Despite turning in what is undoubtedly one of the most accomplished and moving performances of the last year with his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne’s remarkable success across the awards season this year culminated with an Oscar for Best Actor.
Up against Bradley Cooper, Michael Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell – though impressing most from that collective, Redmayne felt like an underdog, and when his name was called, it still came as a surprise, given he hasn’t quite got the same status as his other nominees – yet. But Redmayne will now be hoping that this triumph will not be a one-off – an inspiration for many a pub quiz master in years to come – and instead spark the beginning of a prosperous and illuminating career. And why not?
The only real criticism of Redmayne has been the roles he’s undertaken – and while the leading part in films such as My Week with Marilyn, he appeared more as a cipher, taking a step back and letting others take centre stage. However when given a role as challenging as that of Hawking, he proved himself to be perfectly capable; able to be so subtle and really get in touch with the human being within, in this candid exploration of the physicist’s life. With the acclaim and awards to boot, this could pave the way for more roles of this ilk, that will give this young actor the platform to show off his credentials: credentials we are now fully aware of.
But that’s not to disregard his previous work: he was one of the better things about Les Misérables, and he shone in the TV Mini-Series Birdsong. However it’s fair to say that anybody who saw Jupiter Ascending will have struggled to see how the actor who plays the antagonist Balem Abrasax, could be crowned Best Actor that very same month.
But that’s just cinema – not every film can be perfect; though it will be surprising if we see many more Jupiter Ascending‘s hereupon for Redmayne. Instead, coming up he has The Danish Girl, which will see him reuniting with Tom Hooper again, in a period drama that is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
But above all, Eddie Redmayne seems like a really humble, and diligent actor – and nobody can begrudge him this success, such is his affable persona and charm. The future could be extremely bright for this talented performer – but hey, even if it isn’t, he’ll always have a statue of a naked gold man perched on his mantlepiece for the rest of his life, and not many of us can boast that.