Fantastic Beasts’ Eddie Redmayne On The Moment During His Wizarding World Tenure That Gave Him ‘Complete Stage Fright’

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts 2
(Image credit: Warner Brothers)

Eddie Redmayne led a merry band of wizards and fictional creatures in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy for six years. That’s a long time to be a part of a franchise, and you’d think that it would be a breeze for such an experienced actor as Redmayne. As it turns out, The Theory of Everything actor suffered from stage fright initially performing in the role, as handling the magic wand felt quite awkward. 

The Oscar-winning actor recently sat down with Vanity Fair and broke down some of the highlights from his lengthy acting career. When discussing his work within the Fantastic Beasts franchise, the actor expressed his gratitude towards the trilogy, while also revealing some of the more stressful aspects of taking on the Newt Scamander role. He said:

When we started on the first Fantastic Beasts, there were things that were very stressful. Like having a wand is like your childhood dream, but suddenly you're presented with this thing and you get complete stage fright. I don't have a clue what to do with it.

I completely understand why this would feel so strange. Before masterful special effects artists put in all the visuals that make the Wizarding World so magical, the actors must feel like they’re holding an arbitrary stick. Acting without the visual magic in front of the performer is probably a major adjustment. Thankfully, Redmayne was able to adapt and gave a “fantastic” performance during his tenure within the Wizarding World. The actor went on to say:

You became very blasé about that stuff and about the kind of everydayness of having a wand. But then, the joy of those films was getting to watch new actors come in and be presented with their wand and watching the inner kid just reveal itself, from everyone and anyone, however extraordinary the actor.

Clearly Eddie Redmayne was not unique in experiencing an initial awkwardness when holding a magical wand while filming a Harry Potter-related film. Even the most experienced actors had a learning curve when presented with such an iconic prop at first. I can only imagine how cast members like Mads Mikkelsen and Jude Law felt holding a wand for the first time. Luckily, everyone in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy are true acting professionals and convinced audiences that they’d been handling these wizarding objects their entire lives. 

Redmayne is not the only one who has expressed wand troubles while making a film in the Wizarding World. Daniel Radcliffe famously broke several wands while pretending to use them as drum sticks while shooting the Harry Potter films. Robert Pattinson, who played Cedric Diggory in The Goblet of Fire, also revealed that he felt dorky holding the magic wand while shooting the film. In turn, he thought holding the wand like a gun to make it seem cooler. Who knew learning how to handle a wand would be such a hurdle for so many Potter actors?

You can experience Eddie Redmayne masterfully wielding a wand in the Fantastic Beasts movies, which are all currently streaming for HBO Max subscribers. In addition, Netflix subscribers can catch Redmayne in his latest film, The Good Nurse, where he stars alongside Jessica Chastain. For more information on other films hitting streaming later this year, make sure to consult our 2022 movie release schedule.

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