Tom Hiddleston Once Played an Elephant Leg to Eddie Redmayne’s Lead Character in School Play

Humble beginnings. Tom Hiddleston revealed on the Friday, February 17, episode of The Graham Norton Show that he once played an elephant leg to Eddie Redmayne’s lead character in a school play years ago.

The pair, who attended the same all-boys school back in the day, had a funny way of crossing paths during a school production of A Passage to India by E.M. Forster.

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“He was a great talent, even then,” the 36-year-old Kong: Skull Island star told the talk-show host. “It was an all-boys school, and the great Eddie Redmayne, now Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne, was playing the female lead. And in A Passage to India, there’s an expedition to this cultural landmark known as the Marabar Caves by elephant. And I’m delighted to reveal that I played the front, right leg of the elephant that Eddie Redmayne was riding on.”

Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston
Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston attend HFPA/InStyle’s Annual TIFF Celebration in Toronto Sept. 12, 2015. George Pimentel/WireImage

The Night Manager actor laughed remembering the ridiculous scene. “We were holding a table with a cushion on top of it, and also a tablecloth to cover our faces because our bodies are the elephant.”

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Redmayne, 35, has since graduated from school theater to earn a best actor Oscar for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything in 2014, and was nominated for another best actor Academy Award for his 2015 leading role in The Danish Girl.

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Hiddleston, for his part, has moved on from his days playing an elephant’s leg. This year, he received a Golden Globe for his leading role in The Night Manager in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category. (He was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie at last year’s Emmys as well.)

The British actor will next star opposite Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Mann and John C. Reilly in Kong: Skull Island, out in March.

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