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For actor Eddie Redmayne, a Stephen Hawking immersion course
For actor Eddie Redmayne, a Stephen Hawking immersion course

Actors can engage in plenty of odd pre-performance rituals. But when it comes to moments you’d rather strangers not see, few compare to hanging out in a London park mimicking Stephen Hawking. That was life for Eddie Redmayne in the months before he took on the scientist in the new biopic “The Theory of Everything.” Redmayne would practice Hawking’s physicality through the ages while a movement coach captured it all on camera. Then the actor would study the footage and go out and do it all over again. “It was a little like shooting a love scene,” Redmayne said over lunch at the Waldorf Astoria recently. “You knew it was good for the movie, but...

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