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Live arts correspondent Bella Todd on the hottest happenings in the global cultural calendar this week, including Eddie Redmayne’s Richard II

There have, of course, been countless highbrow heartthrobs in history. And London’s Donmar Warehouse isn’t exactly a stranger to autograph hunters. It’s the intimate West End theatre in which many a film star has sought to reboot their acting credentials, with Gillian Anderson appearing in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Ewan McGregor playing Iago, and Nicole Kidman getting naked for David Hare’s consequently headline-grabbing The Blue Room.

But as Eddie Redmayne opens as the weak but intelligent monarch in Shakespeare’s Richard II this week, it’s hard to think of another young actor who could simultaneously be generating the sort of teeny online fan worship normally reserved for RPatz. There are cyber ‘appreciation societies’ for the former Etonian, who can currently be seen babysitting Marilyn Monroe on the big screen in My Week With Marilyn, has just been confirmed for The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s new film of the musical Les Miserables, and will star in a small screen adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s Birdsong early next year.

There are also Iloveeddieredmayne tumblr pagesSpanish-specific fansites, numerous image archives devoted to the former Burberry model’s freckly pout, and even a Facebook page called Eddie Redmayne Can Be My Angel Clare ANYDAY – surely the first and only Facebook page ever to draw its lustful spark from a BBC adaptation of a particularly doomy Thomas Hardy novel. If the tickets hadn’t all been snapped up in advance by Friends of the Donmar, Covent Garden might be anticipating a few tents.

Not that that’s why we’re so excited, natch etc. Redmayne is simply a brilliant stage actor: he won both an Olivier and a Tony award for his last performance at the Donmar, opposite Alfred Molina in John Logan’s Red in 2009, and proved his skill with accents as the son of an American politician in Now Or Later at the Royal Court. And this production of Richard II marks the end of artistic director Michael Grandage’s decade-long tenure at the Donmar, a venue that’s become internationally synonymous with theatre that sells out without selling-out.


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Actor Eddie Redmayne speaks about gaining the confidence to play King Richard and how he keeps himself grounded.

For an actor who’s enjoying a bit of a Hollywood moment, Eddie Redmayne looks as though he’s just walked off a school hockey pitch. His face is all over posters promoting the new film My Week With Marilyn but he is so boy-next-door in the flesh, so wholesome and generous in his welcome, he feels immediately like a mate you’d like to take home to your mum. 

Redmayne is about to star in Richard II but instead of giving his opinion on the play, he immediately wants to know mine. ‘Lots of people say it’s their favourite Shakespeare,’ he says. The script – one of Shakespeare’s trickiest, as it’s almost entirely in verse – lay by his bed for months, haunting him. ‘I’d never have thought I’d be capable until Michael Grandage [the Donmar Warehouse’s artistic director] called,’ Redmayne says. ‘I have to be pushed.’ 

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Eddie is starring in a short film titled Franklin and Matilda alongside Zoe Kazan. Paul Dano (Zoe’s boyfriend) is the writer/director.  It is being shot in super16 black and white in and around the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn.

This short is about two lovers captured at various moments over the arc of their relationship. Click here for more about this project!

Do want.

Is this something that we will ever get to see? Any Paul Dano stans out there with more info for me?!?!