Eddie Redmayne is about to kick off a whole new “Harry Potter” franchise with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” but the film technically isn’t his first attempt at being a part of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
Yes, Redmayne is now an Oscar-winner and a bona fide movie star, but he used to be just another struggling young British actor who would’ve loved to be a part of the successful run of “Harry Potter” films. And he certainly tried.
“When I was at university, they were casting the net quite wide for Tom Riddle, the young Voldemort in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,’” Redmayne said during a recent interview.
“I had gotten an audition. I think I was seeing the casting director’s eighth assistant,” he explained. “I remember surviving about three and a half lines of the first scene before I was shown the door, so I wasn’t very successful. It wasn’t the greatest introduction to the ‘Harry Potter’ world.”
But with another six movies still to come, Redmayne held out hope that his natural gifts would help him find a place in the franchise before was over.
“I definitely thought having a slight ginger gene there must be some distant relative of a Weasley I could be,” he said. “I had lots of friends -- Robert Pattinson did the film and then Domhnall Gleeson played a Weasley. They would come back with wonderful tales. But I never got the call.”
That wasn’t the only major franchise Redmayne tried -- but failed -- to be a part of. He also revealed during a chat with the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that he read for a role in “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” -- one he suspects turned out to be villain Kylo Ren.
“I was going for, I think, Adam Driver. They gave me, like, a ‘Star Trek’ scene, or like something from ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ It was one of those films,” he remembered. “With films that top secret, they don’t give you the actual lines, so they give you a scene from ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the baddie. If you’re me, you then put some ridiculous voice on.”
That tactic, apparently, didn’t go over so well.
“[The casting director] was just sitting there and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of ‘koohh paaaah’ voice. And after, like, 10 shots she’s like, ‘You got anything else?’ I was like, ‘No.’”
Of course, while Redmayne assumed the “baddie” would’ve been Driver’s character, it seems more likely he was reading for the role of General Hux, the role that went to pal Gleeson -- especially considering their similar looks.