges he faced while shooting for the sequel and more
Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011), the last film of the blockbuster franchise, marked the end of an era for Potterheads across the world. However, the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016 not only brought back memories for a generation of fans, but also introduced a new generation to the magical world created by JK Rowling.
On Friday, magi-zoologist Newt Scamander, played by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, will return to the screens after a two-year break with the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. This film introduces Newt's brother, Theseus Scamander, who is played by Callum Turner.
Talking about a weird connection he has with Theseus and Callum, Eddie says, "My older brother, James, is a bit like Theseus. He’s sort of this incredibly talented schoolboy/hero, formidable at sports, and just a wonderful, very successful human being. An amazing thing about Callum and me, weirdly, is that we grew up about a hundred metres from each other."
While on the topic of crazy things, Eddie shares one of the most challenging scenes he shot for the sequel — a scene involving Newt trying to get hold of a baby Niffler. "I went down like a whole YouTube rabbit-hole of extraordinarily talented people who play hacky sack. I had the idea that catching baby Nifflers should be like that. So, I spent about four days just seeing if I could catch one of these little green hacky sacks in my pocket, but ended up having to mime it. I looked like I was doing some bonkers dance."
With the Harry Potter universe being pretty iconic, and all the characters having a well-defined arc, how does a method actor like Eddie fit into the character of Newt Scamander? "The amazing thing about Rowling is that she writes these scripts which such detail, and they’re formidable. But then she hands it over to you and says, ‘Go play with it.’"
Directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, also starring Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Katherine Waterston, is set for release this Friday in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.