Where does an actor go next after winning an Oscar and playing an intergalactic tyrant in a studio tent-pole, all in the span of a few weeks? For "Theory of Everything" and "Jupiter Ascending" star Eddie Redmayne, the answer is straight to DVD, as a talking train.
The 33-year-old British performer lends his voice to the next installment of the "Thomas & Friends" series, "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure," according to an Associated Press report.
Redmayne voices a new locomotive named Ryan in the 60-minute computer-animated movie, to be released on home video by HIT Entertainment in the fall.
Best known for his recent Oscar-winning turn as the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in "Theory," Redmayne has largely specialized in period dramas, including that film as well as "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "The Other Boleyn Girl," "My Week With Marilyn" and "Les Miserables." He's also reuniting with "Les Miz" director Tom Hooper for "The Danish Girl."
Some of his efforts to branch out have been more vexing, though, like his over-the-top villain role in "Jupiter" and his supporting appearances in critically maligned movies such as "Hick" and "Powder Blue."
He's not the first Oscar-nominated actor to step into the vocal booth. Others include Robin Williams ("Aladdin"), Tom Hanks (the "Toy Story" movies, "The Polar Express"), George Clooney and Meryl Streep ("Fantastic Mr. Fox"), and even Orson Welles ("The Transformers: The Movie").
Redmayne is a self-described fan of the "Thomas" franchise, which began as a series of children's books and also includes toys and a TV series.
"I grew up loving to watch Thomas and his pals getting caught up in unexpected and mischievous adventures," Redmayne said in a statement. "I jumped at the opportunity to get involved and what fun it was! I have never voiced an animated character before, and I had a complete blast."