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Andy Parsons

Eddie Redmayne on green-screen silliness, doing the hokey cokey on set and childhood obsessions

We chat to the 'Fantastic Beasts' star about where he'd go in an invisibility cloak, his favourite fantastic beast and weird fan interactions

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Were you an obsessive fan of anything as a kid?
‘“Thundercats” – if I hear the theme music I get nostalgic. And Dennis the Menace. I was a member of the Dennis the Menace fan club, which meant that you got a Gnasher badge.’

Which of the cast is most obsessed with Harry Potter?
‘Ezra Miller. There’s no question. He understands it on so many levels. He could write a dissertation on it.’

Did you ever need him to explain anything during filming?
‘In the first film, Samantha Morton’s character says “Are you a seeker? A seeker after truth?” and Newt’s line is “No, I’m more of a chaser, really.” And Ezra was like, “Dude, you have the greatest line.” I was like, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah… why?” And then I was like, “Oh my God, the quidditch reference!” I hadn’t realised that was the whole thing. It took Ezra to point it out to me, embarrassingly.’

Were there any funny moments?
‘There was one moment in which I tried to get Katherine and Dan [Fogler] to do the hokey cokey. And it transpires that in America it’s called the “hokey pokey”, which I think sounds a bit sexual and dirty… They laughed me off the set for thinking it was the “hokey cokey”.’

What’s it like filming green-screen scenes?
‘All the poor stunt guys are always covered up in green morph suits, zipped over their faces – they look like green sperms. And for all the Warner Brothers “Fantastic Beasts” budget, there’s a scene in which we have to walk down some stairs to the banks of the Seine and they couldn’t afford the stairs. So there’s a really serious moment where me, Dan and Katherine are like, “We have to walk fast” and… [mimes walking down a staircase]. I think it’s been cut because I was so bad at it.’

If you were given an invisibility cloak, where would you go?
‘The Raphael Cartoons room at the V&A. I love the V&A. It’s a proper old-school museum: you can get seriously lost in it. In fact, I did get lost in it the other day.’

Which is your favourite beast?
‘Pickett, for loyalty, but a baby niffler for cuteness on steroids.’

What would your own fantastic beast look like?
‘When I did the Potter Patronus [advanced magic] thing I was a basset hound. I was so excited because I’d forgotten how much I love basset hounds. So I think it would be Dumbo-esque but of the basset hound variety, with massive long floppy ears and maybe it would just have a startling singing voice.’

Any weird fan interactions?
‘Seeing people dressed up. There was one extraordinary Pickett.’

If you had a suitcase like Newt’s, where would it take you to?
‘The Maldives.’

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