British actor Eddie Redmayne won the best actor Oscar for his convincing portrayal of famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking as a talented young student grappling with a progressive motor neuron disease in ‘The Theory of Everything’.
The 33-year-old actor was in a neck-to-neck fight with Michael Keaton of ‘Birdman’ in the tightly contested category but was being seen as a frontrunner by picking up all the other trophies — Bafta, Golden Globe and Screen Actors’ Guild – in the run up to the Academy awards.
A visibly nervous Redmayne thanked his director, Hawking, his “partner in crime” Felicity Jones and wife as he took to
the stage to claim the trophy.
“I am fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man,” he said dedicating the award to Hawking and his family, “This Oscar belongs to the people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family, the Hawking family. I will be his custodian.”
Redmayne, youngest star in the category, saw off competition from Keaton (‘Birdman’), fellow countryman Benedict Cumberbatch (‘The Imitation Game’), Bradley Cooper (‘American Sniper’) and Steve Carell (‘Foxcatcher’).
The actor researched for six months for his role by pouring over photographs and interviews of the scientist from his younger days to bring reality to his physically demanding role in the James Marsh-directed drama.
He got Hawking’s approval for his brilliant portrayal of the scientist and his struggle with the disease and his romance with first wife Jane Wilde Hawking in the movie.
Anthony McCarten adapted the story from Jane’s memoir ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking’.
The recently married actor’s other notable turns onscreen include his role in ‘My Week with Marilyn’ and ‘Les Miserables’.
He also starred in director Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’.
Redmayne has also consolidated his position as one of the best dressed stars on the red carpet with most of his outfits meeting with approval from fashion editors.
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