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Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, who gave us unforgettable performances as Marius Pontmercy in “Les Miserables” and as physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” is back with another memorable portrayal of American social and political activist, author and politician Tom Hayden in the Aaron Sorkin-helmed drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
The 38-year-old British actor talked to us recently about his new film and what he learned from the pandemic as he isolates in London with his wife Hannah Bagshawe and their two kids — Iris, 4, and Luke, 2.
Where are you right now?
I am in the U.K. I am back to work, which is interesting and it’s lovely to be back to work actually, albeit in a sort of new normal really. But it’s exciting to be back and acting again.
Did portraying Tom Hayden make you more determined to be more of an activist?
I think, it’s an incredibly complicated question that, and one that I still honestly battle with on a daily basis. Because of the world we live in now, people in the public eye who may have no association with anything political, are given a voice that is perhaps unbalanced.
I believe that, of course we all have our own thoughts, we all have our own causes and beliefs that we are deeply passionate about, and I think that one of the great gifts about being an actor and people getting to see your films is that your voice can be amplified. So with that comes a wonderful thing in the sense that when there are things that you believe don’t have enough attention, you can try and amplify it.
At the same point, you have to be careful, because of course you come from a place of great privilege and there is this kind of, we are very lucky if you are a working actor, you live a good life and you have to be careful that you don’t end up playing through your own, you end up basically looking elitist and for basically sort of undermining the cause that you are passionate about. So my question to myself continuously is what are the things that are important to me?
I try and be an activist in my own personal way, for example here during lockdown in the United Kingdom, people with motor neuron disease, like ALS, weren’t put on the extremely vulnerable list, which was a list that allowed various special treatment I suppose with regards to care and with regards to getting food. And I found that quite shocking.
So the way that was for me, was writing our local constituency politician, and I threw the motor neuron organization that I work with, I am a patron there and I was getting on cross party Zoom calls to discuss why this was happening. So I try to do it at a place that is I suppose a grassroots level.
That being said, there are times when communities don’t have a voice that is as amplified as yours and I feel it is important in those moments just to speak up. I am still trying to work out on a daily basis what my role is. And it gets confused for people in the public eye because our voice is often louder than most people’s because of that amplification.
For Issue 72 of The Rake Magazine, we were delighted to have the brilliant Eddie Redmayne grace the cover. Eddie sets the tone with good nature, kindness and great style. Shot in London, take a look at the behind the scenes footage from the day.
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Streaming giant Netflix has closed a worldwide rights deal for Aaron Sorkin’s star-studded “The Trial of the Chicago 7” from Cross Creek Pictures for release later this year.
Variety first reported on June 20 that Netflix was in negotiations for the property. The drama recaps the trial that followed what were intended to be peaceful protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The organizers of the protest — including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale — were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot.
Hoffman is portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen with Eddie Redmayne as Hayden, Jeremy Strong as Rubin and Yahya Abdul-Mateen as Seale. Michael Keaton portrays Ramsey Clark, John Carroll Lynch portrays defendant David Dellinger, Alex Sharp plays defendant Rennie Davis and Frank Langella plays presiding judge Julius Hoffman. Mark Rylance portrays attorney William Kuntsler.
Netflix is expected to release “The Trial of the Chicago 7” as a potential awards contender. With its political themes at the center of the story, it would not be a surprise if the movie is released prior to Election Day on Nov. 3. [Source]
Netflix is negotiating a deal to acquire global rights to Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” from Cross Creek Pictures, Variety has learned.
The film follows the Chicago Seven, a group of seven activists who were charged by the federal government with conspiracy, inciting to riot and other charges stemming from anti-Vietnam War protests that broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Intended as peaceful protests, they instead devolved into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale, and their trial was one of the most notorious in history. It’s a hot-button story, one that is sure to resonate in a presidential election year and at a time when protests over racial injustice are breaking out across the country. Cross Creek financed and produced the film.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” has a starry cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance. Sorkin, best known for penning the scripts to “The Social Network” and “A Few Good Men” and creating “The West Wing,” directed and wrote the film. He previously helmed “Molly’s Game,” the story of the woman behind an underground poker empire. Jessica Chastain starred and Sorkin picked up an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. He previously won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “The Social Network.”
Eddie Redmayne, star of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, is speaking out against J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans tweets, as the controversy surrounding the author and her beliefs continues to swirl.
“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said in a statement provided to Variety. “This is an ongoing process.”
“As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand,” he continued. “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
Rowling, the creator of “Harry Potter” and its “Fantastic Beasts” spinoff series, posted a series of tweets on Saturday arguing that discussion of gender identity invalidates biological sex.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” Rowling wrote. “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — ie, to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense.”
Queer activists and organizations such as GLAAD, as well as fans of the series, denounced Rowling’s comments, noting that they denied the lived consequences of trans people’s experiences.
In addition to his work as Newt Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts,” Redmayne earned an Oscar nomination for his work in “The Danish Girl.” He played Lili Elbe, a Danish transgender woman who was among the early recipients of sex reassignment surgery.
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