Our Work and Why We Do It

by Randy Maitland

Eddie Redmayne; He'll Cross That Bridge When He Gets To It.
The Cast:

EDDIE REDMAYNE, handsome 30-year-old actor/model from London. Star in the new film version,

Les Misérable, directed by Tom Hooper, due in theaters nationwide Dec. 25th

INTERVIEWER, year younger than REDMAYNE, moody, artistic failure

WAITRESS, inured but pleasant all the same

LOS ANGELES PAL, regular at the Soho House

 

Scene: The West Hollywood Soho House, private club for artists, people in fashion, the arts etc. Sedate, quietly bustling, low conspiratorial sound of insider conversation. It is a most antique evening, into the middle of which INTERVIEWER walks, head down, looking up gravely at a point in the distance. He begins his monologue.

Redmayne enters at the right and approaches INTERVIEWER. The two shake hands, then sit at a table positioned such that it is facing southward, overlooking an expanse of Los Angeles increasingly made gauzy by an entanglement of fog, city lights, and the pinkish splendors of the fading hour. The two begin exchanging pleasantries. They are soon interrupted by the inured but pleasant brown haired waitress. Redmayne and INTERVIEWER order whiskey. Waitress nods and leaves, but returns just as INTERVIEWER establishes the recording device, placing it nearer Redmayne. The Waitress gestures and her mouth moves, suggesting speech, except her lines aren’t spoken, they’re implied. [The Soho House] doesn’t have Knob Creek. They did three months ago. That’s why she thought they had it. They have Bulleit and Four Roses. Those would be the comparable bourbons. Would you like to try the Four Roses before you …  no ... okay ...

The Waitress looks at Eddie Redmayne, noting his features. He has fair skin, a smattering of birch colored freckles, mussed auburn hair, trimmed to the ear and long on top, and an oxford blue shirt, the top three buttons left undone. What is striking about Redmayne is his gracefulness of manner, amenable to styles casual and gentlemanly formal. His is a look both injunction and invitation. Its recipients report incipient melting (see, for instance, the I LOVE EDDIE REDMAYNE Tumblr). For these reasons, Redmayne modeled for Burberry campaigns in 2008 and ’12.

WAITRESS returns with two whiskeys. Throughout the interview she will refill their glasses. INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE resume a conversation that touches upon gentrification, the Los Angeles lifestyle, REDMAYNE’s new film Les Misérables, horseback riding, singing, the most miserable photoshoot ever, turning 30, nervousness, motherhood, genius, auditions, Rothko, generosity, openness, Michael Grandage, Bob Deniro and the intersections between commerce and art. It will run well over the allotted time, and ends when INTERVIEWER suggests REDMAYNE read Emerson’s essay “Experience” as REDMAYNE climbs into the backseat of a black SUV in the parking garage.

REDMAYNE, after taking a sip of whiskey, asks INTERVIEWER where INTERVIEWER lives. INTERVIEWER responds and asks if REDMAYNE is familiar with it, which he is. REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER embark on a discussion of the prolific number of homeless compared to the number of young professionals moving into the lofts of downtown Los Angeles.

-(REDMAYNE, curious) Are they quite juxtaposed then? I mean…

-Oh yes, very much (INTERVIEWER leans in) there’s you on the corner and next to you is a woman poured into a haltertop drinking from a cup she’s just peed into…

REDMAYNE thinks for a minute. His childhood perhaps speaks to a sort of privilege. He was educated at Eton, then Cambridge, but his sensitivity is such that he doesn’t forget that his experience is not common. His awareness of the haphazard arrangement of the social system isn’t sentimental, naive or cold, but empathetic and self-effacing. INTERVIEWER notes that REDMAYNE is intelligent. INTERVIEWER frets.

