Pottermore have released a new tid-bit interview with both Eddie Redmayne (Newt) and costume designer Colleen Atwood about that famous blue coat we see Mr Scamander sporting through Fantastic Beasts:
‘It’s interesting, my costume, because one of the main routes into this character is the way he moves,’ Eddie tells me. ‘With the tightness at the top of that coat, Newt’s a compact kind of guy, especially when you think about all the vials and magic he can fit in that coat. The trousers are slightly too short for him too, which works for the way I move as him.’
He smiles, caught for a second between Eddie and Newt. ‘And it’s the 1920s. I love the whole look of that era.’
Costume designer Colleen Atwood has recreated that era, one exquisite piece of clothing at a time. She scoured the world for vintage clothes and made costumes from scratch for each of the principle actors.
‘I made Eddie’s coat from some fabric I’d had around for years, from a play I did,’ Colleen says, on set between fittings. ‘I’d been hoarding it and I dyed it that colour for Newt.’
‘What colour is it, exactly? I want to guess emerald…’ I say.
‘Ah, no,’ she says. ‘I’d say it’s a dark peacock blue. Or technically, in fashion, we’d call it petrol. I knew from the script that Newt is true to the sky and the earth and land, and that’s what I depicted in the colours of his costume.
‘The coat is a 1920s shape, in that it’s a bit ill-fitting but with a slightly modern silhouette. I have 12 duplicates,’ she says and, noticing my eyes widen, ‘Yes, I’ve got a dozen of Newt’s coats. He has to wear it a lot.’
That’s true, he really does. He runs in it, sneaks around in it, hides in it: that coat is the last thing that Eddie puts on before he steps into a scene as Newt, and the first thing he shrugs off gently when it’s over. It’s transformative; it makes him Newt.
Anyone else hoping one of those twelve duplicate coats ends up under your Christmas Tree this year?