After all, Hawking may be the most famous man currently confined to a wheelchair as he continues to struggle with an ALS-like disease decades after his initial diagnosis, but he’s also got two ex-wives, a legacy of polarizing and provoking the physics community, and a solid reputation for being difficult, arrogant and in some eyes sexist. So is Stephen Hawking a jerk? Is he a saint? How did Redmayne relate to the man he plays onscreen?
“I thought he was a funny, extraordinary and difficult man at moments,” says Redmayne, the Eton-educated fashion model who recently played Marius in Les Misérables.