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Eddie Redmayne – Winners’ Press Conference interview, Leading Actor, EE British Academy Film Awards in 2015

8 February 2015

Winners’ Press Conference interview with Eddie Redmayne for Leading Actor

Winners' press conference interview with Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything in the Leading Actor category

Q.  Ladies and gentlemen, for the last time tonight, please welcome the winner of best actor.  Mr Eddie Redmayne!

EDDIE REDMAYNE:  Thank you so much.

Q.  Congratulations.

A.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Q.  Well, well, well.  How does it feel?

A.  It feels pretty good.  It feels ‑‑ do you know what?  It's quite ‑‑ I can't really describe it.  It is quite a lot to take in.  We actually some of The Theory Of Everything here.  There is a scene where Stephen is at the opera and it all starts going wrong.  So that was the last time I was here and it was quite an intense day.  So it felt very surreal to be seeing it from the other side.  But it feels wonderful.

Q.  And then before that, the last time you were here, you were violently sick?

A.  Yes, that's true, yes.  That was about three years ago and I was meant to be presenting with Sally Field and just as Stephen came on, I had to run into the corridors and it was a bit of a disaster.  And I thought that I'd got away with it, because she could present by herself, and then I woke up the next morning and realised that unfortunately that wasn't true and that I'd been outed.

Q.  But they didn't bar you.  That's the important thing.

A.  No, fortunately not, no.  They are sweetly inviting me back.

Q.  Any questions for Eddie?  Yes, please.

NEW SPEAKER:  Eddie, this is an absolutely remarkable performance and on stage you paid tribute to Felicity, your own family and Stephen.  Can you just talk a bit about which part of your importance you drew ‑‑ what element of your performance you would specifically like to (inaudible)?

A.  Oh, that's interesting.  Felicity is an old friend and we had both started at Donmar Warehouse years ago and on this experience, we knew we ‑‑ the story was extraordinary and Stephen and Jane were phenomenal people and we challenged each other, basically.  We sort of raised each other's game by pushing each other.  And really, we knew it was an extraordinary ‑‑ they were roles of a lifetime, really.

As far as Stephen, Jane, Jonathan and the family were concerned, I just can't tell you how kind they were to us.  I mean, it is a scary thing, having your life put out in the world of film and I am one of these people that, when I see a film, I believe it to be absolutely true.  And so trusting people to take your life and knowing that things are going to shift and change in the process is very ‑‑ it should not be taken lightly, I suppose.  But they have just been so kind.  And then to my own family. 

It's just ‑‑ it's just interesting.  You know, it's a weird, wondrous trade, acting, but it's not always ‑‑ it's ups and downs, and you go through moments of doubt and it doesn't retain a kind of level thing.

And actually, they have just been my ‑‑ as I said in the speech, kind of my roots and my rock, and that's my brothers and my sister and my mum and dad and my wife.  And it's amazing, so ...

NEW SPEAKER:  There has been broader debate in Britain around public school backgrounds.  I was wondering about your views on that; and to what extent do you think that that's sort of a domestic concern?  Does anyone in the United States care where you went to school?

A.  Oh.  That is a good question and something I can't answer, I suppose.  I think there absolutely has to be ‑‑ there always should be a debate about where actors are coming from, that diversity is represented, that all ‑‑ our job as actors is to tell stories and everyone should be represented. 

As far as the public school thing is concerned, I mean, I've had a very lucky upbringing.  I have also had a sensational teacher, and that was one man called Simon Dormandy who ‑‑ he is the reason why I became an actor and I got my first jobs.  And so I suppose I tend to attribute it to a teacher, rather than, you know, an entire sort of school thing.

NEW SPEAKER:  Do you feel under pressure now to exceed this performance with your next film?

A.  Do you know what?  I just am so ‑‑ to be honest, I feel like I had the ‑‑ we dream of getting to play extraordinary or interesting people, and they ‑‑ I mean, they rarely come as extraordinary as Stephen, and so I am so aware of how lucky I was for that.

Do I feel a pressure?  No, I try to just put one foot in front of the other, really.  I am starting work tomorrow, or the next day, on a new film called The Danish Girl and it is another extraordinary story about extraordinary people.

So I feel like, every job I've always done acting‑wise, I have poured my heart and soul into.  Some of them are great scripts that end up being awful films.  Some of them are awful scripts that end up being sort of okay.  Sometimes they connect with an audience, sometimes they don't.  There is a kind of alchemy that happens with film making that you just can't control. 

And so all I can do is just keep pouring everything in and see what happens the other side, I suppose.