-(REDMAYNE, continuing to speak about Los Angeles) … I’ve never spent a serious amount of time in this city. And I find it like constantly fascinating. I haven’t untapped it. But I find this extraordinary thing, for being an actor in this city. I find the atmosphere so unbelievably mellow. You’ve got the ocean and skiing an hour away. And you got the hills. All these genuinely beautiful things. But yet when you come as an actor. There’s a slightly uncomfortable rigor here. It’s curious. (REDMAYNE pauses) It’s kinda like … I’m trying to relate the two. On the one hand the lifestyle here is so beautiful ... I am one of those actors that quite likes to talk about acting, so I love other actors, so in one sense I feel really comfortable here and then I suddenly realize I haven’t read a newspaper for, you know (REDMAYNE takes a beat) a month

-(INTERVIEWER grins knowingly) It’ll do that to you

REDMAYNE uses the opportunity of disconnect and privilege to speak about Les Mis, which INTERVIEWER notes, in its fundament, is about class conflict.

REDMAYNE plays Marius, who has a political agenda, a bit of a suicide bomber thing, REDMAYNE asserts. Unlike most productions of Les Mis, Tom Hooper wants his version to be truer to Victor Hugo’s text. For example, they unearth a certain amount of backstory that goes into Marius’ ideological shift, things about Marius’ grandfather that might explain, better, Marius’ transformation from naive boy with an aristocratic—spoiled—pedigree, but who ends a barricade-building revolutionary. Marius’ motivation is no less than True Love.

-(REDMAYNE, enthusiastically) I mean, he meets this girl, Cosette (played by Amanda Seyfried) who he falls in love with Romeo and Juliet style. But in the book it happens over hundreds of pages. It’s a long courtship. But in the musical. Cosette and Marius are running through the streets. A book like drops and they both go to get it and they end up hitting noggins. She’s with the students, a rebel. And he falls for her, and he has this massive dilemma about what to do. But he’s like this romantic cliché and we wanted to give him a bit of balls. And that’s when I suggested to Tom [Hooper] that during one of these big battle scenes, I like take a flag, and knock down a rider and get on a horse.

-(INTERVIEWER, piqued) You can ride a horse?

-(offstage, a horse neighs, the sound of hoofs galloping furiously. REDMAYNE pauses, waiting as the sound dies off) One of the wonderful things about my job is you’re taught bizarre and wonderful skills. I mean I hadn’t sung in a long time, and I was able to train with some of the best people in the world. And I worked with Tom before, on a production of Elizabeth for the BBC, and at the end of the audition, the last thing Tom says to me (REDMAYNE impersonates TOM HOOPER) Eddie, you ever been on a horse? (REDMAYNE resumes his voice) Yes (REDMAYNE takes a beat then hurriedly under his voice adds, after which he breaks into laughter) when I was five! And I didn’t tell him that. (REDMAYNE takes a sip of whiskey) Cut to me in Lithuania [where they were shooting Elizabeth] and I’m having spurs attached to my feet with like 50 Lithuanian horsemen behind me, Helen Mirren is some 200 meters down the road in a big dress, dressed as Elizabeth, Jeremy Irons is up on a rampart, staring out. There’re rain machines and carriages, and I’m too ... embarrassed  ... to admit that I’ve never really in my life … it’s ridiculously stupid really ... I’m too embarrassed to admit I don’t know how to ride a horse. [Hooper] calls action. And I give my horse a nudge, and off at a hundred miles an hour it goes and just keeps going, about 30 meters ahead of the other riders. When I get the horse to stop finally Tom just comes up to me with a massive Tannoy [loudspeaker] screaming, “YOU’RE  A FUCKING LIAR REDMAYNE.” Literally that’s what he said.

From the left hand side of the stage, TOM HOOPER enters. The lights swing away from REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER and focus only on TOM HOOPER.

-(TOM HOOPER, addressing the audience) I remember we were shooting the final climactic battle of Elizabeth I. Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons stood on the ramparts as Eddie revealed in front of the entire crew and the cast the extent of his casting misinformation. I remember pointing out my surprise ... at the top of my voice.

