4:15 pm EDT, June 5, 2015

Eddie Redmayne makes first comments about starring in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

He's super excited about it, and not just because he's about to make a ton of galleons!

The actor who’s been tasked with leading the Harry Potter spinoff series is a very happy wizard.

Eddie Redmayne made his very first comments about his new role as Newt Scamander in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts while speaking to the London Evening Standard on Friday.

“I’m hugely excited,” he said. “J.K. Rowling’s a genius, I am so thrilled to be a part of it but I can’t say a single word beyond that… I’ve always loved that world and I feel thrilled to be invited into it.”

He’s not kidding when he says he’s always “loved [the Wizarding W]orld.” When we first told you that Redmayne was rumored for the role in May, we shared the below clip of The Theory of Everything actor on a talk show where he expressed his love for the Harry Potter series (and wonders why he was never cast as a red-headed Weasley):

Here’s a photo of Redmayne as a kid. He really could’ve passed for a Weasley!

eddie-redmayne-young-weasley

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“Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way,” said Fantastic Beasts director David Yates on Monday.

“Thrilled that Eddie Redmayne will be starring in Fantastic Beasts. He’ll be a perfect Newt Scamander!” said Rowling.

The first film in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy will open in theaters November 2016 and starts filming later this year.

Yesterday, Rowling confirmed two other characters entering the Fantastic Beasts franchise: Queenie and Tina.

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