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Fantastic Beasts: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston on handling their wands

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They say that the wand chooses the wizard, but it’s another thing to actually learn how to wield that wand. When it was Eddie Redmayne’s turn to cast spells as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them lead Newt Scamander, he turned to a golden trio with lots of experience.

During an appearance Sunday at EW PopFest in Los Angeles, Redmayne and costar Katherine Waterston talked about what advice they would give themselves now, were each star to go back to the first day of wand rehearsals.

“I think probably to relax,” Redmayne told EW’s Marc Snetiker. “I hadn’t realized it, but subconsciously it’d been like, 33 years of drumroll to that moment — and so the nerves were pretty high when I picked up that wand. … I would say to myself, relax a bit. But we got quite into it, we went to these wand-work sessions, all of us, it was really funny.”

He later added, “The other thing I would tell myself is do what I then did a couple of days later, after my catastrophic first day, which was go and watch what Dan [Radcliffe] and Rupert [Grint] and Emma [Watson] did, and steal their best bits.”

Waterston admitted she felt “like a real jerk” on her first day, which included working with a movement teacher on the art of swishing and flicking. “She said, you know, just point your wand at that cup and imagine you can slide it across the table and I was afraid even to just lift it up.”

“I have a really big hand, I felt goofy with a wand. I made them make my wand heavier so it felt more substantial, that helped,” she added.

Watch the pair talk wands in the video above. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in theaters on Nov. 18.

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