He will never live that day down! But on Les Misérables he was like a new man. An actor who claims he can ride in an audition, who can actually ride. (HOOPER pauses, before continuing) By the way. As to the claim he made that he can sing? Well, the boy can really sing.

The lights move from TOM HOOPER to the table where REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER sit.

-(REDMAYNE, smiling and nodding) Tom’s remained a good friend over the years.

The production of Les Mis includes live singing. REDMAYNE sings as well as acts live, with many extras, ten or so of whom who had at one time or another played the part of Marius. Les Mis is different from most productions in this respect. REDMAYNE leans forward and with enthusiasm explains how revolutionary this idea of live singing really is.

-(HOOPER, interjecting) I would not have made the film, if I couldn’t shoot the singing live.

-(INTERVIEWER) And you knew this going in, and you wanted to do it, why?

-(REDMAYNE, nodding) It just is fucking weird. It’d be the equivalent of me doing a radio version of Richard II and three months later, going and doing the play, but having to stick with all the same choices I’d made three months ago ...

-(INTERVIEWER, taken with his own idea) That’s an interesting idea ... taking a play and recording ...

-(REDMAYNE) Yes, actually. There’s this playwright, gosh, I forget her name [ed. note, Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork] she does verbatim theater. So she went and interviewed all these prostitutes. And she puts on a play. There are all these actors, they never learn the words. But there’s an earpiece and they can hear the voices and they have to replicate the voices as they ... replicate it live ... it is an interesting idea ... but when you’re doing that ... for a musical ... you spend so much time trying to make sure the mime is right ... when instead you can just sing ...

-(INTERVIEWER, turning to HOOPER) And what made you want to cast him as Marius?

-(HOOPER) Well, Eddie [REDMAYNE] has an extraordinary emotional range and precision of feeling as an actor ... but I needed a Marius that Cosette could legitimately fall in love with at first sight. Well, (HOOPER takes a dramatic beat), according to all the girls I checked with, we are okay on that score.

HOOPER winks at REDMAYNE before exiting to the left.

Ever democratic while on set, REDMAYNE was always seeking out the students who had played Marius, trying to figure out how they went about certain scenes and how it might help him. Falling in love “at first sight” seemed to REDMAYNE particularly difficult. REDMAYNE recalls speaking to one of the students about the way they made Marius’ moment of love feel spontaneous and real. More or less, REDMAYNE is told to gradually build into the declaration of love, as though he is trying to write verse in his head as he goes along. This, however, is a false start.

-(REDMAYNE, impersonating director Tom Hooper) Ed, doing it 90% isn’t going to work. You gotta go full on 100%, you gotta run down the street. (REDMAYNE stops impersonating Hooper and opens his arms and belts out a single note. Both INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE blush, but no one else in the club notices. REDMAYNE takes a sip of whiskey before continuing) And in that moment, he was totally right. As an actor, you’ve got to be ready to have egg on your face, to look like a complete schmuck. And I suppose I mean about film sets, it’s the same on stage. There’re directors, like Michael Grandage and Tom Hooper, who allow you that freedom, that freedom to feel like you can fail. It’s an intellectual and artistic generosity that ...

-(INTERVIEWER, interrupting), You respond well to openness ...

-(REDMAYNE) One of the things I had to get over quite quickly while on sets is the fact you’re being judged. Of course you’re being judged. But you’ve got to put across the veneer of being calm and collected. And this is like under extraordinary circumstances (REDMAYNE pauses) I remember a first audition, for The Good Shepherd. I was meeting the casting director. She’d come over to London and read about an Edward Albee play I’d done called The Goat. We had a general meeting and after the general meeting she told me I’d love you to come back tomorrow to meet Bob. And I was like Bob? And she was like Bob Deniro. (REDMAYNE makes a gasping sound) So cut to the next day, me, I’m arriving in London in like an office building. Like any normal audition for the slightly dodgy TV things I was going up for. But right behind that door there was Bob Deniro (REDMAYNE takes a beat, as the sound of door opening is heard off-stage) I go in and there he is. We shook hands and had a chat and before I did any reading—or maybe I had already read? Anyway, he was like, (REDMAYNE begins an accurate impersonation of Robert Deniro) I want you to comb your hair (REDMAYNE makes that classic Deniro face then stops impersonating him and pretends to be his younger self) You mean you want me to comb my hair? (Impersonating Deniro again) I want you come back this afternoon, with this ... like side parted.

