Baftas 2015: Eddie Redmayne beats Benedict Cumberbatch to win Best Actor

Redmayne won a Golden Globe last month for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything

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The Independent Culture

Eddie Redmayne has won the Bafta for Best Actor for his role in biopic The Theory of Everything.

Pitting fellow favourite Benedict Cumberbatch to the post, the 33-year-old also beat theThe Imitation Game actor at the Golden Globes for the same role last month.

The pair will face off again at Hollywood's Academy Awards on 22 February.

Set in the 1960s, the film depicts a young Stephen Hawking as he struggles to come to terms with being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, while he embarks upon an ambitious study of time at Cambridge University.

Following his win, Redmayne said: "This is one of the best nights of my life so thank you so much."

He went on to dedicate the award to three families: his own for "galvanising him and having amazing faith in him," to his professional family including "wondrous" co-star Felicity Jones and director James Marsh and of course, the Hawkings for "reminding him of the great strength that comes with the will to live".

David Beckham with Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in the Baftas winners room

As well as Cumberbatch, Redmayne faced competition for the Best Actor award from Michael Keaton, Birdman, Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler.

The Theory of Everything has also scooped a Gold Globe for Best Original Score and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Redmayne.

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Often seen as an indicator for Oscar’s results, Redmayne’s Bafta win puts him in a good position to claim the Best Actor award at Hollywood’s most prestigious ceremony.

Meanwhile, Redmayne's on-screen wife, Felicity Jones will be vying for the Best Actress prize, alongside other bookies' favourites Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Amy Adams for Big Eyes, Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl and Reese Witherspoon for Wild.