Eddie Redmayne Admits His Jupiter Ascending Performance Was Bad

Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending
(Image credit: (Warner Bros.))

Actor Eddie Redmayne has had quite the incredible career, propelled by his breakout roles in My Week With Marilyn and Les Misérables, he quickly played two Oscar nominated roles as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. Sandwiched in between his most celebrated roles is his downright strangest acting choices in 2015's Jupiter Ascending. If you sat through Redmayne's performances as intergalactic business mogul Balem, it doesn't play at the actor's strengths. Don't worry though, Redmayne knows it too. In his words:

I won a prize for it for the worst performance of the year. So, yeah, it was a pretty bad performance by all accounts.

When it comes to acting roles, not all of them can be winners. But as Eddie Redmayne recounts in his interview with GQ, he won a Razzie Award for his Jupiter Ascending role. So even when he cracked a terrible performance, he got recognized for it even if it was Worst Supporting Actor. The sci-fi box office disaster by the Wachowski siblings had Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum traveling around the galaxy with Redmayne's Balem starring as the villain. His performance featured a very specific choice to have a hushed voice, which Redmayne explained his reasoning behind:

In Jupiter Ascending, my character had had his larynx ripped out by this wolf man, and so I made the slightly bold choice, which I thought was right, of talking like this for the whole film. Which I felt sort of suited the costumes and the extremity of the world, but in retrospect, it may have been too much.

If the creepy whispers weren't enough, Balem also went into another extreme of forehead-vein-pulsating screeches making the performance... a bit much. Jupiter Ascending was a disappointment overall, as it only made $18 million in its opening weekend with a $176 million production budget. Warner Bros. might have barely made back its money with the film's overall worldwide gross of $183 million before leaving theaters. So Eddie Redmayne was just bad in a bad movie, what would have been worse was being a weak link of an incredible film.

While considering the box office numbers, not many people even saw Eddie Redmayne's performance in Jupiter Ascending, it's nice to see the actor not taking his little performance blunder too seriously and being able to move past it. The Wachowskis may have been behind sci-fi favorites such as The Matrix films and Netflix's Sense8, but Jupiter Ascending just didn't hit the right notes with audiences. Redmayne said he signed on to the film because he loved the weirdness of 2012's Cloud Atlas and never felt so free with the sibling's directing him on set.

Eddie Redmayne will reprise his much more friendly and level-headed role as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald on November 16.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.