-(INTERVIEWER, somewhat dumbfounded) He wanted you to leave to comb your hair?

-(REDMAYNE) Yeah! and I sort of spun out into Oxford street. I went to like Boots and bought a comb. And then I went back upstairs. And I remember coming out of the lift and it was like a casting call and on this couch were all the best actors in Britain, everyone that you ever dreamt of. And I was the last person to go in and I remember seeing the portal open. Someone walked past. It wasn’t the casting director. I don’t know who, but I asked them, who is in the room, and they tell me. Bob and Amanda and Leo (REDMAYNE holds for a beat) Fucking Leonardo, and about three minutes later, talk about having to then play it totally cool. It was this scene where I am quite sobbing into Bob’s arms. And then. And then it’s over. Straight out, back into the streets of London. (Redmayne pauses) I think maybe. The skill of pretending to keep calm. It feels like a massive part of what I do. I feel like this sort of thing (REDMAYNE gestures to the recording device and toward INTERVIEWER) I don’t do interviews because it’s like a natural thing I look forward to ...

REDMAYNE moves rather quickly into the experience of playing RICHARD II in Michael Grandage’s Donmar staged production of Richard II. REDMAYNE hesitates. So much history concerns the relationship between authority and subject. The modes of this relationship manifest in various social and professional situations. Take, for instance, REDMAYNE suggests, the relationship between an actor and his role. RICHARD II, is a juicy role, a massive undertaking, and with it comes a lot of responsibility.

-(REDMAYNE) And I asked Michael, who had enormous amount of faith in me, now that I’m Richard, what do I to do to lead the cast? [Grandage] says to me. Eddie you’re playing the king. The thing does it for you. And that’s sort of the thing with actors in Hollywood. The number one on the call sheet basically dictates the atmosphere of the film set. And Les Mis was kind of extraordinary because Hugh Jackman (who plays Jean Valjean) is a (REDMAYNE emphasizes the words) movie star. Incredibly talented, ridiculously hardworking and unbelievably generous. I remember he was shooting in February in England in Portsmith, in water in 40-degree weather, with like a hundred extras behind him. I think the extras were about to walk off set, like I’m not doing this. It was extraordinarily miserable. But because Hugh was up front, in front of all the guys, take after take after take, again, they managed to stay on. I think it’s interesting, you see a lot of different actors’ techniques. It was interesting to see someone like him manage to be a genuinely good person.

Richard II was a massive learning curve, as REDMAYNE hadn’t done Shakespeare since the Mark Rylance’s Twelfth Night (which was his first major stage role, as Viola. REDMAYNE played a girl who in the play pretends to be a boy without balls (a eunuch). It is an enormously difficult part because REDMAYNE must contend with notions of masculinity through the affected gestures of a girl trying to imagine herself a convincing boy without balls.) But Grandage had an enormous amount of faith in him. Though Richard II went well, REDMAYNE realized something shortly after. The meatier parts require an immersion ... a respect and dedication ... that you really have to do them ... every evening ... bringing everything to bear.

-(REDMAYNE, mimicking the voice of someone entirely knackered) It’s like stepping into a boxing ring, every night. It’s a struggle. But it’s valuable. But man was I exhausted. I went from ... I got Les Mis as soon as I started rehearsing Richard while I was still promoting My Week with Marilyn (in which he plays a young man who has a brief affair with Marilyn Monroe (played by Michelle Williams)). It was genuinely emotionally draining.

-(INTERVIEWER) How was it to go from Richard II to singing?

