Eddie Redmayne may be enjoying a stellar Awards season for his role of Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything' , this coming after his Golden Globe victory last weekend, but the British actor is remaining predictably sanguine about all the buzz around his career-transforming role.
“Buzz is a scary word,” he says. “If you read the good stuff, you have to read the bad stuff. In the past, I’ve tried to put my fingers in my ears and not listen too much.
“It’s also ephemeral, it comes and goes again, so I’m just putting one foot in front one another.”
More importantly to him, Eddie has revealed the "reality check" he got through playing the world-famous scientist, who has triumphed despite great physical challenge.
Eddie, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as the theoretical physicist diagnosed with motor neurone disease as a student at Cambridge, tells HuffPostUK:
“Stephen was given two years to live, and he thinks of every day beyond that as a gift, and he lives every day and every second fully and passionately.
“I’m one of those people who gets caught up in the foibles and anxieties of daily life, and it was quite a reality check. We only get one go at it.”
Eddie Redmayne with Stephen Hawking, whom he portrays in 'The Theory of Everything'
The film tells the story of Stephen Hawking’s romance with his first wife Jane, and the extraordinary story of their changing relationship in the face of his illness and his burgeoning global fame. Eddie says:
“What I took away from it was that, with the circumstances put in front of Stephen and Jane, the obstacles they faced were pretty extreme, but both of them have refused to be defined by those obstacles, but rather how they’ve superseded and overcome them.
“I feel, although it’s very specific to them, in life we all have imitations, but how we choose to overcome them is perhaps what defines us.
Despite that, Eddie’s been so busy promoting this film and preparing for other projects that, he says, “I’m still waiting for the moment when I can eventually roar.”
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones play Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane, who had a delightful courtship while students together at Cambridge
Of all the moving scenes in the film – from the young couple’s delightful courtship at university ball, to Stephen’s diagnosis to their eventual separation, Eddie found the break-up scene the most difficult to perform.
“By that point in the film, we’d filmed a lot and we were fiercely protective of our characters,” he remembers.
“It’s not our role to judge these people, and hopefully you will see their extraordinary qualities and flaws. Stephen and Jane had become one entity, there is a symbiosis between them. They couldn’t see the idea of a life without each other.”
Their parting comes after Jane has started a relationship with their friend Jonathan, and Stephen has fallen for his nurse, Elaine.
“Stephen was seeing Jane’s relationship with Jonathan, but not seeing a future without her, and then when he met Elaine, and she fell for him the way he was then, and he saw that there was a future…” ponders Eddie. “I always see it as a letting go, but that was the toughest.”
'The Theory of Everything' is in UK cinemas from 1 January 2015. Watch the trailer below...