Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne may be the star of the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, but the Harry Potter spinoff was not his first chance to be a part of the iconic franchise. He recently revealed that he auditioned for the role of Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part I, which ultimately went to Domnhall Gleeson; an actor that Redmayne claims has beaten him out for other roles in the recent past.
So when Redmayne revealed that he had also auditioned for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the presumption is that Gleeson beat him out for the role of General Hux. But it turns out that Redmayne actually auditioned for the role of the villainous Kylo Ren, which eventually went to Adam Driver. Redmayne explained why he believes his audition ultimately failed, and considering the way the role of Kylo Ren was written and performed, Redmayne’s failure makes perfect sense.
In part of a new interview with UpRoxx, Redmayne spoke in-depth about his audition for Kylo Ren and the uniquely secretive process that went into it. He revealed that when reading lines as part of his audition, the judges handed him lines from other movies and not The Force Awakens and simply told him to audition for the villain role. Ostensibly, he wasn’t aware of what role they were looking for during the audition – which led to some serious overacting on his part:
So, I was going for, I think, for Adam Driver. They gave me like a Star Trek scene – or like something from Pride and Prejudice. It was one of those films. With films that top secret, they don’t give you the actual lines. So they give you a scene from Pride and Prejudice, but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the baddie. If you’re me, you then put some ridiculous voice on.
Redmayne added that he auditioned for the role with Force Awakens casting director Nina Gold, who cast Redmayne in his Oscar-winning turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything and in his Oscar-nominated performance in The Danish Girl. Redmayne apparently doesn’t harbor any hard feelings for losing out on Kylo Ren, which he ostensibly blamed himself for failing to earn in the first place.
Redmayne says in the interview that he even tried an over-the-top impression of Darth Vader in the audition. It makes sense, in retrospect, that Redmayne did not earn the role of a deep-voiced, angsty Vader disciple who killed his own father. It would have been interesting, however, to see what Redmayne could have done as General Hux.
It’s a safe bet that Redmayne will continue to battle it out with Gleeson for roles. When two actors look and sound as similarly as they do, there will inevitably be more competitions. The next step, of course is to find Redmayne’s Kylo Ren audition tape.