Eddie Redmayne scored the role of a lifetime when he was cast as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But playing a wizard is not easy stuff. Convincing audiences that you have magical powers when you're just a plain old Muggle is pretty tricky. And everybody knows, the wand flourish is key. That's why Redmayne took a cue from a few old pros from the Harry Potter movies.
Redmayne sat down with co-star Katherine Waterston at Entertainment Weekly's PopFest in L.A. this weekend to talk about prepping for the film — where he revealed that the wand rehearsals in particular were stressful. “I hadn’t realized it, but subconsciously it’d been like, 33 years of drum roll to that moment," the actor said. "And so the nerves were pretty high when I picked up that wand... But we got quite into it, we went to these wand-work sessions, all of us, it was really funny.”
So, how did he overcome his wand-wielding nerves? By doing what we all do on the reg, and re-watching Harry Potter movies. "What I then did a couple of days later, after my catastrophic first day, [was] go and watch what Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] and Emma [Watson] did, and steal their best bits." (Um, by the way Eddie, we're pretty sure that's called wand-plagiarism, and that you could be thrown in Azkaban for that kind of stuff.)
Consider for a moment the wonderful irony of the whole situation. In Harry Potter, Harry, Ron, and Hermione study from the book that Newt Scamander ended up writing. Now, the actor playing him is learning from the actors that played the Gryffindor students. It all comes full circle in the wizarding world!
Watch more of the interview, below.