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Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne takes great pride in honoring Stephen Hawking

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John Shearer/Invision/AP

After winning the SAG, Golden Globe and Academy Award, Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne feels like awards season has been “a wild, weird dream,” he told reporters backstage at the Oscars Sunday. “I’ll wake up in a few days and be like, ‘Did that happen?’ and I’ll pinch myself.”

Following his big win, Redmayne says he plans to return to England to share in the celebration with Stephen Hawking, whom he portrayed in the Best Picture nominee. “I think I will certainly go to Cambridge at some point to see Stephen, Jane [Wilde Hawking], Jonathan [Jones] and the Hawking children,” Redmayne said. “They have been so kind to us the whole way through this process. Our responsibility to tell their story truthfully and authentically, we felt it, so their support throughout has been amazing.”

It was that duty to keep the film authentic that galvanized Redmayne while playing Hawking. “We knew we weren’t going to be able to shoot chronologically, so we were going to have to jump into different stages in Stephen’s life within the same day,” he said. “For Stephen, the illness was of very little interest to him after he was diagnosed. He is someone who lives forward and lives passionately, so similarly I didn’t want the film to be about the physicality. I wanted to have the physicality so embedded with me so we could play the human story and the love story. I went to ALS clinics in London for about four months with a choreographer, and she helped to train my muscles to sustain those positions for long periods of time.”

As for what’s next, Redmanye doesn’t have a particular plan. “If I’m being totally honest, I’ve never had much choice,” he said. “I’ve always had to fight for jobs. So as far as where I go from here, retaining employment will make me very happy.”

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