-(REDMAYNE, taking a sip of whiskey) So when I was younger I sang and I enjoyed it. And then I didn’t. And then I stopped. I mean I didn’t stop. I didn’t take it seriously. But when I was a kid ... my family isn’t particularly musical, they took my older brother and me to Les Mis, I was about six, my older brother was about eight. It was fantastic. I loved it. (REMAYNE takes another bigger sip. Now INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE are really drinking) There are parts in it ... a character everyone can relate to. There are actors of all different ages. But when I was six, or seven ... there’s a character Gavroche. He’s like a little street urchin who ends up becoming incredibly heroic. I wanted to be him. He was my hero of sorts. (REDMAYNE pauses) And so when it came to doing the film [Les Mis], this young guy, Danny [Huttlestone], about 12, who is absolutely brilliant ... he has that extraordinary thing of not being self-conscious but completely free ... It was amazing, I was there, finally, but playing this other part, Marius—which is a great part—but secretly, my inner-eight year old was so jealous. But as you get older different parts affect you differently. And so it was interesting, then, after not having ... sung in so long ... it was so challenging. (REDMAYNE grins) I just finished Les Mis, and I’ve been on holiday for a month and a half and I’m just coming back to sanity (REDMAYNE laughs)

-(INTERVIEWER) And the turn around for this film has been remarkably fast (filming wrapped sometime in June). The studio (Universal) must have pretty high hopes for it, for the award season, and for you. But you’ve been down this road. You won a Tony, for the play Red, about the famed New York abstract painter, Mark Rothko (Red was written by John Logan, directed by Michael Grandage, and produced by the Donmar Warehouse in London. It then moved to Broadway, where after a bit of a slow start, it gained steam. In all, it garnered seven Tony nominations).  How did that feel?

-(REDMAYNE, somewhat sheepish) Yes. Well. I’ll tell you what. That job. Was full on. It was one of those jobs. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity. (REDMAYNE pauses and thinks about it) I came back from an L.A. trip about three years ago and quite often I come over here for a month in January ... and sometimes it’s wonderful ... and sometimes you come back ... a broken human being (REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER both laugh) But I got a call from my agent saying Michael Grandage wants to meet with you. And Michael Grandage is one of those directors in London. He runs the Donmar Warehouse, which is the sexiest theater in town. It’s tiny, it’s intimate and his style is brilliant. And we went for a general meeting. Grandage says, I want this to be a general meeting but this play has just arrived. It’s by an American playwright, John Logan. It’s about Mark Rothko. It’s a two hander, called Red. You know I’d studied art history in college, the Donmar was my dream theater, and I went back and read the play, that evening I call my agents, just to let them know, I’m doing a play at the Donmar, a play that none of you have read. But it’s that wonderful thing, when all your interests fall into place and meet a project.  It seemed so perfect I suppose I was a bit of a pessimist. As the thing got closer I thought, well the rehearsals are gonna be a nightmare. Or Alfred (Alfred Molina plays Rothko) and I aren’t going to get along. But each step of the way, it was lovely.

REDMAYNE finishes discussing the transition from London to New York and the subsequent success the play had in New York.

-(REDMAYNE continuing) And the thing about Broadway ... to bring back to what we were talking about earlier, with like communities ... Broadway is all connected, it’s an extraordinary community, because it’s not like all spread out, the theaters can only be a block big, and you share a corridor. So you’ve got Lucy Lui in God of Carnage, and Zoe Kazan, all in the same place. And between the matinee and the evening shows, everyone goes to 9th Ave, and all those restaurants. But in London all the theaters are much more spread out. There isn’t that sense ... that ... of like an artistic community ...

-(INTERVIEWER) How did that sense of community inform your relationship to Logan’s script?

-(REDMAYNE) The thing with Red is, I really only understood Rothko properly, once I started doing the play, the intellectual rigor he had ... And the play is all about the difference between commerce and art ... what’s selling out and what’s not ...  And what John Logan tapped into is something, certainly, as an actor, it’s something you always have going on. Are you going to take this role because you stand by it, or are you going to do this film because you want to put a payment down on a flat? But that’s all silly, I don’t think that ...