NEW SPEAKER:  And have you had a chance to enjoy married life yet?

A.  Loving married life.  Thank you, yes.  She's just behind there.

Q.  Did you build in the day off, just in case this was a late night?

A.  Yes, that has been built in, which I am thrilled about now, because it means that I can go and have several drinks. 

NEW SPEAKER:  I was going to ask two things.  How are you celebrating this evening?  And also, obviously you took your wife to the Golden Globes on honeymoon.  How are you planning to make it up to her?

A.  How are we going to celebrate tonight?  I think we are going to a place called Little House with some pals and the friends from the film.  We are just celebrating that the film did so well this evening.  It is so weird when you make a film.  You're kind of this kind of small family and then you don't see each other for a while and then you get these sorts of occasions, if you are lucky enough, or premiers to re‑meet and to sort of hash over what that experience was like.  So that's what we'll do.

As far as ‑‑ you know, I am making this film and then the place is to go and sit on a beach somewhere with her.  She certainly deserves it.  But yes, so that's the idea.  Get a few more freckles.

Q.  When I said "47 more questions", I was actually kidding, but it seems that way.  Yes, please.  Right at the very back?

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi, Ian Randall from the BBC.  It was such an incredibly profound performance and obviously it must have been difficult in stages as well, with the trajectory of your character.  Was there any specific part of playing Stephen that was the most challenging for you?

A.  I suppose the scene that I was always most ‑‑ most worried about was the scene in which Jane and Stephen part ways; and principally that was because, at that point, he's in an extreme ‑‑ Stephen was really ... MND had taken quite a severe hold and the physicality was quite extreme and he could move very little, and yet I knew it was going to be incredibly ‑‑ it must have been incredibly emotional on him.  So the idea of restraining or having the confines of what the disease was at that stage, plus the extremity of what was going on emotionally, that always ‑‑ that was perhaps the most intimidating.  Yes.

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi, New Magazine.  I was on the red carpet earlier, and the fans were just chanting your name over and over.  It was quite overwhelming to watch.  And I just wondered how you deal with that, and also what your wife thinks about that.

A.  Well, that you would have to ask her.  But I think that you don't ‑‑ it does feel very surreal, but at the same point, it's such an ephemeral thing, this world.  And I have been working for 14 years and you have, like, moments that are successful and moments that are not.  And, you know, it really is ‑‑ so although, of course, it feels very lovely, the idea that people have seen your film and enjoyed what you do, I don't think you can take it too seriously, because you know it will be gone in a shot, so ...

NEW SPEAKER:  Hi Eddie, congratulations.  Your film career is sort of reaching new heights, when at the same time in your personal life, you have settled down and thinking about families, et cetera.  So what is your focus and how do you stay grounded(?)?

A.  That is a good question.  For me at the moment, I haven't worked since The Theory Of Everything and that was ‑‑ so it was a very intense shoot and then I ‑‑ and it took a toll.  And then I had nine months, and I am ‑‑ promoting it, we have been running around, slightly frenzied.  But really, that was the downtime and that's when you get back to normal life.  And so I hope I can keep doing that.  So I am making this film now and then will take some time off and Hannah works, does a proper job, so I cook dinner.  (Laughs).

NEW SPEAKER:  Maria from (inaudible).  You have been in films(?) with Benedict Cumberbatch.  Would you like to (inaudible), will you meet him again in the (inaudible) Oscars?  What do you feel?  Do you feel there is a similarity between your two films, speaking about two areas, one alive, one not?

A.  I think in that sense, maybe there are similarities and I know that people have drawn those similarities.  But Ben and I think ‑‑ we are old, old friends and I think he is the most staggering actor and wonderful human being.  And what he did in that film, and what that film is, is utterly brilliant. 

And it's ‑‑ I understand why the two films get connected but, to me, they are completely different pieces.  And hopefully there's room for both.  Well, it seems to have been that there has.  And I am ‑‑ The Imitation Game has done so sensationally around the world and continues to do breathtaking business, you know.  I am sure he ‑‑ he has got a lot on his plate anyway.  He is having a baby, he is getting married.  I am sure he is ‑‑ I know he is a very happy man at the moment.

NEW SPEAKER:  Will you win the Oscar?

A.  Oh gosh.  I don't know about that.  But I am definitely taking this home and cherishing it.

NEW SPEAKER:  Where is it going to go?  You have got the Golden Globe.  Is that going to push the ‑‑

A.  I don't know.  I have no idea where it is going to go.  But I will let you know, once I do.  Thank you.

Q.  And on that bombshell, congratulations, Eddie Redmayne.

A.  Thank you.