Eddie Redmayne

Eddie Redmayne Biography.com

Film Actor, Theater Actor(1982–)
British actor Eddie Redmayne has appeared in such films as 'My Week With Marilyn,' 'Les Misérables,' 'The Danish Girl' and 'The Theory of Everything,' winning a lead actor Oscar for the latter.

Synopsis

Born in 1982, actor Eddie Redmayne studied at Eton College and then attended Cambridge University. He won the Evening Standard Newcomer Award in 2004 for his work on the London stage and went on to land more parts in films and on television, including Elizabeth I (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006) and Savage Grace (2007). In 2010, he won a Tony Award for his supporting role in Red, a play about artist Mark Rothko. Redmayne's career received a substantial boost from his work in My Week With Marilyn (2011) and the hit musical film Les Misérables (2012). He later starred as Stephen Hawking in the biopic The Theory of Everything (2014), winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the role. He next portrayed a transgender artist in 2015's The Danish Girl, again receiving Oscar and Golden Globe nods for his work.

Early Life

Born Edward John David Redmayne on January 6, 1982, in London, England, actor Eddie Redmayne is known for such films as My Week With Marilyn (2011), Les Misérables (2012) and The Theory of Everything (2014). In fact, one of his early influences was the musical Les Misérables, which he saw with his family when he was around the age of 7. He and his older brother James often sang the songs from the show together.

One of five children, Redmayne is the first in his family to break into acting. He made his stage debut in his early teens, appearing in a London production of Oliver! directed by Sam Mendes. As he explained to the Telegraph newspaper, "I was workhouse boy number 40. It was such a minor part that I didn’t meet Sam Mendes."

Redmayne attended the prestigious Eton College and was in the same class as Prince William. At Cambridge University, he studied art history. Redmayne, while still a student, landed his first substantial stage role in the 2002 production of Twelfth Night. He wrote his thesis on artist Yves Klein and the unique shade of blue Klein used in his works. "I'm color blind, but I can pick out that blue anywhere," he told W magazine.

Career Beginnings

After completing his degree, Redmayne gave himself a year to make it as an actor. He soon landed a role in The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, a play by Edward Albee. His performance earned him accolades, including the Evening Standard Newcomer Award in 2004. Two years later, Redmayne had a supporting film role in The Good Shepherd with Robert De Niro and Angelina Jolie. He also found work on several English television projects, including such historical dramas as Elizabeth I (2005). (He later starred in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, made for the big screen in 2007 with Cate Blanchett in the title role.)

Redmayne continued to land an interesting array of roles. In 2007's Savage Grace, he played a son who has an incestuous relationship with his mother (Julianne Moore). Redmayne then played a Southern teenager on an unusual road trip in 2008's The Yellow Handkerchief with William Hurt and Kristen Stewart. And that same year, he played Scarlett Johansson's husband in The Other Boleyn Girl.

On the London stage, the actor gave a stellar performance in Red opposite Alfred Molina. Molina played artist Mark Rothko, with Redmayne portraying his assistant. The play, which soon transferred to Broadway, earned Redmayne an Olivier Award and a Tony Award in 2010. The following year, he starred opposite Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. The film is inspired by the true-life experiences of a production assistant on The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) and his encounters with legendary sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.

Oscar Win: 'Theory of Everything'

In 2012, Redmayne fulfilled a childhood dream with a role in the film adaptation of the musical Les Misérables. He told People magazine that he "wanted to be Gavroche," a young child who supports the revolutionaries, when he first saw the musical as a kid. But as an adult, Redmayne landed the part of Marius, an idealistic revolutionary who falls in love with Cosette. He had campaigned hard for the film, sending in a video of himself singing one of Marius's signature tunes.

The box office success of Les Misérables helped advance Redmayne's career. Before long, he landed the lead role in the 2014 Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, largely based on the memoir by Jane Hawking, the scientist's first wife. Audiences raved about his performance as the groundbreaking scientist, known for his contributions to the fields of physics and cosmology. Hawking was also diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis when he was 21 years old.

To play Hawking, Redmayne told National Public Radio that he "went to a neurologic clinic in London" where "they educated me on ALS and I met maybe 30 or 40 people who suffer from this horrific disease." Redmayne's efforts paid off on screen, as he transformed himself in the film to represent the changes that Hawking went through during his life. Jane is played by Felicity Jones in the film, which covers much of Jane's and Stephen's relationship. The portrayal was a stupendous critical success for the still blossoming actor, with Redmayne winning both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award in 2015.

Other Film Roles

Redmayne continues to work on an array of projects, including a villainous role in Jupiter Ascending, the early 2015 Andy and Lana Wachowski science-fiction film. That year he also starred in The Danish Girl as painter Lili Elbe, portraying a real-world figure struggling to establish an identity as a transgender woman in a highly restrictive time. Working opposite Alicia Vikander, who portrayed Lili's spouse, Redmayne again earned both Golden Globe and Oscar lead actor nominations.

In 2016, Eddie Redmayne starred as wizard and "magizoologist" Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was produced and written by author J.K. Rowling in her screenplay debut. 

Personal Life

Redmayne is friends with several other popular British actors, including Andrew Garfield and Tom Sturridge. He wed his longtime girlfriend Hannah Bagshawe in 2014. The couple welcomed a daughter, Iris Mary, on June 15, 2016. 

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Eddie Redmayne at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in 2013.  Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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