Meet Evil Eddie Redmayne

Because every Oscar nominee needs to try a little latex, right?

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It's been a long time coming, but nonetheless the release timing of Eddie Redmayne's new film, Jupiter Ascending, is worth savouring.

The young actor – hotly tipped to win an Oscar for a subtle, mersmerising performance as a paraplegic genius - can now be seen as a latex-clad villain in the most gloriously camp sci-fi fantasy caper to hit the screens in years.

And it's every bit as enjoyable as The Theory of Everthing, albeit in a very different way.

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Former ELLE cover star Eddie is nothing if not appreciative of the difference. He clearly had a blast prepping and performing the role. Except for the sixpack angle... that clearly proved a little painful to achieve.

ELLE UK: In Jupiter Ascending you play a character called Balem who’s heir to an alien royal family that trades in youth serum.

ER: Yeah, 'cause out in space you have these big families and we own a certain amount of planets and we let Darwin sort everything out over thousands of years and then we harvest the planet and we make bodies into Crème de la Mer and then we bathe in that stuff so that we’re always young. Balan’s pretty evil, and for him it’s all about money, so it’s all very allegorical. It’s probably about banking.

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ELLE UK: He has a pretty edgy get-up. We think eye-liner is involved?

ER: Yup. A LOT of makeup. A lot of sequins.

ELLE UK: And long fingernails, which are quite creepy, aren’t they?

ER: And here’s the thing. His jewllery was quite a big deal, and I decided that he would have long fingernails. Hannah [Eddie's wife] wasn’t so chuffed with the fingernails. Then try this: we stop filming, I start prepping the next day to play Stephen Hawking, and week three into research I read that Stephen Hawking grew his nails long at Cambridge as a kind of statement, and they’ve been long ever since.

Spot the difference: Eddie as Balan, and Eddie as an ELLE cover star.

ELLEUK: Usually you play characters with a bit of light and shade. But this one…

ER: He’s pretty much an out-and-out villain, but I created a bit of an Oedipal story. Lana and Andy [Wachowski, the writer-director siblings behind Jupiter] described it as quite Greek, so I went back – if in doubt throw in an Oedipus thing. 

ELLE UK: ... but on a space-set!

ER:  I’m there in this highly sequined David Bowiesque costume, suspended 40 feet in the air across this gigantic cloth of green being flung around like a doll and I was like, Jesus. It was batshit crazy. Full on. And Lana and Andy are two of the most extreme, brilliant minds that you could meet. 

ELLE: Finally, the six pack

ER:  I used to go to the gym all day in Leaveston, where they were filming. I was going to work every day to work out to try to get a six-pack and that took seven months of eating nothing but chicken.

Jupiter Ascending opens on 6 February 2015.

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