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From Academy Awards to a Harry Potter franchise, is Redmayne the world’s most versatile actor?
However, this month he leads an all-star cast in Netflix’s most important film of the year, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and starts filming the next installment of the world’s most popular franchise…
In Kettle’s Yard Art Gallery in Cambridge, sat on top of a dark mahogany piano is a marble sculpture called Prometheus made by Constantin Brâncusi. It is the one piece of art that Eddie Redmayne would save in the case of ultimate catastrophe.
The actor who studied Art History at Cambridge University tells me about it as we leave the film set of the third installment of Fantastic Beasts in the early days of an autumn that, we suspect, we will never forget.
Eddie Redmayne loves the arts. Not only is he knowledgeable about sculptures, painters and artists, but in his downtime he sketches and even plays the piano. It’s no surprise then that he started his career on theatre boards, despite several people warning him that he would not survive in it.
“Many people took it upon themselves to tell me that it would never work, that only extraordinary cases achieve it and that I could not make a living from this professionally.” Even his father came home one day with a list of statistics on unemployed young actors and gave it to him.
Redmayne comes across as modest, polite and with a dry (but sharp) sense of humour. He adds: “But I enjoyed theatre so much that I got to the point of thinking that if I could only do one play a year for the rest of my life… I would do it. And that would completely fulfil me.”
Taking a page out of the playbook that brought the ensemble film Spotlight two supporting acting nominations en route to a best picture Oscar win, the entire cast of The Trial of the Chicago 7 — among them Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance and Jeremy Strong — will be pushed for awards in the supporting actor category, The Hollywood Reporter has learned from sources close to the film.
The period piece drama, which was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, has generated rave reviews from critics and, since dropping on Netflix on Oct. 16, widespread buzz among the general public, with strong notices spread among its numerous well-known actors — some of whom, such as Cohen, have more screen time than others, like Keaton, who essentially makes a glorified cameo.
Trial of the Chicago 7 is an obvious leading contender for the best ensemble SAG Award. But, in terms of positioning its individual performers, a situation like this can play out in different ways. For instance, Netflix has another 2020 ensemble film, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, but the preponderance of reactions to it have hailed Delroy Lindo as the cast’s main standout, hence the decision to position him as a lead actor and the rest of the cast as supporting actors. But with Trial of the Chicago 7, there was no clear lead or runaway favorite.
In my unscientific assessment, Baron Cohen, for his portrayal of Abbie Hoffman, probably has slightly more buzz than his castmates (and may have curried additional favor with those who have seen his completely different performance in the new and popular Borat Subsequent Movie). But in this most unusual year, with the pandemic sidelining many would-be contenders, the supporting actor category is relatively thin, which leads me — and apparently those associated with the film — to believe that they might be able to snag multiple noms.
We interview The Trial of the Chicago 7 star Eddie Redmayne about his research into playing Tom Hayden and the film’s parallels to modern times.
The Trial of the Chicago 7, which begins streaming on Netflix October 16, tackles the backlash anti-Vietnam War protesters faced in 1968. While it is a historical drama, Aaron Sorkin dramatizes the lives and perspectives of various protestors in his script.
One of the Seven was activist Tom Hayden, who is played by Eddie Redmayne in the film. The actor spoke with Screen Rant about the lessons he learned during his research and while on set.
You play Tom Hayden, a noted activist. What did you learn about him that most people may not know while you were researching him? What do you think people can learn from his journey during the course of this film?
Eddie Redmayne: I knew nothing about Tom before. I knew nothing about this story before I read the script, and I found is so sort of thrilling to read. I found it was this weird mixture of emotional and funny, and yet it informed me about this moment I knew nothing about. It was just a delight, really, to get to research Tom’s life.
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