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Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston Fantastic Beasts 2 Interview

Eddie and Katherine are thrilled to be back as Newt and Tina.

Nov 14, 2018

By: Lynn Barker

For Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston reprise their roles as Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein. At an interview recently in L.A., the duo told reporters about the couple’s relationship, working with Johnny Depp, why their costumes helped them get easily back into character and Eddie spilled a little about how a J.K. Rowling tweet sent them packing for South America.

Tina and Newt see trouble overheadTina and Newt see trouble overheadCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Eddie wished for a “Mini-Hagrid” and talked about his struggling, early days in Hollywood with then roomie Jamie Dornan and Katherine revealed her favorite gift from a fan. Let’s talk all things Newt and Tina!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer

Q: This movie is taking a hard turn for Newt and Tina as a couple.  

  • Eddie/Katherine: Oh yeah.
  • Eddie: She ran off with an auror.
  • Katherine: (laughs) I’m just going to drink my tea. You know what you did.
  • Eddie: Basically, a lot of our interviews have been like couples therapy.
  • Katherine: A lot of bickering.
  • Eddie: What Jo (Rowling) has managed to express is that often, in long distance relationships, any relationships, communication is essential and if these two could just sit down, have a cup of tea, maybe a martini, talk it through, they’d realize how all these…
  • Katherine: They’d work it out in about two minutes. Unfortunately, the world’s falling apart and we don’t have time to shoot the breeze.
  • Eddie: We’ve got wizards to detain.

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in the amphitheaterJohnny Depp as Grindelwald in the amphitheaterCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: What was it like working with Johnny Depp? I think this was one of his best performances.

  • Katherine: Cool. I didn’t get to. I was in the amphitheater (where Depp was speaking as Grindelwald) but up in the nosebleeds too much.
  • Eddie: That’s true, wasn’t it? I really only got to do the amphitheater scene with Johnny and it was extraordinary. They had built this amphitheater in Leavesden (studios). They had thousands of extras, supporting artists and Johnny had to, with that rhetoric, seduce them, entice them, rally them and it’s an amazing thing when it was like theater, playing to this gigantic (audience) in the round and also having a camera that was picking up all of that subtlety of all of the protagonists that he was taking in. It was a bit of a master class really.

Q: Do you think Newt Scamander and naturalist David Attenborough would be friends?

  • Katherine: One hundred percent.

Q: What would they talk about?

  • Eddie: What wouldn’t they talk about? I think they’d start with the issue with plastic. Plastic in the oceans would be the first thing they’d be dealing with. I think Newt could be kind of helpful there. I think a couple of spells could sort that out.
  • Katherine: Newt doesn’t encounter a lot of people that share his interests so I bet it would be really powerful.
  • Eddie: I’m hoping like a mini-Hagrid arrives in this series at some point. That would be kind of lovely.
  • Katherine: Yeah, a young Hagrid.

Eddie Redmayne as Newt ScamanderEddie Redmayne as Newt ScamanderCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: What have been your most memorable fan moments so far?

  • Katherine: Well, we were just in China and it’s the creativity of the fans that I think really blows our minds so much. They paint portraits of you and give you gifts, things they’ve made. On the first film, someone made this corn husk version of Tina with a little case and everything. I still have it. This imaginative world inspires people’s imaginations. Their creativity is really touching plus it takes time to make crafts to give people. It’s really sweet that they express their devotion that way.
  • Eddie: Today we were at the Wizarding World over at Universal Studios and there were lots of people dressed up as Newt but there was this one guy I saw. I remember having a conversation with Colleen Atwood about the shirt that Newt was going to wear in this film and she wanted it to have these tiny dots on so that you wouldn’t see in a wide shot but in IMAX, you would see the eccentricity of the tiny dots on his shirt. Unless you’ve looked very closely at a trailer you wouldn’t see that. There was this guy dressed as Newt with dots on his shirt. I was blown away by that.

Tina in a quiet momentTina in a quiet momentCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: We are left with a cliffhanger…

  • Eddie: Ta Ta Taaaaaa!

Q: Do you have any idea when the next movie will come out or……?

  • Eddie: There was a tweet. We got off a plane the other day and J.K. Rowling had tweeted that some of the next film would be set in Rio de Janeiro and that’s the first we heard. We were like carnival in Rockford! I would have to learn Portuguese.

Newt has a picture of Tina inside his caseNewt has a picture of Tina inside his caseCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: There are so many big moments in the film but also small, personal ones. Do you like those heartfelt moments or do you like the big stuff?

