NEW YORK, Nov. 6 (UPI) — Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne admits he felt a smidge of anxiety playing the lead in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
The Harry Potter prequel is set in 1920s New York and follows the globe-trotting adventures of Redmayne’s character, the renowned magizoologist Newt Scamander. The screenplay was penned by J.K. Rowling, creator of the “Potter” books and movies.
Asked at a recent global fan event for the film if he felt an intense responsibility to Wizarding World fans since Rowling had created a mythical world so many treasure, Redmayne confessed: “The honest answer is I feel enormous pressure, but that bridges kind of what I was saying before. We were all fans and we grew up watching these films and, for me, getting to go and see a ‘Potter’ film every couple of years was like diving into that warm, cozy place that made you happy about the world. I’m sure you guys relate, too, so we had quite high expectations on ourselves. We didn’t want to screw it up, but once we read the script and once you realize it was all those things that you were familiar with in J.K. Rowling’s world, all of that everyday magic…”
The actor went on to recall how he one day was wandering around the “Beasts” set and went to check out a newspaper stand meant to appear in the background of a scene. To his surprise, the newspapers featured actual, intricate and well-written articles on every page, not just the covers, even though it was not likely they would be seen on camera.
“That detail was just so intoxicating that I actually found that quite invigorating and, so, the pressure actually decreased for a moment and it’s only now when I’m meeting people and people are saying, ‘How are you dealing with the pressure?’ that I start to really feel it again.”
The movie is to open nationwide on Nov. 18.