He’s not yet 40, but Eddie Redmayne OBE is already one of our foremost actors, bagging Oscar, Tony and Olivier awards for his boundary-pushing roles.
Now, as his latest film takes him, literally, to new heights, he talks to Gavanndra Hodge about the mayhem of family life, and being reunited with his ‘work wife’
Eddie Redmayne is desperate for a coffee. It’s 9am but he’s been up since five with his one-year-old son, Luke, and three-year-old daughter, Iris. ‘Several nappies have been changed,’ he explains. And yet he looks almost preternaturally fresh, eyes bright, skin unlined, wearing a posset-free Brunello Cucinelli shirt, gracefully hurdling over the back of the banquette to find
a waitress from whom to order a latte.
Redmayne, 37, is one of our foremost actors, celebrated for extreme physical transformations and subtle emotional power. He won the best actor Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal of the late physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and the following year was nominated for The Danish Girl, in which he played Lili Elbe, an artist who was one of the first people to have gender reassignment surgery. He has won Tony and Olivier awards for his theatre work, has been awarded an OBE for services to drama, and has delighted Harry Potter fans with his ongoing portrayal of supernatural zoologist Newt Scamander in JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts franchise. The clip of him as Marius in Les Misérables, dashing and disconsolate, singing Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, has been viewed more that 80,000 times on YouTube.
Redmayne’s latest film is The Aeronauts, a period adventure featuring gas balloons and impressively whiskered Victorians – it is basically Gravity in tweed. Redmayne plays the meteorologist James Glaisher, who ascended to 37,000ft in a balloon, higher than anyone had gone before, in order to gather scientific data. In real life, this perilous trip was skippered by Henry Coxwell, but for the purposes of romantic frisson and anachronistic gender equality, Coxwell has morphed into the fictional balloonist Amelia Wren, played by Felicity Jones, formerly Jane Hawking to Redmayne’s Stephen.
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As they take to the skies in a sumptuous new Victorian drama, Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne discuss their friendship with Giles Hattersley in the November issue of British Vogue.
Last year, Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne spent several months together in a wicker basket making a movie called The Aeronauts, about madcap Victorian balloonists. Based on real events from the 19th century, when gas balloons first soared to the heights of today’s commercial passenger jets in order to predict the weather, the film chronicles a circus-meets-science mission of daredevilry, for which Jones’s character spends most of her time wearing a corset at 37,000ft.
“When my agents sent me the script my first question was,” says Redmayne, his voice dropping into feigned diva-ishness, “‘Who’s playing Amelia?’” Jones interjects: “I mean, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a basket with someone you didn’t get on with for months.”
Although it would be easy to assume The Aeronauts was all green screen, Jones and Redmayne spent a few days up in an actual balloon, packed in next to a pilot with a small army of camera-laden helicopters and drones in hot pursuit across Oxfordshire – which nearly put an end to both of them. “We were in our costumes going up and Felicity was having to jump up and sit in the ring,” begins Redmayne. “The pilot says to Felicity and I, ‘Throw out the ballast!’” Jones chimes in: “So we threw out everything in the balloon. And then we’d thrown out too much.”
“We were careening towards a forest and didn’t have anything to stop us,” continues Redmayne. “We smashed into these trees…” Jones concludes: “We were grabbing on to each other, thinking, ‘This could be it.’ Then we crash landed in a field.”
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Eddie Redmayne has described the “absolutely wonderful” experience of being reunited with Felicity Jones on screen.
The pair first teamed up on 2014’s The Theory of Everything which earned Redmayne an Oscar.
Now they’re returning with The Aeronauts, which premiered in Toronto on Sunday.
“When someone suggested it, I thought oh yes, that would be amazing,” Redmayne said of their reunion.
“It was absolutely wonderful. It was one of those things where we’d had the most intense and extraordinary experience making The Theory of Everything, and when we were offered this script it was that slight nervousness of ‘Do we go back?’
“But we enjoyed that experience so much, so we called each other up and I was like, ‘I’ll do it if you do it’. And I’m so thrilled we did because it was a ride.”
Set in 1862, The Aeronauts follows balloonist Amelia Wren and meteorologist James Glaisher, whose goal is to fly higher than anyone in history.
But they face both physical and emotional challenges as the altitude increases, and the pair eventually have to fight for survival as the air thins.
The film is directed by Tom Harper and written by Jack Thorne, who is well known for scripting the Harry Potter play.
“For me it’s a film about wonder,” Redmayne told BBC News. “And we’re in a world in which, and I’m a massive culprit of it, we spend so much time looking at our phones and looking down, and for me the film is about looking up, so that’s what attracted me to it.”
Jones said the pair have a good working relationship because of their similar approach to filmmaking.
“We’re such great friends and we’re both very meticulous, we push each other, it can be quite an intense process working together,” she explained.
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Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne will be reunited on screen at this year’s BFI London Film Festival in adventure movie The Aeronauts.
The pair were both Oscar-nominated for 2014’s The Theory of Everything with Redmayne winning for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking.
This year’s festival will host the European premiere of The Aeronauts.
It tells the story of an attempt to fly a gas balloon higher than anyone has before.
It was previously been announced the 11-day long celebration of film will open and close with two other European premieres – Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield and Martin Scorsese’s mob epic The Irishman, which stars Oscar winners Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.
Other films that will be shown during the Festival include whodunit mystery Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig and Avengers star Chris Evans, and The King, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts One and Two and Henry V, starring Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson.
