Though he’s already an accomplished actor thanks to The Theory Of Everything and The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne hasn’t really been able to build much genre cred for himself up until recently. He’s starring in the ever-expanding Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them series now, but he almost had a shot at a different big-time movie brand a while back. According to Uproxx, he actually auditioned for a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and his explanation for why he didn’t get the part probably won’t surprise anyone who saw his dramatically unhinged performance in Jupiter Ascending.
He believes that he was auditioning for Kylo Ren, the part eventually played by Adam Driver, and he says that he came in and was handed a scene from Pride And Prejudice to read from so any details about the actual movie could be kept under wraps. Then, they told him he’d be playing a villain, and Redmayne knew exactly what direction to take. “If you’re me,” he says, “you then put some ridiculous voice on.” He says the audition from that point on was “hilarious,” because he kept trying different variations of the Darth Vader voice—complete with breathing sound, apparently—and casting director Nina Gold just patiently sat there and waited for him to finish. After ten ridiculous voices, Gold asked if he had anything else, and he responded, “No.”
Now, there are a couple of interesting things about this. For starters, Redmayne isn’t the first guy to blow an audition for a J.J. Abrams movie, as Aaron Paul had a similarly embarrassing experience trying to get a role in Cloverfield. Also, Adam Driver kind of does a weird space villain voice for Kylo Ren when he has his mask on, so maybe Redmayne wasn’t totally off-base when he tried to do his crazy Jupiter Ascending thing. Speaking of, at least we’ll always have that to fondly look back on: