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Entertainment Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role

01:00  14 december  2016
01:00  14 december  2016 Source:   mirror.co.uk

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  Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role © Provided by Mirror Challenging roles don’t tend to faze Eddie Redmayne.

A young Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything? Not a problem. A transgender artist in The Danish Girl? All fine.

You’d think a foray into the fantastical with the long-awaited Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be a welcome reprieve.

Yet the thought of having to do a mating dance with a monster in his latest movie nearly sent him fleeing for the goblin-inhabited hills.

In one scene, his character, “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, has to try to tame a giant lovesick Urupant – that’s a cross between a hippo and an elephant, for the uninitiated.

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And it gave the star more heebie jeebies than any monster ever could.

  Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role © Provided by Mirror He laughs about it now, but recalls: “The two words ‘mating dance’ gave me sleepless nights for months.

“So I went into a rehearsal room in London and looked at all these YouTube videos of animals doing mating things and I just made a fool of myself for two weeks practising.

“The director, David Yates, has all these videos of me doing different mating dances which were so embarrassing they could end my career.”

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Ironically, in real life, 34-year-old Eddie keeps his distance from most animals – because there’s nothing magic about the rash that appears out of nowhere if he gets too close.

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“I had a dog when I was younger but I am deeply allergic to cats and to horses and things,” he says.

“So it’s slightly embarrassing when I’m staying with my wife Hannah’s family and there is always this one chair where the cat sits and I sort of come out in hives. Here am I playing a guy who keeps all these fantastic beasts but I can’t cope with cat hair.”

  Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role © Provided by Mirror But there is one animal who has a special place in the life of new dad Eddie – and in his baggage. A bear called Frank, who travels everywhere in a suitcase and made a special appearance when Eddie’s daughter Iris was born in the summer.

Eddie explains with a laugh: “Hannah made me explicitly promise not to talk about Frank the Bear but I’m going to share it anyway.

“Early on in our relationship we were going on a holiday to Italy and easyJet was selling this bear, Frank.

“He has a little easyJet tattoo on his foot and you win 250 quid if you take a photo of Frank in exotic location – and some free flights I think.

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“We were like, ‘We can do this, we can nail this.’ So Frank has become like the other person in our relationship and when Iris arrived into the world Frank was sitting in her little crib.

"So Frank comes everywhere in my case. He’s in New York with me at the moment. He is sort of my fantastic beast.”

Fantastic Beasts – first of five films created by Harry Potter author JK Rowling – sees Newt Scam-ander arrive in 1920s New York to find and document an array of magical creatures, which he keeps in his case. Chaos erupts when some escape.

And Newt is far from a stereotypical hero. Eddie admits: “He is socially kind of awkward, struggles in relationships with humans and is kind of damaged.”

  Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role © Provided by Mirror Although set in New York – the mating scene is in Central Park – it was filmed entirely in London.

Eddie recalls: “My first meeting with JK Rowling was a week before we started filming and I had been working on the character for a few months and we only had an hour together.

“She is so formidable that there’s a kind of excitement to that in itself. We just talked about Newt for an hour, and it was riveting.

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“This film is in the world that we recognise from Harry Potter and it has the wonder and the complexity and the heart that those films had, but it is back to the 1920s.

"And our entrance into this world is through Newt, who went to Hogwarts and is British but he is coming to a different country.”

It helps that, as a child, Eddie was obsessed with magic.

He reveals: “I used to stay with my grandmother in Scotland and would make her take me to magic shops in Edinburgh.

“So when I was cast in this, she was so thrilled because she says she always knew there would be a wizard part out there for me!

“She came over to New York to Ellis Island not long after the time period of this film and ended up in Chicago. So talking to her about this moment of arriving in Ellis Island, which we recreated in the film, is riveting.”

The role in the children’s movie has also coincided nicely with Eddie becoming a dad to Iris in June.

And he is completely blown away by fatherhood.

He explains: “In the morning you hear a gentle squeak and you go in and turn on the light. She has a massive grin that’s like, ‘It’s a whole new day’.

"That’s probably the greatest thing. There’s this amazing thing, she’s always just one stop ahead of you, smiling you along. It’s great.”

Eddie and PR executive Hannah, 33, started dating in 2012 but first met in their school days, when he was at Eton – at the same time as Prince William – and Hannah attended a nearby girls’ school.

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The actor says he is looking forward to some family time in a break between film projects.

  Fantastic Beasts' star Eddie Redmayne reveals he had sleepless nights over his latest role © Provided by Mirror And no matter how much Hollywood magic comes his way, he’ll never get too big for his boots.

He says: “My belief is that if you go up, you have got to come down at some point.

“For The Theory of Everything I was quite low down on a list for the role and I got the opportunity as a consequence of people saying ‘no’ to it.

“In the film industry you are on lists and you have value and for a moment your value goes up, then it all disappears again.”

Not that Eddie need fret, as his jet-setting career soars higher and higher. So mascot Frank can expect plenty more travels...

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