The skinny on the casting of the main cast of the two parts of Fantastic Beasts. Here’s the segment on Eddie:
Nearly 15 years after the search for an unknown British actor to play Harry Potter, producer David Heyman had another famous wizard to cast – Newt Scamander. But this time there would be no great search, and the actor wouldn’t be totally unknown. ‘From the outset, Eddie Redmayne was our first and only choice,’ Heyman once wrote in the Telegraph. ‘He has all the elements required to be Newt: he&rsqu o;s smart, funny, utterly British, and immensely sympathetic – even as an outsider more comfortable with his beasts than with people.’
Beyond Newt, of course, Redmayne is best known for his Oscar-winning portrayal of the late physicist Stephen Hawking, whom he played in 2014 biopic The Theory of Everything. Two years later, he was reintroduced to the world as the star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where he led a new generation of talent (Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Ezra Miller) into a new era (well, the 1920s) for the Wizarding World.
As Newt, he portrayed a different kind of hero than Harry Potter. For one, he was an adult, which was reflected in the film’s mature tone. And two, he played Newt slightly more awkward, more shy and more reserved – a hero who, as Heyman said, was more ‘comfortable with his beasts than with people’. For the forthcoming second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which moves the action from New York to Paris, Newt will begin to take on a pivotal role in a larger story – as he’s asked by Albus Dumbledore himself to forestall the rise of Gellert Grindelwald.
Plus casting profiles on these stars, and Zoe Kravitz, Jude Law and Ezra Miller.