I woke up today thinking it was a totally normal, average Friday. I was not expecting to be blown away by entertainment news today, because if I'm honest, Friday is often kind of a slow news day. I was certainly not expecting one bold journalist — nay, news experimenter — to pose the definitive Fantastic Beasts question. A question to Eddie Redmayne about Fantastic Beasts that nobody saw coming. But I guess professional question assassin ('cause, y'know — she was killing it), EW Radio’s Julia Cunningham, had reached the sort of five-cups-of-coffee high where your brain is just spooling out magic, because she landed on the most extremely saucy question she could ask Redmayne without getting forcibly ejected from the stage shortly after.
Cunningham opened the interview with the following statement: “I read this great cover story done at Entertainment Weekly, where you had to sit there and figure out how you would hold your wand, how you would work with your wand, how you wouldn’t end up looking like a dum-dum holding a wand.” Yes. Yes, she did. She asked Redmayne, in public, with cameras rolling, to tell her how he likes to hold his wand. I am filled with — wait for it — wonder. (Or should I say wand-er?) You can watch the full interview here.
Redmayne goes so far as to gamely respond, because he's the dictionary definition of that very British thing, a "good egg." "I think all of us had the pre-expectation that we would be brilliant with wands," he said. Didn't we all, Redmayne? All those years reading Harry Potter under our bedcovers, without having ever touched a wand, gave fans a sense of security. It all seems so intuitive in the books, doesn't it?
Redmayne continued, with blithe indifference to any sort of subtext, "like, that it was just a natural sort of thing, that—" “Like a pencil," interjected the interviewer. This strikes me as an unnecessary interjection — she is now just selecting phallic objects completely at random to ask Redmayne about. I want this woman's job. How do I get this woman's job? Answers on a postcard, please.
"Exactly, and then when the moment came to pick up said wand it was, for me, it was mildly catastrophic, so we all went to wand work classes and sort of got really into how we held our wand and how it was demonstrative of our character somehow," he explained.
Redmayne, don't feel bad. Holding your wand can be scary, the first time around, especially with cameras rolling. His co-star Katherine Waterston may or not be participating in a bet about how smutty she can get about holding wands with a straight face, because she takes up the (ahem) baton that Redmayne had dropped and confided in the interviewer about how, during her first "private wand session," she was told, "Go on, pick up the wand" and how she "was blushing" and "started sweating." In fact, she was "afraid to even pick it up. But then, when you start playing around with it..." she trailed off.
Yup. Sounds about right. Cunningham, you wonderful interviewer, I am excessively devoted to you. Thank you for giving the world this important gift. They say laughter is the best stress relief (aside from, obviously, wand-play), and in the run-up to the election, fans needed this.