Many can agree that Redmayne is the best part of the “Fantastic Beasts” films. His Newt Scamander is a gentle soul in a film full of visual noise and narrative turbulence. He seems genuinely full of warmth and affection, even as the movie he’s in becomes steelier and colder. The films may not be wholly successful, but Redmayne gives his all. It’s from Redmayne that the films gain a vital sense of whimsy.
In a 2018 issue of the New Indian Express’ magazine Indulge, the “Jupiter Ascending” MVP revealed that had attempted to get into the “Harry Potter” universe long before the “Fantastic Beasts” movies. As it turns out, Redmayne auditioned for the part of Tom Marvolo Riddle in Chris Columbus’ 2002 film “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” A brief rundown: “Chamber of Secrets” was the second film in the series, and featured a guest spot for Kenneth Branagh as a charming but incompetent wizard professor. The climax took place in the titular chamber with Harry facing off against a child-shaped ghost of the evil Lord Voldemort. (“Tom Marvolo Riddle” is an anagram for “I am Lord Voldemort.”)
Redmayne was 19 and in college when he auditioned. It didn’t go well.
“Yeah, thanks for bringing up the painful elephant in the room. Honestly? I was at university at the time that they were starting to make those films. And they were doing a full-on search of the world for the role of young Voldemort. So, this was an audition that came to the university. I walked in to the room. I think I said three lines and then was asked to leave. So, it wasn’t like I had much of a chance.”
The role ended up going to Christian Coulson.