Most Golden Globe nominees were trying to wake up at a God-awful hour on the west coast this morning. Many were doing the same at a more reasonable time in New York. Best Actor in a Drama nominee, SAG Awards nominee and “Theory of Everything” star Eddie Redmayne? Well, Christmas shopping came first.
“I'm in London and it's a blue sky, but it's pretty cold and I had an afternoon off so I had to do all my Christmas shopping in about three hours,” Redmayne says. “Then I got the phone call and now I'm about to get stuck into a drink or two far too early in the afternoon.”
After being reminded that it's never too early to celebrate something like this, Redmayne laughs and adds, “That's what I thought. That's what I'm telling myself, actually.”
The reason the 32-year-old Brit was out and about was two fold. “We've had the premiere of the film in the UK and the junket over the past couple of days, and I'm also doing some rehearsals and preparations for the next film I'm doing,” he says, referring to the upcoming “The Danish Girl.” “So I know it sounds silly, but I really wasn't aware of when these things happen because I've chosen to block my ears and retain some sanity. So it was a complete surprise and totally wonderful.”
Redmayne has earned raves for his portrayal of legendary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking since “Theory” premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival in September. Since then he's followed the picture as it has screened across a good chunk of the U.S. and Europe and the reactions he's personally received have been somewhat expected.
“The reactions people tend to give to me is, 'I didn't realize he was so funny,' or that he was so funny or the film would be so funny,” Redmayne says. “And one of the amazing things of when I met Stephen was his humor. This sort of overwhelming humor. The other thing I always find interesting is that it's not a conventional love story and it's complicated. And Jane and Stephen both end up not together. I always find it riveting how some people react in completely different ways to that moment of when they break up. I find it so interesting that there is a variety of complicated reactions to it.”
Even with all the critical acclaim and Oscar buzz, Redmayne admits it's the people who know Stephen the most whose reaction he's most concerned with.
Redmayne notes, “I've met so many people who have met Stephen or some people at the LA premiere had been students of his in San Francisco. So when I hear, 'Oh, I met Stephen,' it always makes me slightly nervous. 'How did I do?'”
He shouldn't worry. Redmayne's performance is one of the best of the year and, happily, his long-awaited breakout. He first came to audiences' attention alongside Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon in Robert De Niro's “The Good Shepherd” almost a decade ago, but Redmayne's been superb since in films such as “Les Misérables” or “My Week with Marilyn.” Even though those pictures provided him with awards season experience, he admits he still finds this time of year odd.
“Talking about awards is such a weird thing,” he says. “It feels like an industry where there is a huge amount of accolades. And it's not why you go into it. Often there is something alchemic with film that you just can't control. You have a great script with a great group of people and it doesn't end up being a good film. Or you have a bad script that somehow something happens and it elevates it to something else. So it's not why everyone gets into it, but I approach every job as passionately and full-heartedly as possible. And that occasional time when you make something where all the ingredients come together and it hits with an audience and people respond to it? It's a wonderful feeling, because it doesn't happen that often. It feels very rare and I feel very lucky.”
That being said, Redmayne knows the real reason all of Hollywood's biggest stars don't mind getting all dressed up and heading to the Beverly Hilton Hotel every January.
Laughing, he adds, “It's a good party. I had an amazing time the last time I went.”
Something tells us Redmayne will be going to a lot of fun parties over the next few months.
“The Theory of Everything” is now playing nationwide.