Eddie Redmayne Talks Pressures of Playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything—Watch!

Actor says he "felt a bit of responsibility" to portray the physicist accurately

By Zach Johnson Oct 22, 2014 3:50 PMTags
Watch: Check Out That Ring! Eddie Redmayne's Fiancee Steps Out

Eddie Redmayne has a busy few months ahead of him.

As Oscar buzz builds for his leading role in The Theory of Everything (in theaters Nov. 7), the English actor has opened up about the daunting task of playing the world famous physicist Stephen Hawking. "I'm not gonna lie, the pressure felt pretty intense, principally because he and [Jane Wilde], his first wife, and the family were so awesome," Redmayne, 32, admitted to E! News before Monday's screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. "They're brilliantly funny, wonderfully inviting people, and they allowed us to kind of enter their orbit for a while. So, I felt a bit of responsibility, for sure."

Redmayne said the family approves of the film, which was a "great [relief]."

"I could sleep again!" he joked. "It was a great weight off my shoulders."

For Redmayne and co-star Felicity Jones, "The stakes were so high from the word 'go,' from the second we got the part," the actor added. "They were such inspiring people. The fact that they enjoyed the film was a great award. I think their story is a wonderful story and I would love people to go and see it. So any buzz and kind words, of course, it's like properly flattering. I hope it encourages people to go see it."

Universal Pictures

Redmayne admitted that he still gets "intimidated" on the red carpet, although he's getting a bit more accustomed to dealing with press. "When we were doing the tour for Les Misérables, every interview involved someone asking me to sing, and that was pretty painful," he told E! News. "And I thought I got away scot-free on this one and people are now asking me astrophysics questions, which is disastrous!"

To hear a bit about Redmayne's engagement, watch the video now!

—Reporting by James Chairman

(E! and Focus Features are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)