Eddie Redmayne has gone from a little known British character actor to a real Hollywood up and comer. While he’s yet to take on absolutely central roles, he’s certainly become a recognizable face and name thanks to My Week With Marilyn and most recently Les Miserables. Now we may get to see what Redmayne can really do as an actor, when he takes on the challenge of playing Stephen Hawking in the upcoming Theory Of Everything.
Theory Of Everything will be directed by James Marsh (Man On Wire) and will feature Redmayne as the wheelchair-bound theoretical physicist and writer. So far the only plot details are that the film would focus on the relationship between Hawking and his wife, though that’s awfully vague. Hawking has been married and divorced twice. As Cinema Blend remarks, Redmayne’s age probably indicates that the film will be about Hawking’s first wife Jane Wilde, whom Hawking married in 1965. No word yet on who will play the wife.
Theory Of Everything is quite a challenge for any young actor to take on – Hawking is as famous for his self-effacing wit on shows like The Simpsons, Futurama and The Big Bang Theory as he is for his considerable brilliance as a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. Add to that the fact that Hawking is affected by ALS to the extent that he now must speak through device, and you’ve got a part that is remarkable in complexity. Oh, and he’s still alive, so Redmayne has to deal with portraying not just a real human being, but a real human being likely to have an opinion on his performance. Yeesh.
Nevertheless, what an opportunity for a young actor. Redmayne is currently filming the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending, so he’ll get some experience with sci-fi, if not quite science. When Theory Of Everything begins filming, we’ll know if he can handle both.