(INTERVIEWER, now somewhat tipsy, tongue thick on his back teeth, speaking slowly) I don’t think that’s silly at all ... I think that’s the crux of ... the decisions I’ve made .... to get ... being here ... (gesturing toward the windows)

Los Angeles has assumed its ominous evening glow.

(REDMAYNE, leaning forward) That’s interesting ... that’s ... well ... what’s this been?

(INTERVIEWER, now under the impression that REDMAYNE has found the dialogue “authentic” and ultimately different) Well, see, I don’t know ... this is on record ...

REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER both laugh. INTERVIEWER proceeds to tell REDMAYNE about his struggles as a teacher and a writer. INTERVIEWER wonders whether he is drunk, or if REDMAYNE is drunk, or if it’s because both of them are drunk. Still, REDMAYNE is genuinely curious about where INTERVIEWER is coming from on certain of the topics. All throughout the interview in fact, he has been keen to INTERVIEWER’s sensitivity, making sure to show as much interest in his statements as possible. INTERVIEWER records this in his notes as REDMAYNE’s democratic curiosity, but one that is aided by an actor’s inherent formlessness—a sense of self that is neither fixed nor entirely rootless, but is made line after brilliant line. As though he were taking tips from a director, or a fellow student, REDMAYNE picks up cues from his environment, bending his will to meet the demands of the moment. It is why REDMAYNE has the kind of whiskey the INTERVIEWER orders. It is why when INTERVIEWER asks REDMAYNE what he is really like, if being calm and collected doesn’t come naturally to him, REDMAYNE responds, it is a big question, and one he probably doesn’t have an answer for, as though REDMAYNE could be any number of things. It is perhaps why REDMAYNE very much admires the work of EDWARD ALBEE, who takes very seriously the comedy of human existence, the contingency of the self and desire, who can turn hilarity into absolute drama in twenty minutes, who can make an audience weep along with a man who has very literally fallen in love with a goat.

Speaking to notions of artistic integrity, REDMAYNE asks if INTERVIEWER has to work within the paradigm of the magazine’s style. INTERVIEWER tells REDMAYNE it’s Flaunt, as though the magazine’s name is a sufficient answer. There really is no paradigm.

-(INTERVIEWER) And you were in Flaunt, remember, like around the time of The Good Shepherd.

-(REDMAYNE) I do, I do remember. I remember it so specifically. (REDMAYNE begins talking about the photo shoot) The guy who was taking the photos—or I think it was the guy—he was so high ...

-(INTERVIEWER, laughing) Like stoned?

-(REDMAYNE, shaking his head) Yeah, and we were on top of his roof, and this guy kept wrapping me in this orange cord and he was telling me to hold a bomb, like a WWII bomb, and it was so like grim. I was holding it over the New York skyline and it wasn’t that long after 9/11 and I was like are you sure this is okay ... and I remember it being it one of the worst experiences of my life .... I mean not really ... but it’s worth looking up those photos ...

-(INTERVIEWER) But that’s what Flaunt is! but yeah ... I guess even Flaunt has its ...  you know ... its strings. But I feel like you’ve been able to sort of ... maintain ...  keeping something of your ...

-(REDMAYNE) I mean there’s a fine line. And you’ve got to balance that. I’m certainly not proud of all the work I’ve done ...

REDMAYNE won’t name names. But he talks about how some choices are easy. Even if it was only 300 quid a week, taking on Red was easy. Especially since he doesn’t have anyone else, other than himself to look after.

-(INTERVIEWER) But you’re 30 now

-(REDMAYNE) And you?

-(INTERVIEWER) I’m 29

-(REDMAYNE) When do you turn 30?

-(INTERVIEWER) July ... next July ... How is it?