There will also be Gala Premieres of Avengers star Scarlett Johansson’s two most recent movies, the wartime satire Jojo Rabbit, where she plays the mother of a young boy whose imaginary friend is an idiotic version of Hitler, and Marriage Story where she stars opposite Star Wars actor Adam Driver in the story of a couple’s difficult break up.
The festival will screen a total of 229 features with around one in three of those coming from female film-makers representing a slight increase from last 2018’s programme.
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Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” a period drama that reunites “The Theory of Everything” stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, is one of more than 80 features and 20 shorts that have been added to the lineup at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF organizers announced on Tuesday.
“The Aeronauts” is one of two new galas, the other being Giuseppe Capotondi’s thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” with Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debecki and Mick Jagger. Other films added to the lineup include new work by Terrence Malick, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Noah Hawley, Olivier Assayas, Trey Edward Shults, Ken Loach and Gael Garcia Bernal.
The two new galas complete that section in Toronto at 20 films, while 16 new Special Presentations bring that section to 55. The additions include Kenny Leon’s “American Son”; Jason Lei Howden’s “Guns Akimbo,” with Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving; Marc Meyers’ “Human Capital,” with Liev Schreiber and Marisa Tomei; Max Winkler’s “Jungleland,” with Jack O’Connell and Charlie Hunnam; Noah Hawley’s “Lucy in the Sky,” with Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm; Trey Edward Shults’ “Waves,” with Lucas Hedges and Sterling K. Brown; and Benedict Andrews’ “Seberg,” starring Kristen Stewart as the French actress Jean Seberg. [Source]
The Aeronauts, a film designed for IMAX and filmed partially with IMAX cameras, will no longer be headed to IMAX theaters. Last week, Amazon Studios changed its release plan for the Eddie Redmayne–Felicity Jones-led drama, pushing its theatrical run back from October 25—with one week exclusively in IMAX—to December 6, leaving just two weeks in theaters before it begins streaming on Amazon. When the news broke, Collider’s Adam Chitwood questioned what that meant for the film’s IMAX chances. According to THR, those chances just fell out of the wicker basket completely.
“We don’t expect to be part of that release,” IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said during an earnings call, suggesting that the exhibitor isn’t likey to play host to a film that doesn’t honor the 90-day exclusive theatrical window.
Directed by Tom Harper (Wild Rose) and written by Jack Thorne (National Treasure), The Aeronauts follows widow Amelia Wren (Jones) and scientist James Glaisher (Redmayne) as they attempt to set the record for the highest hot air balloon ride in history. The 1862-set movie has been pretty obviously positioned as Amazon Studio’s big Oscar hopeful this year; Manchester By the Sea earned the streamer two Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, but the studio has yet to take home the big one, Best Picture, since it started producing original films. It’ll be mighty interesting to keep an eye on how The Aeronauts‘ miniature theatrical run impacts its 2019 Oscar chances. [Source]
Amazon Studios is pushing back the release of its Eddie Redmayne–Felicity Jones drama The Aeronauts from Oct. 25 to Dec. 6, and cutting the film’s theatrical window to just two weeks, as it is now expected to begin streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 20.
Directed by Tom Harper, The Aeronauts is set in 1862 and follows wealthy young widow Amelia Wren (Jones) and headstrong scientist James Glaisher (Redmayne) as they mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history. It’s a journey to the edge of a then-known world, where the air is thin and the chances of survival are slim.
The Aeronauts had been slated to receive a traditional theatrical release, including a one-week IMAX engagement. In fact, key action sequences within a hot air balloon were designed with IMAX viewers in mind, but now, the entire IMAX release is, pardon the pun, up in the air.
According to Deadline, Redmayne and Jones were supportive of the decision, which Amazon made with the goal of driving curious film fans towards its streaming service, Amazon Prime Video. I understand collapsing the theatrical window for Sundance acquisitions like Brittany Runs a Marathon, The Report or Honey Boy, but The Aeronauts seems like a movie that’s intended to be seen on the big screen. So on that front, this move feels like something of a blow.
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Keira Knightley, Eddie Redmayne and Carey Mulligan are among the celebrities to model Tk Maxx’s new Comic Relief charity T-shirts.
The high street retailer has been working with Comic Relief since 2005, and has once again joined forces with the charity drive, which holds a biennial event called Red Nose Day, to help raise money through the sale of special T-shirts.
This year, the garment has had a Disney makeover, with drawings of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Bambi, Eeyore and Dumbo, all with an added red nose, adorning adults’ and kids’ T-shirts and a kitchen apron. Legendary artist Sir Peter Blake has also created a limited-edition design, bringing Mickey Mouse and pop art together exclusively for Red Nose Day.
Sophie Dahl, rockers The 1975, Lottie Moss, Poppy Delevingne, Victoria actress Jenna Coleman and a host of other British stars are also a part of the campaign, which was shot by Greg Williams.
Introducing a video explaining how the Red Nose Day T-shirts helps Ugandan farmers, who grow Fairtrade cotton, supported by TK Maxx’s sustainable trade program, Keira says: “Like the T-shirt? Wait until you hear the story behind it. Watch this little film from Comic Relief and TK Maxx.”
Prices range from $9 – $22 with at least $6 from the sale of each adult tee and $3 from each kids’ tee going to Comic Relief to help vulnerable people in the U.K. and some of the world’s poorest communities.
A Disney spokesperson told Cover Media: “We are delighted to have inspired this year’s range for Red Nose Day. It’s great that our much-loved characters will put smiles on people’s faces and help raise vital funds to bring comfort and inspiration to vulnerable children and their families in the U.K. and further afield.”
Red Nose Day 2019 takes place on 15 March (19). [Source]