British actor Eddie Redmayne discovered his interest in acting at an early age. Born on Jan. 6, 1982, in London, England, to a father who worked in the business world and a mother who was a relocation specialist, Redmayne studied at Eton College. After graduating in 2000, he attended Trinity College in Cambridge. He finished an undergraduate degree in art history before launching his acting career. Though he has four siblings, Redmayne is the only child in the family to show interest in acting.
Redmayne's first major break came in the show "Twelfth Night," which took place at the Globe Theatre in 2002. His success in that show led to other roles, including a major role in "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?" written by Edward Albee. The show, which ran for several months in 2005, earned him the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards Best Newcomer of the Year and the Outstanding Newcomer award from the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Prior to making a name for himself in the film world, Redmayne focused on theater roles. He starred in Christopher Shinn's production "Now or Later" at the Royal Court Theatre and "Red" written by John Logan at London's Donmar Warehouse. "Red" ran during the 2009 season, making him eligible for the 2010 awards season. He won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Olivier Award and a Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Tony Award. He returned to the Donmar Warehouse in 2011, taking on the title role in "Richard II" for nearly two months. That performance earned him the Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Shakespearean Performance.
In 2006, Redmayne made the leap into film, taking on the role of Alex Forbes in "Like Minds." It didn't take long before he found work on major Hollywood films. He gained supporting roles in "The Good Shepherd," "Savage Grace," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," and "The Yellow Handkerchief." "The Yellow Handkerchief" opened in nearly thirty theaters in the United States and earned several independent film awards, which led to roles in award-winning films, including "The Other Boleyn Girl."
By the end of 2008, Redmayne found himself working as a stage and screen actor and a model. Burberry picked the actor for a campaign focusing on its upscale clothing line. He worked as a model for the company throughout 2008 and later returned for a new ad campaign in 2012. Redmayne, who often dresses in Burberry for play openings and film premiers, landed on Vanity Fair's International Best Dressed List in 2012.
Despite gaining success in the fashion world, Redmayne decided to focus on his acting. In 2009 and 2010, he starred in the films "Powder Blue," "Glorious 39," and "Black Death." After landing a role in the film "Hick," he gained a wider fan base in the United States due to his role in "My Week with Marilyn."
"My Week with Marilyn" focused on the relationship between a young photographer, Colin Clark, and the short-lived relationship that he shared with iconic actress Marilyn Monroe. Clark was a real photographer who worked on Monroe's film "The Prince and the Showgirl," and he became her personal assistant during the production of the film. He later turned his experiences into two memoirs, and Redmayne portrayed Clark on the big screen. Michelle Williams, who played Monroe in the film, and the director and screenwriter earned several nominations that year, and Redmayne became a fixture on the red carpet. He also earned a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination for his work in the film.
Redmayne then made a splash as a member of the ensemble film "Les Misérables," starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russel Crowe. The cast received several awards for the film, including the Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Best Cast from the National Board of Review, the Satellite Award for Best Vast, and Best Ensemble from the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Redmayne also received a Satellite Award nomination and nominations from the San Diego Film Critics Society and Phoenix Film Critics Society.
Redmayne also has some experience in television. In 1998, he landed a role on the show "Animal Ark," but he didn't return to television for five years. One-time roles on "Doctors" and "Elizabeth I" led to longer arcs on "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," "The Pillars of the Earth," and "Birdsong." Redmayne is one of the rare actors who can bounce between live performances on the big and small screens, and his success in some recent films, including "Les Misérables," show that he has a long career ahead of him.