Eddie Redmayne Discusses Family, Time Travel And The Aeronauts
With numerous unforgettable performances both on stage and in film, Eddie Redmayne is fast becoming a Hollywood legend. He won every major award for his heart-rending 2014 portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
We met the English actor in Shanghai at the global launch of the Planet Omega exhibition, a travelling showcase of artefacts from the brand’s past, during which he wore his favourite timepiece, the Omega Globemaster.
What’s your pet peeve?
I like to be on time and get frustrated when people are late. I think it stems from being musical. If you’re just a minute or two late for rehearsal, you’re dismissed from the room. I suppose in that way watches have always been important to me. They also hold sentimental value; my dad had this beautiful Omega De Ville.
Tell us about your dad.
He’s really elegant. He still works in London, so he always wears a classic suit with some kind of flamboyant handkerchief. He has to help me with my style—when I try to be flamboyant it can go pretty wrong because I’m colour-blind.
Tell us about your coming film, The Aeronauts.
I’m playing a historical scientist, James Glaisher. He and his partner, a wealthy young widow, mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history. When I was preparing for the role, I discovered that Glaisher’s dad was a watchmaker.
What would you be if not an actor?
I studied the history of art at university and used to do printmaking when I was younger. So maybe I would have pursued something in the art world. My wife worked as an antiques dealer for a while, which sounds like fun. I find old objects beautiful.
If you had a time machine, would you travel to the future or the past?
Definitely the past. I suppose I’d nip into the future out of curiosity, but I’d go back to the past for security.
I’d love to time-travel back to Elizabethan England, but I’ve probably romanticised what it was like. People were getting killed all the time and it probably wasn’t actually that much fun to live through.
Then again, the Roaring Twenties would also be a good period. I love the fashion from that era and I’m also a fan of jazz. Oh, and champagne!
If you could design a watch, what would it look like?
Something magical that could have been invented by JK Rowling. Maybe I’d design a Time-Turner?
As far as aesthetics, I’d choose a simple strap. Colleen Atwood is a costume designer; she won an Oscar for the first Fantastic Beasts film we worked on together. She would allow you one personal thing sewn onto the inside of your costume. Nobody sees it but you.
Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone, had this beautiful embroidery in his coat’s lining. With that in mind, I’d probably have a personalised engraving on my watch’s case back. It would also probably be thin, and steel. Also, I love a blue dial.