posted at 18:50
Author: Brian Anthony Hernandez
Why Eddie Redmayne feared Stephen Hawking before Theory of Everything
NEW YORK CITY - The sunlight glare reflecting off Eddie Redmayne's silver wristwatch bounces around the hotel room as he recounts meeting Stephen Hawking. In The Theory of Everything, Redmayne's transformation from the young, agile Hawking into the wheelchair-bound astrophysicist living with moto-neuron disease is well-worthy of an Oscar nomination. Redmayne, admittedly "Embarrassingly ignorant" about Hawking before being cast, pictured Hawking as "An icon in the wheelchair," an intelligent man who "Had something to do with black holes." But then, he read the script - based on his ex-wife Jane Wilde Hawking's memoir - and discovered the couple's complex love story. "When I did meet him I just literally arrived in the room, said hello and proceeded to spew forth information about Stephen Hawking to Stephen Hawking," he said, describing their three-hour chat. Redmayne brilliantly conveyed Hawking's mischievous behavior, including his smirks and eyebrow-twitches, over many decades in the biopic, which was filmed non-chronologically. Even when science was presented, director James Marsh delivered it in digestible doses: Jane describes quantum and relativity using peas and potatoes, and Stephen's friends explain Hawking Radiation with beers and chips. Many months after the physicist and actor met, Hawking watched the film and said Redmayne portrayed him "Very well - at times I thought he was me." The duo can thank their intimate house meeting, partially, for ensuring the onscreen Hawking remained true in body and mind to the offscreen Hawking.

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