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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > November 2016 > Fantastic Beasts

Fantastic Beasts

THE HARRY POTTER FRANCHISE IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME CULTURAL PHENOMENON. WE’LL PROBABLY NEVER EXPERIENCE SOMETHING QUITE LIKE IT IN OUR LIFETIME. IT DEFINED A GENERATION AND INVITED MILLIONS TO EXPLORE A WORLD OF FANTASY AND MAGIC. NOW, FIVE YEARS SINCE THE LAST FILM AND NINE YEARS SINCE THE LAST BOOK, JK ROWLING IS INVITING US INTO HER MAGNIFICENT WORLD ONCE AGAIN WITH FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. OVER THE NEXT FEW PAGES, WE MEET THE CAST OF THIS SURE-TO-BE BLOCKBUSTER, INCLUDING OSCAR WINNER EDDIE REDMAYNE, AND EXPLORE THE QUEER THEMES HIDING IN PLAIN VIEW THROUGHOUT THE WIZARDING WORLD...

Asked why he’s chosen to play several GBT+ characters Eddie Redmayne demures: “There’s the notion that one has a choice as an actor, but until very recently I didn’t have that choice. You audition for things, for interesting stories, and if you’re lucky enough you get the part.”

That’s changed, he admits, since he won the Oscar for his masterful performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and was nominated again for his touching portrayal of trans woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. But despite being fêted with that Oscar plus a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, the 34-year-old thespian’s criteria for choosing roles remain the same.

“For me all that matters is that the character and the story are interesting,” he tells us when we meet him at the iconic Claridge’s hotel in London. “I’ve been lucky enough to play many LGBT+ characters who’re just extraordinary people. That’s an amazing privilege and a great gift.”

Eddie, who has also played the bisexual emcee in Cabaret on stage, and was a woman in A Passage to India at Eton and in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe, is thrilled that it’s seemingly no longer the case that straight actors avoid such things. “It’s something that has shifted and changed,” he believes, then reiterates his point that “acting is a tricky industry and all one dreams of doing is telling interesting stories about interesting people”. He smiles that lovely smile of his. “We should be so lucky as to play interesting LGBT+ characters.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne talks to GT about the all-inclusive imagination of J.K.Rowling. As if that wasn't already enough, come behind the scenes with GT and meet the entire cast of Fantastic Beasts! After all, Harry Potter taught us that no one should live in a closet. Also, in your brand new GT - is it too late now to say sorry? Olly Murs wants to apologise to LGBT+ people for his "23% gay” gaffe. From life as the ice queen Elsa to Beaches, the first lady of musical theatre Idina Menzel takes a bow and in a special report, we explore LGBT+ life in the Middle East and the region's first-ever gay mag My.Kali Magazine.
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