Out of all of the compliments that came Eddie Redmayne’s way following his win at the Academy Awards, the one that had to feel the best must have come from Stephen Hawking.
The genius took to social media after the Oscars to congratulate Redmayne on his win for playing… well, for playing Stephen Hawking in James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything. While Hawking already had given his blessing to Redmayne’s portrayal, the noted theoretical physicist and cosmologist responded to the Oscar success by posting:
Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne for winning an #?Oscar for playing me in The Theory of Everything Movie. Well done Eddie, I'm very proud of you. –SH
In winning his first Oscar, Eddie Redmayne bested fellow Best Actor nominees Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Keaton, who almost looked like he had a real shot to win in the category as his movie, Birdman, started claiming early Oscar wins. Some even joked that Redmayne’s abysmal performance in the atrocious Jupiter Ascending could hurt his Oscar chances, as that stinker dropped during the hottest moments of the Oscar campaign. Alas, his performance as Stephen Hawking was simply too transformative to overlook, and now the 33-year-old Brit can call himself an Oscar winner.
Redmayne made sure to thank the Hawking family during his speech, shouting out to "all of those people around the world battling ALS," as well as "one exceptional family – Stephen, Jane and the Hawking children." The actor has been effusive of the support he received during the making of The Theory of Everything from the Hawking family, and it was even recounted to The Guardian that when Stephen Hawking finally watched the finished film, he sometimes thought that he was looking at himself on screen instead of Redmayne. That’s how complete the actor’s transformation was into the body of the scientist.
So, where does Eddie Redmayne go from here? Seeing as how Jupiter Ascending isn’t going to turn into a franchise, the actor’s going to have to continue seeking out legitimate work. He’s currently filming The Danish Girl with his Les Miserables director Tom Hooper (who also won the Oscar for The King’s Speech). That drama bears striking similarities to Theory in that it explores a romance between actual people, and not fictional characters. It follows Danish artist Einar Wegener and his wife Gerda as they encounter obstacles. Could it lead to a second nomination for Redmayne? Time will tell.