Backstage Interview Transcript: Actor in a Leading Role

CATEGORY: Performance by an Actor in a leading role
SPEECH BY: Eddie Redmayne


Q.    Congratulations so much for this win.  We actually spoke a couple of months ago about your work with a ballet dancer to work on the degenerative parts of the disease and to sort of work them into a choreography.  Could you tell them a little bit about that?

A.    Absolutely.  So when I was approaching the film, we knew we weren't going to be out of shoot chronologically.  So we were going to have to jump into different stages in Stephen's life and within the same day.  And so I didn't want for Stephen ‑‑ the illness was of very little interest to him after he was diagnosed.  He's someone that lives forward and lives passionately.  And so, similarly, I didn't want the film to be about the physicality.  So I wanted to have the physicality so embedded in me that we could play the human story, the love story.  And so I went to ALS clinics in London for about four months with a choreographer, wonderful Alex Reynolds, and she helped to sort of train my muscles to sustain those positions for long periods of time.


Q.    Eddie, hello.  Over here. 

A.    Hey.

Q.    Hi.  Many congratulations. 

A.    Thank you.

Q.    Eddie, what are you going to be saying to Stephen Hawking following this win?  And are you going to be taking the statuette to show him as well?

A.    I think I will certainly go to Cambridge at some point to see Stephen, Jane, Jonathan, and the Hawking children.  They have been so kind to us the whole way through this process.  And it's ‑‑ I'm one of those people when I watch a film, I believe what I see on screen.  And so our responsibility to tell their story truthfully and authentically was...we felt it.  And so, their support throughout has been amazing.  Any excuse to go back to Cambridge, it's such a beautiful place.  So, yeah, I will definitely go and show it. 


Q.    Hi. 

A.    Hey.

Q.    First of all, very well deserved for an outstanding performance.  Can you express your feelings when you went up on stage and received the Oscar?  And how will you celebrate this amazing day?

A.    I didn't hear you say the word.  That's so weird.  How did I feel?  How did I feel?  I don't ‑‑ I mean, the fact that it was Cate Blanchett giving it, I mean I did a film called THE GOLDEN AGE ‑‑ ELIZABETH:  THE GOLDEN AGE with Cate and it's one of the first films I did, and I just think she's such an exceptional actor.  And so I was recovering from that excitement of seeing her, and then just trying to bury all this frenzy of nerves and white noise and trying to speak articulately and, of course, you then forget everything but it just felt like a euphoria really, an extraordinary euphoria.  It's something I will not forget in a hurry.


Q.    Congratulations.  Now that you're an Oscar winner, what would you like to say to the actors that you learned so much from, Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne?

A.    I think they're amazing.  They ‑‑ huge fans of those ‑‑ them from old.  And, yeah, I learned a lot from them, from watching them daily as a kid.


Q.    Hi. 

A.    Hi.

Q.    You seem to be on a very glorious journey because after this, you're making THE DANISH GIRL and it seems to me that you're just raising the bar of the challenge for yourself.  Where do you go from here?  I mean, do you go by directors, do you go by projects?  Or what's the big plan for the next ten years?

A.    Do you know I wish ‑‑ I wish I could say that there was a plan.  The interesting thing is THE DANISH GIRL, the film I'm shooting at the moment, was a film that Tom Hooper, who I was working with on LES MISÉRABLES, he gave me that script then.  And so, if I'm being totally honest, I've never really had much choice in work‑wise, I've always had to fight for the jobs and fought pretty hard for them, certainly for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.  So as far as where you go from here, just retaining employment will keep me very happy. 


Q.    Hi.  Well, first the Golden Globe, then a SAG award and now this, you must have been very nervous.  Can you talk a little bit about just like the moment leading up to this, what did you do last night, what did you do this morning and how nervous were you? 

A.    Do you know what?  I was weirdly not that nervous because three years ago, I came to the Oscars for the first time with LES MISÉRABLES and I had to sing live on stage, and just before going on, someone with a headset said, yeah, that's a billion people watching, and that's too much stress for your vocal chords to possibly consider.  So that was such a terrifying prospect but actually today felt much more relaxing.  I didn't have to ‑‑ you know, you either win or you lose, either way I was so thrilled to be invited to the party. 


So, I mean, what's been lovely is actually staying in a hotel in ‑‑ just down the road, and Tom Sturridge and Sienna Miller, all friends of mine, Emma Stone and my wife, Hannah, were there, so it's like pals are there so it felt very special the past half a day.


Q.    Congratulations, man. 

A.    Hey, thank you.

Q.    You have another trophy that will demand extra attention from the airport security when you leave the country.  So my question is since you started winning these awards, have you had a conversation recently with Stephen Hawking, and do you plan to speak to him about it when you come home?

A.    I saw Stephen at the BAFTAs when he presented and I saw Jane and Jonathan and Stephen and Jane's children there, and it's one of the loveliest things about this process has not only been meeting them, getting to spend time with them, was prepping and then filming but also afterwards, and you know, they are extraordinary people and just getting to spend time with them is wonderful so, I ‑‑ I will I hope speak to them soon, and certainly e‑mail them tonight. 


Q.    We have already spoken in England when it was a premier.  You told me one of the biggest challenges of this work was to ‑‑ not filming chronologically.  I mean, you were in a stage that was much more advanced but then you would be back when the character Stephen Hawking was still healthy.  So now you have another challenge going on these days and you just won an Oscar.  I just want to know about how you feel about new projects and about being here LA, again in Portugal, [inaudible] and winning this prize. 

A.    We started filming THE DANISH GIRL two weeks ago, and it's an incredibly beautiful and passionate love story and story about authenticity and bravery, and so I'm really in the middle of that project at the moment and it just I was filming on Friday night, got on a plane yesterday and I go back tomorrow and I arrive on Tuesday morning, go straight onto set, so this feels like a wild, weird dream that I'll wake up in a few days, and go, did that happen?  I'll pinch myself, but it's amazing.  I'm having fun.


Q.    First off, congratulations. 

A.    Thank you.

Q.    Secondly, thank you for making LES MIS.  My dad's watched it every week solidly since it came out on DVD and he sings along, very inspired by that. 


And I wanted to ask you about the pressures of playing someone that is still alive because obviously there's a lot of bio pics, and there obviously is a huge weight like for Alan Turing and THE IMITATION GAME.  But with this, that person is going to watch that movie.  How did you feel about it and how did that change your approach to it? 

A.    I don't know if it changed my approach, but what it did was there were various things of this job.  I ‑‑ in preparation, I met people living with ALS, they let me into their lives, they were incredibly kind to me.  It was essential to me that I was authentic to what that experience is like.  Then it's about the science, getting the science right, you know, and then of course the main thing about Stephen, Jane, Jonathan and the kids is being true to them and then also making an entertaining film.  There were basically so many things that like terrified me about this film, but of course it galvanizes you, it makes you ‑‑ when the stakes are that high, it does force you to work harder and so that's what I tried to do.  And yeah, it's been amazing. 




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