Jaap Buitendijk—Warner Bros.
August 3, 2016 1:16 PM EDT

When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters later this year, audiences will be introduced to magizoologist Newt Scamander, a character who plays a large role in the history of the wizarding world as we know it. So when Eddie Redmayne — who plays Newt — was tasked with selecting a wand for the role, he took the decision very seriously.

“I sort of assumed that I would have a wand sort of plopped in my hand,” Redmayne told Entertainment Weekly. “But the reality is that these amazing props designers come, and then you have really a quite intricate discussion with [director] David Yates about what qualities Newt has. He’s not a showy guy, Newt, so I wanted it be to quite simple.”

The Oscar-winning actor went on to describe all the different elements of the finished product, and why Newt likely wouldn’t accept a leather handle. “So we decided to have the wand be made out of ashwood, and it has quite a few scratches and sort of burn marks — so that you could get the sense that he’s been traveling the world with it, and it’s got quite a history to it,” he said. “But for the handle, they were sort of talking about whether it should be horn or leather, and I didn’t like the idea of animal products being used, given that he’s a zoologist. So in the end, they came up with this idea of sand shell… and it has a slightly mother-of-pearly feel. So we had all these discussions and went back and forth with designs, and when the thing arrived I was pretty excited. My inner 9-year-old was having a disco, and then I was actually presented with it!”

The Nov. 18 release of Fantastic Beasts will come on the heels of the stage debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child — J.K. Rowling’s eighth story of the Boy Who Lived.

Read more at EW.com.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.

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