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Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston had 'freedom to play' with their 'Fantastic Beasts' characters

By Karen Butler
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Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston had 'freedom to play' with their 'Fantastic Beasts' characters
Eddie Redmayne arrives on the red carpet at the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" world premiere on November 10, 2016 in New York City. Photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston say they were excited to create entirely new characters for J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

Beasts is a prequel to Rowling's seven Harry Potter books, which were adapted as eight blockbuster movies.

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Although the screenplay for Beasts was penned by Rowling, it was not based on an existing novel, meaning the film will be the first time fans will meet Redmayne's magizoologist Newt Scamander and Waterston's Tina, who works for the Magical Congress of the United States of America.

Asked by UPI in New York recently if it was exhilarating to develop their characters from the ground up, instead of being tied to already established depictions of them in a book, Waterston replied: "Every single person who reads a book sees all the characters in their head and that can be a pressure, I think, for actors when they portray them. Of course, there is nothing you can do about it, but I was thrilled to just have the script, which was quite like a book in itself. It was so detailed and rich, but ours, and a secret from the world and it was nice to have that for that time while we were making the film."

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"It did make us feel like... Because those characters are in Jo's imagination and she has such a fully formed notion of who they are -- if you ask her about the character beyond that, it is so extraordinary -- but our sense of that was wanting her approval," Redmayne chimed in. "I think she understood that power and was so encouraging to us that she gave us the freedom to play."

Co-starring Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton and Ezra Miller, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to open in theaters Friday.

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