Saturday, 21 March 2015


TRIVIA: In an e-mail to director James Marsh about the portrayal by Eddie Redmayne, Stephen Hawking said there were certain points when he thought he was watching himself.

In addition to his copyrighted voice, Stephen Hawking also lent the filmmakers his Medal of Freedom medallion and his signed thesis to use as genuine props in the film.

Eddie Redmayne met with Stephen Hawking only once before filming. "In the three hours I spent with him, he said maybe eight sentences," recalls Redmayne. "I just didn't feel like I could ask him intimate things." Therefore, he found other ways to prepare for the role. He lost about 15 pounds and trained for four months with a dancer to learn how to control his body. He met with 40 ALS patients, kept a chart tracking the order in which Hawking's muscles declined, and stood in front of a mirror for hours on end, contorting his face. Lastly, he remained motionless and hunched over between takes, so much so that an osteopath told him he had altered the alignment of his spine. "I fear I'm a bit of a control freak," Redmayne admits. "I was obsessive. I'm not sure it was healthy."

The quote "Daisy, Daisy Give me your answer, do" that Hawking uses while experimenting with his new speech-generating device, comes from the lyrics of the well-known song "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)", written by Harry Dacre in 1892. This is the song that was used for the earliest known demonstration of computer speech synthesis in 1961, when it was "sung" by an IBM 704 computer. As a tribute to that event "Daisy Bell" was also sung by the fictional HAL 9000 computer in a memorable scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

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