‘The Good Nurse’: Eddie Redmayne Attended Nursing School and Hired a Movement Coach to Portray Serial Killer Charles Cullen

Fans of true crime will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy top-notch content over the next few months, with several high-profile movies and shows scheduled for release. One of these upcoming films is The Good Nurse, a crime thriller based on a 2013 book.

The film focuses on the serial killer Charles Cullen, who worked as a nurse for more than a dozen years. During this time, he murdered as many as 300 patients.

Eddie Redmayne smiling
Eddie Redmayne | Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

English actor Eddie Redmayne portrays Cullen, while acclaimed actor Jessica Chastain plays Cullen’s co-worker, Amy Loughren, a nurse who starts to suspect that Cullen is up to something nefarious.

While the film won’t drop on Netflix until later in 2022, both Redmayne and Chastain recently opened up about The Good Nurse, dishing on why they wanted to work together and how they prepared for filming.

Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain star in ‘The Good Nurse’

The Good Nurse tells the story of nurse Charles Cullen, who potentially killed close to 300 people during his career as a nurse – although, according to Oxygen, Cullen earned the nickname “Angel of Death” after he was captured and is deemed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.

Featuring Redmayne and Chastain in leading roles, The Good Nurse is bound to make waves with viewers.

In a recent Vanity Fair interview, the two actors admitted that they have been looking forward to working together for some time. “We’re both very freckly, redheaded people, and we’ve always wanted to work together,” Chastain joked. Redmayne noted:

“I’ve been in these big ensemble pieces—grand, symphony things where, as an actor, you’re playing one instrument—but I thought this would be more like improvisational jazz … and working with someone as brilliant as Jessica was exactly what I was looking for.”

How did Eddie Redmayne prepare for his role in ‘The Good Nurse’?

Redmayne, who is known for his immersive portrayals of both fictional and real-life characters, dove deep into his role as Charles Cullen, revealing that he studied footage of the serial killer and worked with a movement coach to master Cullen’s mannerisms. Of working with coach Alexandra Reynolds, Redmayne said,

“She noticed that actually, it was almost like he was being held up by the label on the back of his shirt—that’s where all the tension was placed, and that was interesting to investigate something physically.”

Both Redmayne and Jessica Chastain attended “nursing school” in order to fully understand the day-to-day intricacies of their characters’ lives – and Redmayne effected a New Jersey accent in place of his refined British one.

For both Chastain and Redmayne, the film offers viewers a deep dive into the psyche of a notorious killer and the woman who helped bring him to justice. “Hopefully, true crime in some sense creates a sense of empathy and connectedness to all of us,” Chastain noted.

How was Charles Cullen eventually caught?

Cullen is currently serving 18 life sentences and is not eligible for parole until 2403. He is confirmed to have killed at least 29 patients in his care, usually by administering lethal injections of drugs. According to the New York Post, Cullen was eventually apprehended in 2003 after a 16-year career as a nurse in the New Jersey area.

His co-worker, Amy Loughren, was instrumental in apprehending Cullen. The publication notes that she became suspicious of her fellow nurse after noticing his consistent restock orders of drugs that weren’t commonly used in their nursing unit. She drew parallels between the deaths and his supply list and alerted authorities to Cullen’s activities – which ultimately led to his arrest.

Fans can watch Redmayne and Chastain’s take on the true crime tale when The Good Nurse drops on Netflix later this year.

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