Eddie Redmayne Talks His Early Days, ‘My Week With Marilyn’ and the Loneliness of Acting


Appearing in films such as The Good Shepard (2006) and Black Death (2010), Eddie Redmayne takes center stage alongside Michelle Williams in the film My Week with Marilyn.

In a interview with The Guardian, Redmayne expressed some of his thoughts on acting and his career. He comes from a family of bankers, and even tried his hand at it while still in school: “It was the greatest feat of acting ever working there having to pretend I knew what a share was when I didn’t have a clue.”

Redmayne was excited by the possibility of working with Williams, especially because he loved Dawson’s Creek, a fact that he’s a little ashamed to admit: “That’s coming back to haunt me, I should never have f—ing said that. But she is extraordinary. She makes the part look effortless.”

Regarding his role in the film, Redmayne responds by saying, “I’m six years older than Colin, but I’m an Old Etonian, too. Weirdly, I found it just as challenging as playing the character I did in Savage Grace [alongside Julianne Moore]. What’s been lovely is the variety of it all, and America has been very helpful for that. So much of our industry here is period drama, and given my background, that is what you slot into. But in America, because you’re English, they send you off to everything because they can’t bracket you. They’ll go, ‘Can you play an adopted native American Indian? OK, go audition for it, why not?’”

When asked what the experience was like, Redmayne clearly tries to keep the critical response of his work out of the picture: “I’ve found in the past that the critical reaction to a piece, if it’s damned, will colour my memory of what the experience was. I had a wonderful time on Marilyn, a wonderful time on Birdsong and, hopefully, I’ll have a wonderful time on this [in reference to a script of Richard II in his hand]so I’m trying not to think outside of that because it can pollute the experience.”

Redmayne is certainly accustomed to the film life by now, but he makes his other aspirations clear when he says, “Although it looks great – and is great – there are also shoddy moments when you feel really rotten, and when it’s going well, you’re not allowed to complain. Your actor friends will understand the nuances of a painful director, or the loneliness of being … OK, in a beautiful hotel room somewhere exotic. But you’re by yourself for six months, and you’re thinking, ‘Oh God, I wish I could share it with someone.’ I’m trying to buy a house and set some sense of roots because otherwise you’re constantly chasing one job after another, and you look back and you’ve had all these very extraordinary experiences with extraordinary people, but there’s not a line of continuity to it.”


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