Saturday, May 18, 2019

Eddie on 'The Aeronauts' in a Q&A in Lifestyle Asia

Eddie Redmayne was interviewed by Randy Lai at The Peninsula Shanghai when he spent
some time in Asia in April for the Planet Omega opening.  He talked about style, Omega, and
his career, and also talked about his new movie 'The Aeronauts'. Here are a few quotes.

"The film that I’ve just wrapped on — coming out later in the year, called The Aeronauts
— enabled me to play a guy called James Glaisher. He was one of the first people to reach
the upper atmosphere via hot air balloon. When I was preparing for it, I realized his father
had actually been a watchmaker, and in that moment the knowledge I gleaned from my
time with OMEGA enabled me to become the consummate method actor [laughs]. If we
look at it from the perspective of era, I’d be very interested in playing an individual from
the 1920s. I’ve already done that a bit with Fantastic Beasts but the atmosphere of the
Roaring Twenties — in large part because of the fashion and energy — makes it a period
whose historical figures I’d be really interested in revisiting."
(he was asked about one historical figure he would choose to play)

"So nowadays we would go up in hot air balloons, but in the 19th century the equivalent
was gas-powered: just massive balloons filled with flammable gases of helium and hydrogen.
It was that kind of balloon that [the production team on The Aeronauts] built one of, plus
sandbags. What’s amazing is — it’s silent by the way — you’re in this little wicker basket
and just by pouring sand out you begin to float up, and the silence is dumbfounding.
It feels incredibly surreal: You’re essentially in a little fire basket, and then suddenly you’re
in the air. But because you drift up, it doesn’t feel scary, although you’re at the will of the
elements. You can’t guide where the balloon is going — all you can do is go higher by
throwing more sand out. And so that idea of having to surrender to something was pretty
extraordinary. Also, there’s a weird quietness when you descend for the first time. You pull
a rope which lets out some of the balloon’s gas, but you can’t be exactly sure where you’re
going to land. I remember as we were coming down, we cascaded into a set of trees and I
went from being totally at peace to experiencing the most terrifying two and a half seconds
of my life! There was quite a bit of sensory overload during the making of that film."

(London set photos via acciohunks)

Full interview here

The article is very interesting, loved reading the Omega stories as well. Eddie also
talked about his most important career milestone. "The official answer is probably
when I was fortunate enough to win an Oscar for Theory of Everything — that felt like
an incredible thing. But weirdly, (I think he said) I often think, that the first ever was
the play that I did about Mark Rothko. It started here in London and eventually
moved to New York. On Broadway, it began as a very small play (with Alfred Molina)
and kind of grew and grew to become this major thing. Obviously, I love acting, but that
particular play was also about the art world — which is what I’d studied at university
— and that conflation of things which I was passionate about was pretty special."

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