Actor Eddie Redmayne, 32, was lucky to get the role of famed physicist Stephen Hawking in the new movie “The Theory of Everything” — but it came with a lot of pressure.
Hawking himself, now 72, would be judging the young actor’s performance.
Hawking trekked to London to screen the film ahead of its November 7th release. Before watching the movie, Redmayne told Variety the cosmologist warned: “I’ll let you know what I think — good or otherwise.’ I said, ‘Stephen, if it’s otherwise, you don’t need to go into details.'”
When the film screening was complete, Hawking was overcome with emotion (via Variety):
After the lights came up, a nurse wiped a tear from Hawking’s eye. He called the film ‘broadly true,’ and even celebrated with the film’s director James Marsh and screenwriter Anthony McCarten at a bar where he sipped champagne from a teaspoon. ‘He emailed us,’ Marsh says, ‘and said there were certain points when he thought he was watching himself.’
Hawking was so happy with the movie that he told filmmakers he would allow them to swap the synthetic voice they had been forced to create and replace it with his own, trademarked computerized version. “We spent a lot of time and money trying to reproduce the voice, but we never got it,” McCarten told Variety.
Redmayne was thrilled after he heard about Hawking’s offer, believing it was a stamp of approval on a performance he still questioned.
“You’re just hoping to get there,” Redmayne said. “Yet there’s this constant frustration — it’s always underwhelming, because you never quite make it. But with his specific voice, it’s an actor’s dream. You’re one step closer to the truth.”
Watch the trailer below:
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