Eddie Redmayne wins best actor Oscar for portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything
British actor wins first Oscar, beating a field including Birdman star Michael Keaton
Monday 23 February 2015 16.57 GMT
Eddie Redmayne has won the best actor Oscar for his performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
The British actor came to the Oscars the favourite after claiming the Screen Actors’ Guild’s best actor award last month. The winner of that award has gone on to pick up the best actor Oscar every year since 2003.
Collecting the award, Redmayne said: “Thank you. Thank you. I don’t think I’m capable of articulating quite how I feel right now. I’m fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man. This Oscar belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS. It belongs to one exceptional family – Stephen, Jane and the Hawking children. I will be his custodian. I will be at his beck and call. I wait on him hand and foot. Thank you to Hannah, my wife. I love you – we have a new fella coming to share our apartment.”
The Theory of Everything tells Hawking’s story from his early years as a astrophysics student at Cambridge university. It follows the celebrated physicist as he develops his theory of relativity, while experiencing the early symptoms of motor neurone disease. Redmayne plays Hawking as he gradually loses use of much of his body and learns to use a wheelchair and speak through a computer.
The 33-year-old actor beat Michael Keaton to the prize, after a close-run awards race. Keaton, who plays a washed-up Hollywood star in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, won the Critics’ Choice award for best actor last month, while both Redmayne and Keaton won a best actor Golden Globe earlier this year. The awards ceremony divides their prizes into Comedy or Musical (Keaton) and Drama (Redmayne) strands.
The 87th Academy Awards are taking place at the Dolby theatre in Los Angeles and are being hosted by Gone Girl star Neil Patrick Harris.