Eddie Redmayne: “I loved the Harry Potter films – you don’t want to be the one who screws it up”

The Fantastic Beasts star is feeling the pressure – but he has Colin Farrell to give him nerve-calming back massages

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Eddie Redmayne has revealed the pressure and nerves he feels about his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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He plays Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off, and has said that because he enjoyed the Daniel Radcliffe movies so much, he felt a whole new kind of pressure for this role:

“Of course you feel pressure. Also, particularly because I loved the Potter films. There was something so warming about being able to dive back into that world every year or two. And if you’ve enjoyed something, you don’t want to be the one who comes in and screws it up,” he told the Guardian.

“But pressure’s there with every film,” he continued. “With The Theory of Everything it was knowing Stephen and Jane and the family would see the film. With The Danish Girl it was all the people that I’d met in preparation for the film who came from the trans community. It’s pressure here of a different type, which is called hardcore fandom.”

During promotion for Fantastic Beasts, Redmayne had to introduce the franchise to thousands of screaming fans, including several already dressed as Newt Scamander. The actor, who already suffers from near-crippling nerves, recalled this moment at Comic-Con in San Diego in the summer. “That was so intense,” he said. “The whole situation is created like you are meant to go on like a rock star. I remember feeling really nervous beforehand, waiting in the wings, and [co-star] Colin Farrell was giving me a little back massage going, ‘It’s going to be fine, Eddie, it’s going to be fine.’”

If this trailer is anything to go by, Eddie Redmayne has nothing to worry about at all.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits UK cinemas on 17 November