  • Katherine: It’s especially really fun going back and forth because sometimes the intense, emotional scenes are taxing in a certain way and certainly the big stunt stuff is physically taxing so it’s wonderful to be stretched in the different directions and use different parts of your brain on the same job. The two-hander scenes where we are playing off each other and trying to….
  • Eddie: No two days are ever the same. Trying to surprise each other.
  • Katherine: And play and the simplicity of that after doing these big, complicated scenes. Like (to Eddie), you were talking about the scene where you are on the Zouwu and you are trying to catch the case and it’s just massive physical obstacles, there is something peaceful in a way about it suddenly just being you and me.
  • Eddie: We’re neurotic so what happens is we go ‘Oh, we can’t wait for that scene’ then we get to that scene and we go ‘Oh, we’re failing. This is a disaster. I can’t wait to get back on that Zouwu and be thrown cases’.

Catch the case!Catch the case!Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Newt has a particular voice. How did you reacquire that?

  • Eddie: Finding it again was actually very easy because the amazing thing about doing these films is even though you do one every two years it never sort of stops because I did the audio book as Newt, you do the virtual reality thing. You come in and do additional shooting then you’re doing press for the DVD so the character never leaves you but I did have a worry going back into it, how easy would that be.

Tina behind barsTina behind barsCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • The key to this is Colleen Atwood, our costume designer because the second you put on Newt’s clothes you change a bit, the size of them, the shortness of the pants the boots, the overcoat, you instantly get back into who he was. Interestingly, we tried a new costume for this because that first scene when he’s in the Ministry, we wanted to show that his wings had been clipped a bit, so we tried, with costume things, putting Newt in a normal tie rather than the bow tie and both of us were like ‘Oh no! No, no, no. It can’t be that’.  It felt too odd.
  • Katherine: A lot of that stuff is instinctual really when you’re working with someone as brilliant as Colleen. It’s instinctual for her too and it’s very obvious when something is right or wrong. Similarly, with me, we tried on a skirt and I was like ‘are you kidding me?’ It just wasn’t right. But also, I find, maybe it’s a muscle memory thing but being back on the set with the same crew and even seeing Eddie as Newt, it just drops you back into that world so much. Thank God for that because it would be very stressful if we had to dig into it every time.

Newt with beastie Pickett the bowtruckleNewt with beastie Pickett the bowtruckleCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Eddie: But also, it’s a lovely thing when you have a couple of years in between, we never get that as actors, get to come back to parts, and weirdly, having set up the characters, they sort of marinate in you. It’s actually lovely to take them back out of the box.
  • Katherine: Yeah. It’s like a reunion with the character every time we come back. It’s really wonderful to get to return to someone. It’s like they’re waiting there for you or something.

Newt approaches a ZouwuNewt approaches a ZouwuCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: There was a scene cut from the script about Newt being unhappy about “Fantastic Beasts” being a huge success because it had ramifications about how wizards were treating magical creatures. Do you think it’s better to shine a spotlight on little known things or can that get too commercial?

  • Eddie: Well, I saw a scene in which Newt’s become really famous. There are fans trying to come into the room and he doesn’t have the facility to cope with that and is kind of all over the place. But, oh that’s right, there was a scene that said basically the success of the book had meant the illegal trade in Nifflers had gone up but I think it’s all about education so I think the more we educate ourselves, the more we engage and can’t hide from things that are confronting us. So, I suppose I still think that it is worthwhile to turn the spotlight (on them).

Newt with baby NifflerNewt with baby NifflerCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Q: Eddie, you spent some time in Hollywood trying to make it. How is it to come back now with this huge franchise? Do you go by your old neighborhood?

  • Katherine: Go by casting director’s offices in a red convertible, smoking a cigar, drinking a glass of champagne.
  • Eddie: (laughs) I did have a moment two nights ago. One of my best friends is a guy called Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey, Robin Hood). We used to share, we rented an apartment here for weeks of unsuccessful auditions and we look back on it with rose-tinted spectacles like it was a really romantic, wonderful time when actually it was hell. We were being told ‘no’ consistently but he’s got two brilliant films out. I’m going to do a Q and A with him this evening. We were having this time out moment in our hotel yesterday and you still pinch yourself. You drive down the streets and there are “Crimes of Grindelwald” posters. You always feel outside of it but feels odd and extraordinary in equal measure.

See Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in theaters Friday, November 16th

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie PosterFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Movie PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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