eddie redmayne kylo ren

The world has spent the past year picking Star Wars: The Force Awakens apart, picking through its plot threads, spelunking into its plot holes, shipping the Hot Young New cast members into various pairings, and generally leaving no frame of the film untouched. But it’s become increasingly clear that everyone, fans and detractors alike, can agree on one thing: the film is impeccably cast, a trademark of every J.J. Abrams project.

But the casting of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver was the result of a sweeping talent search, one that looked at names both famous and obscure, seemingly leaving no stone unturned. The stories of people auditioning for The Force Awakens are many and they will surely begin to trickle out as time goes by. But today, we have one from Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, who auditioned for the role of Kylo Ren.

Redmayne is currently making the press rounds for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where he plays J.K. Rowling’s latest magical hero, Newt Scamander, but Mike Ryan over at Uproxx wanted to know about his failed Star Wars audition, which he initially spoke about last year. Since he has often gone up against Domhnall Gleason for roles in the past, surely he was a contender for General Hux, right? Nah. He’s pretty sure he was up for Kylo Ren, a.k.a. Ben Solo:

No. 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.

That was really a hilarious moment. Because it was Nina Gold, who I have to thank a lot because she’s cast me in several films. And she was just sitting there and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of “koohh paaaah” [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice. And after like ten shots she’s like, “You got anything else?” I was like, “No.”

It tickles me to no end that Redmayne describes breaking out a “ridiculous voice” for his Star Wars villain audition because he actually did star as a villain with a silly manner of speaking in another expensive space opera. That movie was Jupiter Ascending and Redmayne’s performance is…well, it’s something.

Whispers: I love Jupiter Ascending and love Eddie Redmayne in it.

Although Redmayne is a fine actor, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Adam Driver as Kylo Ren at this point. Driver possesses an aggressive masculinity allows the character to stand out from every other Star Wars villain. He’s a wounded predator, a cornered animal who is unsure which hand he wants to bite. Redmayne would have given the character a completely different vibe.

Let’s not weep for Mr. Redmayne, though. He has an Oscar and his own five-part movie franchise. He’s going to be fine.

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