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Fantastic Beasts: Eddie Redmayne discusses choosing his wand

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Every wizard needs a trusty wand, and Eddie Redmayne certainly didn’t choose his lightly.

During a recent appearance on The Jess Cagle Interview, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star discussed the exciting and nerve-racking process of selecting the key prop for his magizoologist character, Newt Scamander.

“In the audition, they said, ‘Ed, choose a wand,'” Redmayne recalled. “I was like, ‘This is a big decision! Doesn’t the wand choose you?’ … I just had a prop one for that bit, but I watched all these other actors come in and be offered the same thing, and watching really grown-up people sort of have that moment of, ‘What? I get to [choose a wand?]’ You suddenly saw the 10-year-old in everyone.”

Eventually Redmayne got to take part in crafting Newt’s wand. “You get sent there with these amazing guys who design wands, and talk you through your thoughts on who the character is, and what qualities the wand would have,” he said. “I thought that Newt would have probably [one] made of wood. He’s a quite humble guy, so maybe shell with a bit of mother-of-pearl. … It’s not a massively flashy wand.”

While Redmayne expressed envy for some of his costars’ more ornate creations — “bedazzled wands” — he’s pretty attached to his own.

“I do actually embarrassingly take my wand with me,” he admitted. “Genuinely travel with my wand.”

Watch this full episode of The Jess Cagle Interview, available now, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices.