Stephen Hawking 'thought Eddie Redmayne was himself' in The Theory of Everything

Oscar-winning Redmayne portrays the famed physicist in the film about his life

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The Independent Culture

Stephen Hawking has said he was so impressed with Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of him on the big screen that at times he mistook the actor for himself.

Hawking has praised Redmayne’s performance in the forthcoming biopic The Theory Of Everything, which follows the renowned scientist’s life from his days as a PhD student to being honoured by the Queen in 1989.


“I thought Eddie Redmayne portrayed me very well. At times I thought he was me. I think Eddie’s commitment will have a big emotional impact,” said the physicist, who shed a tear when he first saw the film.

Redmayne has admitted that he was daunted by the prospect of playing the eminent scientist, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21.

The actor said he did not know Hawking had been “entirely healthy” as a young man before reading the script, but described the process of preparing for the role as “riveting”.

TTOE_D04_01827_R_CROP.jpgRedmayne met with specialists to analyse photographs of Hawking and see how motor neurone disease manifested itself in the scientist’s body. He later worked with a choreographer to perfect Hawking’s movements.

The film, which is based on Hawking’s ex-wife Jane Wilde’s memoir A Life with Stephen, tells the story of the young couple, who fell in love while studying at Cambridge University in the Sixties.

Harry Lloyd and Eddie Redmayne in the Stephen Hawking biopic

Wilde, who is portrayed by Felicity Jones in the film, remains determined to marry the young Hawking despite being told by doctors that he only has two years to live.

The couple went on to have three children together, but later divorced in 1995.

The Theory of Everything is released in the UK on 1 January following its current release in the US in order to qualify for an Oscar nomination.

This article was originally published on 18 November 2014. It has since been edited and republished.

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