Eddie Redmayne has said he is “just winging it,” while reflecting on his hugely successful acting career and latest project.
The 40-year-old British actor is best known for his complex portrayals in biopics The Theory Of Everything and The Danish Girl, as well as his role in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Speaking to GQ Hype, Redmayne said: “I have no grand plan. I’m just winging it.”
The Oscar-winning actor did not attend a formal drama school before breaking into the acting world and instead read history of art at the University of Cambridge after completing his education at Eton College.
From the age of 10 Redmayne did, however, attend the Jackie Palmer Stage School where he discovered his passion for acting and singing.
After the release of his latest film, The Good Nurse, in which Redmayne plays real-life serial killer Charlie Cullen, he reflected on his very different role as Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts films.
“When I entered that world, I knew I was joining a machine that was so much bigger than me,” he said.
“It’s given me a huge amount and I’ve loved working with some of the best, most joyful actors in the world.
“Being able to come back to that every couple of years – in an industry that is nomadic and circus-like – that continuity has been wonderful.”
However, Redmayne acknowledged that he is always looking for a challenge and was ready for a new project, adding: “What’s become clear to me is that comfort and I don’t go very well together.
“So I’m always looking for ways to push myself outside my comfort zone.”
The Good Nurse, for which Redmayne attended nursing school in preparation, sees nurse Amy Loughren – played by Jessica Chastain – become suspicious that her colleague Charlie Cullen is responsible for a series of patient deaths.
The film, directed by Tobias Lindholm, is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Charles Graeber, which is in turn based on the true story of serial killer Charlie who murdered numerous patients during the course of his 16-year career as a nurse in New Jersey.
Speaking about the source of his creativity, Redmayne didn’t attribute it to a particular project, but told the magazine: “Acting is a weird mix of control and freedom.
“When you make films, you kind of lose control. You’re a cog in that thing. You can work on the script for ages, but there comes a point where you have to give that away, and that’s a complex thing, you know?
“At its very best, you’re doing it with someone you trust and you therefore feel completely free.
“But it doesn’t always work like that.”
The full interview with Eddie Redmayne is available online at GQ Hype now.