• Golden Globe Awards

EDDIE REDMAYNE (The Theory of Everything)

It may seem as if British actor Eddie Redmayne, 32, sprang from nowhere to win hearts with his revelatory turn as Marius in 2012’s Les Miserables. But nothing could be further from the truth. Redmayne had a banner year in 2010, winning the leading theatre accolade on both sides of ‘the pond’, a British Olivier for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Red (as a fictional assistant to famed artist Mark Rothko) and a U.S. Tony for the same role. With no conventional training, Redmayne has proved talent can be both innate and also learned on the job. He followed up by winning Best Shakespearean Performance at the 2011 London Critics Circle Theatre Awards for his Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse. In 2012 he earned a BAFTA Rising Star award nomination for My Week with Marilyn in which he was nervy aspiring filmmaker Colin Clark who fell helplessly for Monroe’s considerable charms. Redmayne is also a former Burberry fashion model who has fronted two campaigns, made Vanity Fair’s 2012 International Best Dressed List, and has been named Best Dressed Male three years running by the Red Carpet Fashion Awards. He also nabbed several prestigious nominations for Les Miserables including a Screen Actors Guild nod for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion picture and a win for Best Ensemble cast from the National Board of Review.
A veteran of British television (like Benedict Cumberbatch, his good friend and fellow nominee in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama category), Redmayne has appeared in a variety of projects including the 2008 BBC miniseries adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and in 2010, the Starz miniseries, The Pillars of the Earth. More recently, he appeared in the lead role of Stephen Wraysford in the BBC’s Birdsong (2012), based on Sebastian Faulks’ acclaimed novel set against the backdrop of World War I. Other roles include his portrayal as the son of Matt Damon’s character in the The Good Shepherd (2006) directed by Robert de Niro, as well as the independent drama, The Yellow Handkerchief (2008). He also appeared in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), penned by Peter Morgan which starred Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana.
Each of these diverse characterizations saw Redmayne inhabiting his roles with a vivid authenticity rarely seen among his contemporaries. But his startling and most challenging performance to date is as ALS-stricken physicist extraordinaire Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Combining the fragile physicality of this renowned genius, with a biting wit and razor-sharp mind, Redmayne’s performance is a tour de force that has deservedly floored audiences and critics alike.
“From the second that I got the part, I ultimately knew that Stephen and Jane Hawking [on whose memoir the film is based] and their children, and Jonathan Jones [Jane’s second husband who features heavily in the film] would see this film, and they would be the judges. And that’s a great responsibility; the stakes felt incredibly high and the level of responsibility was something I had never felt on this level. And so when they saw the film and were so generous about it, that was the most extraordinary reward,” he says. “Although it’s about a specific set of circumstances, I think it’s a very universal story, about obstacles and how one chooses to overcome them.” Born and raised in London, Eddie is one of five children and the only member of his family to pursue a career in acting. His parents encouraged him to take drama classes from a young age and he was educated at Eton College before attending Cambridge, where he studied History of Art. In a little over eight years, Redmayne has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. Now with the success of The Theory of Everything, the sky is the limit where his career is concerned. “I started in theater, and then I was lucky enough that Robert De Niro gave me my first film job in The Good Shepherd as the son of Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie. I think I only got the part because I have big lips! So I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with seriously brilliant actors especially given that I didn’t train as an actor.
For me it’s through osmosis – watching how people work, how they behave, and the grace with which they behave whilst also being true to themselves and good at what they do. It may look as though this has happened very quickly but for me my career feels like a very continuous gradation of work.”
Michele Manelis