-(REDMAYNE) I’m totally fine with it

-(INTERVIEWER) I’m not, I’m not going to be

-(REDMAYNE) Really?

-(INTERVIEWER) I still call myself a kid

-(REDMAYNE) Well, I know, I do too

-(INTERVIEWER) What is that?

-(REDMAYNE) Certainly ... you get to do that thing you loved doing when you were fifteen at school ... and that like freezes things. Then, when you’re working, it’s hard work, but you’re life is organized for you ... you’re getting placed by people, set in this chair, then that chair ... you can definitely lose any sense of responsibility for yourself. (REDMAYNE finishes his whiskey) What I find tricky ... I suppose my friends ... from London or whatever ... who aren’t actors ... it’s a whole different world. They’re getting married and having kids and you get that sense of things moving on. And because you want to retain that same framework ... but certainly you’re living a kind of ephemeral circus life ... you want to go back to what you know ... but when what you know is changing, everyone is moving on ... you want to clutch onto something stable ... I don’t know ... I haven’t really ... maybe that’s why we still say that

-(INTERVIEWER) I think because I hurt my back and my leg. I have like injuries.

-(REDMAYNE) That is right, that’s funny. Those sorts of things that tweak you, when you were 19, they’ve become a thing now, haven’t they? I do find that quite funny. You start becoming a cliché of that thing that older people do .... whenever I hear myself say, where does the time go, I hear myself, I’m like shut up, you bastard ...

At this point REDMAYNE leaves for the bathroom to the left. When he returns, he is recognized. A voice calls his name. REDMAYNE turns to the direction of the sound. Then, from the left, enters THE LOS ANGELES PAL. He stands near the table, smiling, pushing his long hair back, out of his eyes. REDMAYNE stands. Then THE LOS ANGELES PAL and REDMAYNE hug. PAL looks at INTERVIEWER and asks,

-(PAL) You don’t happen to have any cigarettes do you?

-(INTERVIEWER) No I’m not a smoker

-(REDMAYNE, clapping his hands) I love it, last time I saw you, you were looking for a cigarette. You’re like a machine.

PAL and REDMAYNE exchange numbers, then PAL exits to the left. REDMAYNE looks at his watch and realizes he is late, and he has to prepare for meetings scheduled for early tomorrow morning. But for the sake of the theme of the upcoming issue of Flaunt, INTERVIEWER asks REDMAYNE about the ideal mother. What is REDMAYNE’s ideal mother? REDMAYNE and INTERVIEWER then begin another long conversation in which REDMAYNE describes the attention his mother paid to his interest in acting, going so far as to book him lessons and so on when really she didn’t have a clue as to what it was all about. INTERVIEWER agrees. But then the inured but pleasant WAITRESS returns with the check. Conversation comes to a halt. Both INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE reach for it.

-(REDMAYNE) I got this one

-(INTERVIEWER) No man

Both INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE pause.

-(INTERVIEWER) Split it

-(REDMAYNE, confirming) Split it.

They both pay with cards. WAITRESS bids them a nice evening as INTERVIEWER and REDMAYNE exit to the right. INTERVIEWER thinks he has his ending. At the top of the stairs, REDMAYNE gestures to the windows on the north side of the floor, opposite the bar. The sun has just dipped behind the high peak of the hills, washing the sky orange, red and pink, notes and streaks of blue and purple grading further from the mountain, cooling over the expanse of Los Angeles, now a swarm of twitching dots, a million lights, beneath them. REDMAYNE remarks it is beautiful. INTERVIEWER suddenly realizes he forgot to ask REDMAYNE about his colorblindness.

The End

Photography: Ruven Afanador for trishsouth.com.

Styling: Christian Stroble for wschupfer.com.

Styling Assistant: Victoria Cameron.

Set Design: Shawn Patrick Anderson for bridgeartists.com.

Hair: Paul Rizzo for bumbleandbumble.com.

Grooming: Yuko Mizuno for ronarepresents.com.

Location: acmebrooklyn.com.