“We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” Redmayne said in a statement provided to Deadline. “My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.”
Redmayne met Hawking just five days before he began shooting his Oscar-winning portrayal of the legendary physicist and bestselling author, who was diagnosed with ALS at age 21, but still went on to become one of the world’s best-known and most beloved scientific minds while battling the neurodegenerative disease for more than 50 years. Hawking later praised Redmayne’s turn in the film.
“Well done Eddie,” Hawking wrote on Facebook after Redmayne’s 2015 Oscar win. “I’m very proud of you.”