Red Carpet: The Theory of Everything with Eddie Redmayne and Screenwriter Anthony McCarten

Posted on November 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Copyright 2014 Nell Minow
Copyright 2014 Nell Minow

Tonight was a special screening of “The Theory of Everything” and I was very lucky to be at the red carpet, with star Eddie Redmayne, who plays physicist Stephen Hawking, and screenwriter Anthony McCarten. Redmayne told me about the meticulous chart he created to keep track of exactly which stage of the motor neuron disease Hawking was in for each scene. He also spoke about how inspired he is by Hawking’s passion for learning in all categories. He said that Hawking has now created a Facebook page, where he wrote:

I have always wondered what makes the universe exist. Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit. Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I’m eager to share this journey with you. Be curious, I know I will forever be.

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten spoke to me about Jane Hawking, whose book inspired the film.  “Just as much as I was in awe of Stephen and his ideas, the man, the concepts he was revealing for us about the universe, when I read Jane’s book, that was the catalyst for me, that was when I knew I wanted to make this film.  This young woman who had only just begun to fall in love with this guy who was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live.  Most people would walk away.  Her internal conviction, her love for him, made her decide to fight this thing with him and not allow him to be silenced.  He credits her with taking him out of his depression and allowing him to work.  We have to be truly grateful.  Without her, we might not have his ideas.  But also, Jane was a forerunner herself.  She was a woman of the 50’s, but he had her own ambitions.  She raised three children, supported Stephen through all his travails, and somehow managed to get her own work done and go on for her PhD.”

I asked what he had learned from the cosmology he studied to write the film.  “How very small we are.  We believe that our galaxy is one of 170 billion galaxies.  A recent simulation by a German team suggested there might be 500 billion galaxies.  That would mean for every star in our galaxy, there’s a corresponding galaxy.  Our problems may seem very huge, but as Einstein would say, it’s relative.”

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