35th Wffc Bih 2015

World Fly Fishing Championship 2019

Eddie Redmayne on Playing Stephen Hawking

Eddie Redmayne on Playing Stephen Hawking


– I don’t know if anyone
has seen the movie yet, but you are amazing
in this movie. You are absolutely– [cheers and applause] It’s all about–We’ll talk about
the movie in a minute, but it was your birthday
two days ago. Happy belated birthday.
– Thank you very much. [cheers and applause] – Today, as this airs,
it’s Stephen Hawking’s birthday. – It is, yeah. – How weird is that, that you’re so close together
in birthdays? – I know. Well, I made that mistake
when I first met him. When you meet Stephen,
there are these long pauses because it takes a while for him
to communicate, and I was just filling air. And I started telling him
how we shared the same month and that we were
both Capricorns, which– He is an astronomer,
not an astrologer, which he reminded me of,
which was quite embarrassing. So–but, no, we do.
We share the same month. – That’s amazing, though,
I think. I mean, did you know much
about him before you started
getting into this film? – I am embarrassed. I gave up science
when I was, like, 14. – Mm-hmm.
– I’m useless. One of–the greatest feat
for me playing Stephen Hawking was trying to back
my way into pretending that I knew
what I was talking about. I’d go to all these
sort of complicated websites, and then I’d go
to astronomyforkids.org and kind of try
to work out– – But you knew of him,
and you knew–yeah. I mean, I’ve been fascinated
by him. I think the “Theory of Time”
was the first book that– – “Brief History of Time.”
– “Brief History of Time,” yes. – And what was amazing
about that– was a book
that really translated to people like me,
who really are pretty useless, kind of the meaning
of the universe. – Right, I mean,
he’s a fascinating guy. And you are–
you’re getting Oscar buzz, and–and–I mean,
you’re really, really amazing. The transformation between
the healthy Stephen Hawking to what you had to do
with your body, you had to be sore
every day from contorting yourself in that kind of position
every day, right? – Well, you know, I– I had about four months
to prep for the film, and I went to the–
this ALS clinic in London and tried to educate myself
on the disease and met some
extraordinary people, really formidable people,
who are dealing and coping emotionally and physically
with this disease. I then worked with a dancer, and the dancer helped me train
for four months to kind of teach your body
to shorten muscles and to be able to sustain
some of the positions. So the whole process
was riveting, and really,
I learned a lot. – Yeah, it really– It’s amazing,
and you deserve the nomination for the Golden Globe, and you deserve a nomination
for an Oscar, if that happens. You really do deserve that.
– Thank you. [applause] – So do you– When you sat with Stephen, was he excited
about this project, and did he give you any tips or advice
about playing him? – Well, when I met Stephen,
it was about four or five days before we started filming,
and because– because when you shoot a film,
you don’t shoot chronologically, you have to sort of jump
between different periods in his life
over 25 years within the same day. It was–
Basically when I met him, there was so much
I wanted to ask him, but I almost didn’t know
where to start. I got completely tongue tied,
and I– When you spend time
with him, he just uses this muscle
beneath his cheek to communicate. He has a sensor
on his glasses, so there are
these long pauses. And I just get nervous
of silence, and so I genuinely spent
the first half an hour just spewing forth information
about Stephen Hawking to Stephen Hawking. It was–it makes me sweat
even thinking about it. But eventually I calmed down,
and he’s just so funny. He has this incredible wit, and even though
he can move so few muscles, he just emanates
this charisma. And it really
was a great privilege to spend time with him. – Yeah, you can actually–
you can see that. I didn’t–
I didn’t realize that, that he communicates
everything from moving
that one muscle there. – Yeah, so now,
because the muscles have closed even–or closed down
even further than in the film, he has these glasses
with a sensor, and then this muscles
by his cheek moves, and then on a screen, he has
the alphabet with a cursor, and each time
he twitches that muscle, it stops on one letter. So it’s incredibly–
I can’t get over how frustrating it must be. – Yeah, to wait that long
to finish an entire sentence. – And to find such humor
and such compassion in the way he lived
despite that. – It’s just a reminder
that we’re in here, you know? That’s who we are. That’s all that matters, is we’re always,
you know, still– Our attitude
is all that matters.

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