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Best Eddie Redmayne Movies and TV Show, Ranked

the good nurse

cr. JoJo Wilden/Netflix

You might remember, but around the mid-2010s a little-known actor came out of nowhere and announced himself a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, especially within the awards circuit. Eddie Redmayne was a relatively anonymous actor, working plenty but to little fanfare. That is,until he received two straight Academy Award nominations in the Best Actor category in 2014 and 2015, winning in 2015 for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. He has since joined the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, starring in all three movies of the Fantastic Beasts series and making him not only a household name but a full-on movie star.

That said, he is still an actor who has certain tendencies, one of which is his gravitation towards playing real-life characters in period-piece dramas. In that very specific genre, he may be one of the most accomplished actors working, consistently able to inhabit and portray real stories with grace and care. He does that again with a movie out this week on Netflix. Thought The Good Nurse is fairly contemporary, it does concern a series of true crimes that took place in the early 2010s — around the time Redmayne was working his way up the acting ladder and playing smaller roles in Elizabethan-era dramas — and he once again shows off his significant acting chops. In honor of his newest movie, we have ranked his movies and TV shows, worst to best.

10. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (2016)

When they made the decision to continue the Harry Potter series with a new set of original movies based on a guide book written by JK Rowling, they needed to make a splash with its star, needing to cast someone who could carry a series and fit snugly into the Harry Potter universe. In hindsight it makes total sense they picked Redmayne, a skilled English actor with a sensitive side that makes him easy to root for. He plays “magizoologist” Newton “Newt” Scamander, an expert in magical creatures who runs into all sorts of trouble. As expected, this was a massive movie, earning over $800 million worldwide and birthing a new Wizarding World franchise.

9. The Pillars Of Earth (2010)

In one of his first higher profile roles, Redmayne played the part of Jack Jackson in the 2010 Starz miniseries The Pillars Of Earth. Based on the sprawling Ken Follett novel of the same name, this series takes place in 12th century England and follows the building of a cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge, tracking the many characters who have a hand in its construction. Though this series has mostly been forgotten to time, it was quite successful upon its release, earning three Golden Globes, including Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.

8. The Good Nurse (2022)

Aside from the Fantastic Beast series, Redmayne seems determined to play almost exclusively real-life figures. The Good Nurse is notable, however, for the contemporaryness of its subject matter. Based on the 2013 true crime book of the same name by Charles Graeber, The Good Nurse tells the story of Charles Cullen, a man who confessed to killing up to forty patients during his time as a nurse in New Jersey. It is, obviously, quite a harrowing story, and one played as such by both Redmayne and his co-star Jessica Chastain. What makes Redmayne the perfect performer for this role is just how unlikely of a serial killer the usually mild-mannered and kind Redmayne appears to be. This brand new Netflix movie flips that idea on its head to wonderful results.

7. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Redmayne has actually appeared as two different characters in two different filmed depictions of Queen Elizabeth I’s life. This time around he plays English gentleman Anthony Babington, a man recruited to assassinate the queen as part of a pro-Catholic plot to usurp her crown. It’s an essential role played, then, by a largely unknown actor, but Redmayne does an excellent job inhabiting the unsuccessful assassin. You can watch both this and the first movie in the series now on Starz.

6. The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Redmayne once again enters the royal court of England for this, yet another historical drama. This time we move back to the reign of King Henry VIII with the story centering, despite its title, on both Mary and Anne Boleyn. Written by royal expert and creator of The Crown Peter Morgan, The Other Boleyn Girl takes some liberties with the truth but is a rewarding watch nonetheless, relying on the charisma of its leads Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Redmayne plays William Stafford, the second husband to Mary Boleyn whom she married in secret, leading to her banishment. Thought reviews for The Other Boleyn Girl were mixed, it was a successful film overall.

5. My Week With Marilyn (2011)

Though you might be more familiar with 2022’s…um…interesting take on the life of Marilyn Monroe, this 2011 biographical film portrayed the movie star with a little more nuance and depth. Directed by Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges, the week in question concerns a time in 1957 when Monroe (Michelle Williams) was escorted around England by film director Colin Clarke, played here by Redmayne. One of the most rewarding aspects of the film is the chemistry displayed by these two actors as they share dialogue-heavy scenes that remain captivating throughout. Though Williams would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Monroe, Redmayne deserves plenty of praise for his depiction as well. You can check out My Week With Marilyn now on Netflix.

4. Wretched (2012)

Not all of the performances in Tom Hooper’s 2012 version of famous Broadway musical Wretched work all that well. Famously, Russell Crowe struggled in his depiction of police inspector Javert, unable to stack up as a singer in comparison to the talented cast around him. One of them was Redmayne, who plays Marius Pontmercy, a student revolutionary who falls in love with Amanda Seyfried’s Cosette. When you are starring in a musical as beloved as Wretched, you are likely to meet some criticism no matter how good your performance, but Redmayne was largely praised for his work here as he was able to capture the vulnerability as well as the bravery of his character. This movie, which is available to stream right now on Netflix, was also a huge hit, earning almost $500 million at the box office.

3. The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (2020)

2020’s The Trial Of The Chicago 7 was not a perfect movie, but held together enough because of writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s excellent script and the performances of its ensemble cast. Redmayne, you could argue, is the lead of that cast, playing the role of Tom Hayden, the president of the Students for a Democratic Society and one of the titular Chicago 7, a group who of Vietnam-War protestors who were accused of inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Though Sorkin certainly takes some liberties within the telling of this story, it largely works as a film, depicting the spirit of the events at hand even if they aren’t entirely factually accurate. The film received mostly positive reviews, with Redmayne’s performance as Hayden singled out as one of the film’s greatest strengths.

2. The Theory Of Everything (2014)

This is when Redmayne went from mostly unknown, young character actor to one far more well-known and respected. Continuing his trend of playing real-life individuals, Redmayne takes on the role of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in this comprehensive biographical film. The movie mostly centers on Hawking’s relationship with his ex-wife Jane Wilde, played by an arresting and excellent Felicity Jones. While it follows many of the traditional biopic twists and turns, it is intent on giving us a nuanced depiction of the romantic love at its center, with more focus on Wilde than one might expect. Both Jones and Redmayne were nominated at the 87th Academy Awards for their performances, with Redmayne taking home his first and only win for the role.

1. The Danish Girl (2015)

A big deal was made of the physical transformation Redmayne made to play Stephen Hawking in the aforementioned The Theory Of Everything and he pulls something similar off here, playing the role of Danish painter Lili Elbe. Elbe, born in 1882, was a transgender woman and among the first to receive sex reassignment surgery, and the film loosely follows this true story, focusing heavily on her marriage to fellow artist Gerba Gottlieb (Alicia Vikander). Both Redmayne and Vikander perform their roles with nuance and heart, delving deep into some demanding character. In a perfect world, Redmayne would not be the choice to play a transgender woman (that role would go to transgender woman) but he does an admirable and sensitive job nonetheless, earning him his second Best Actor nomination. You can check out The Danish Girl now on Netflix.