Fresh off his Oscar win for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” Eddie Redmayne reflected on the pressure that he and his cast mates felt playing people who are still alive.
“Our responsibility to tell their story truthfully and authentically, we felt it,” Redmayne said backstage at the Academy Awards. “It was essential to me that I was authentic to what that experience was like. There were so many things that terrified me … but, of course, it galvanizes you.”
FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015
Redmayne said he would be emailing Hawking in England that night and might visit the University of Cambridge physicist in the near future.
In preparation for the film, Redmayne visited a ballet school to help him practice the body positions that Hawking’s conditions causes. Hawking has a rare form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
“I wanted to have the physicality so embedded in me so that we could play the love story,” he said.
After singing live with the cast of "Les Misérables" three years ago on the Academy Awards stage, Redmayne was “weirdly not that nervous” leading up to the big night this year.
“Either you win or you lose,” he said backstage at the Dolby Theatre. “Either way, I was just happy to be invited to the party.”
As he walked up the stage steps to accept his award from Cate Blanchett, however, Redmayne did feel his nerves kick in.
“She’s such an exceptional actor,” he said smiling. “I was recovering from that excitement … and then just tried to bury all this frenzy of nerves. It’s something I will not forget in a hurry.”
The actor said he's in the middle of filming his next project, “The Danish Girl,” and will be heading back to set Tuesday morning. Having “really had to fight for jobs” in the past, he looks forward to "retaining employment" with more ease.