This is how Eddie Redmayne became Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking He has gone down in history for his contribution to physics and for becoming an example of self-improvement. Suffering from ALS from a young age, Hawking passed away this week at the age of 76, when no one thought he would be over 30. His charisma made him a cult phenomenon that appeared in series such as The Simpson and Big Bang Theory, and even for a few months he was a movie star who walked through dozens of galas and red carpets.

It was in late 2014 and early 2015, when the awards season placed The theory of everything as one of his favorites. The film, directed by James Marsh, recounted the life of the physicist from the point of view of his wife. Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for putting himself in the shoes of Hawking, his gestures, his leave … everything was in a mimetic interpretation that was supported by that of Felicity Jones like the woman covered by genius, a wife who dedicated herself to him body and soul to end up being abandoned by him.

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne with Hawking at the presentation of the film.


Stephen Hawking did not criticize the point of view adopted, but publicly praised the film, accompanied the team during the promotion and even confessed that “at times I thought it was me.” The screenwriter of The theory of everything He would confess shortly after that in the first projection he saw the physicist’s nurse wiping a tear from his cheek when the lights in the room were turned on.

The actor dedicated a few emotional words to Hawking when he learned of his passing: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an amazing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. My love and my thoughts go out to this family. extraordinary, “he wrote in a public statement.

Investigating the disease

Thanks to this role, Eddie Redmayne not only won the Oscar for Best Leading Actor, but also made a name for himself as one of those atypical Hollywood stars. It also earned him the lead role in the new franchise of JK Rowling, Fantastic Animals and where to find them. It is the award for an exhaustive preparation work before which he was faced with “euphoria” and then fell into “an overwhelming fear that remained throughout the process,” he confessed to the newspaper Milenio.

He focused on capturing the “disintegration that led Hawking from being a healthy young man to a paralyzed adult, it is indeed very difficult, more so if you take into account his scientist’s mind, the unfettered expansion of your imagination. They gave him a death sentence when he was only 21, you see? It was expected that he would not live much longer, “Redmayne said about Hawking, who was 72 years old at the premiere of the film. “You learn from him that you enjoy every moment to the fullest, and that is exactly what I wanted to leave to the public. That is what this experience left me, ”he added.

Eddie Redmayne in the middle of the characterization process.

Eddie Redmayne in the middle of the characterization process.

James Marsh’s decision surprised many because it was one of the most sought after roles in Hollywood, but it was his ambition that convinced him, “not of fame or money, but of doing a great job. For me it was a real leap into the dark. We spent four months researching, working on the physical aspect, and studying Hawking’s laws of physics. I was trained by a choreographer, I visited academics and many ALS sufferers and began to study old photos of Hawking to track the effects of the disease. It consumed me to interpret Hawking, ”he explained then.

Redmayne met Stephen Hawking during the preparation of the film, and highlighted him as well as everyone, his “great sense of humor.” “Even though he could only move a few muscles, he has one of the most charismatic and expressive faces I have ever seen, which is a strange irony. There were many things that I learned about meeting with him, but one of the main things that I took with me is that he does not have a disease; he is moving on with his life and has done so since he was 21 years old. He has unerring optimism. That shocked me a lot and I tried to print it on the character. On the other hand, he was extremely generous: he personally offered James permission to use his unique computer-generated voice to be heard in the film, “he said at the time.

Of course, the first thing he said was not so funny: “I’m going to tell you what I think when I see the movie, whether it’s good or not.” One more sample of Hawking’s humor, a hallmark that Redmayne also brought to his performance, which in its mixture of fragility and tenderness conquered the Academics in one of the most popular Oscars of that edition.


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This is how Eddie Redmayne became Stephen Hawking