The Theory of Everything is the extraordinary and uplifting story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, and of two people defying the steepest of odds through love. The film, based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by Jane Hawking, is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (Man on Wire).
In 1963, as a cosmology student at the storied U.K. university Cambridge, Stephen (portrayed by Eddie Redmayne of Les Misérables) is making great strides and is determined to find a “simple, eloquent explanation” for the universe. His own world opens up when he falls deeply in love with an arts major, fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones of The Invisible Woman). But, at 21 years of age, this healthy, active young man receives an earth-shattering diagnosis: motor neuron disease will attack his limbs and his abilities, leaving him with limited speech and movement, and will take his life within two years.
Jane’s love, fierce support, and determination are unwavering – and the duo weds. With his new wife fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen refuses to accept his diagnosis. Jane encourages Stephen to finish his doctorate, which includes his initial theory of the creation of the universe. They start a family, and with his newly earned and widely hailed doctorate Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of – time. As his body faces more limits, his mind continues to explore the outer limits of theoretical physics.
Together, he and Jane defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed – well into the 21st century.
Time has always been a subject of fascination to the brilliant astrophysicist Stephen Hawking: when the universe began, when it will end, and all points in between. The renowned professor’s book A Brief History of Time has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
But the concept of time struck him on a most personal level when, in 1963 at the age of 21, he was given two years to live after a diagnosis of motor neuron disease (MND, which is related to ALS; the latter is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
He wanted life, even with the impending constraints on his speech and movement. He wanted love, with the woman who would be his wife. Against the odds, he would have all of that and more.
No matter how strong his will, he could not have done it alone; he was accompanied on his journey by Jane Wilde, soon to be Jane Hawking. A brilliant mind in her own right, she dedicated herself to Stephen and their marriage and family.
Outliving his diagnosis decade after decade, Stephen continued to explore the outer limits of theoretical physics, leading to further breakthroughs. By the 21st century, his name was being spoken of in the same breath as Albert Einstein’s.
Screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten has long been fascinated by Professor Hawking, in particular the time and effort it took for the severely physically compromised man to write his seminal book. “He has illuminated physics for the world, and there is a sense of the profound in all his work,” says McCarten. “That was enhanced by Stephen’s own physical situation, which only allowed him to compose his communications at the agonizing rate of one word per minute; here, in one man, was an unprecedented juxtaposition of extraordinary mental prowess and extraordinary physical incapacity.
“His mind continued to open up one frontier after another in relentless exploration, so he was contracting yet also expanding – which was apt for a man whose life is devoted to studying the universe.”
McCarten was moved to read Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. He discovered “a marvelous love story between two people, incredibly intense and challenged in the extreme: first by the physical decline, and then by the advent of fame in their lives. When news of his imminent death proved exaggerated, and two years became 10, then 20, their situation demanded that their love take bold and unorthodox forms if it was to survive. Theirs was a love story without precedent.”
Envisioning the couple’s story as a feature film, he began writing a screenplay adaptation of the book with no guarantees in place; he met with Jane at her home to discuss the project. “I will always be grateful to her for answering that buzzer and welcoming me inside. No promises were made that day, and our dialogue continued over time,” he notes.
After multiple drafts, he was introduced to producer Lisa Bruce via their mutual ICM agent, Craig Bernstein. Knowing of Stephen Hawking only as the brilliant man in the motorized wheelchair who communicated via a mechanical voice-activated device, Bruce found the script to be a revelation.
She remarks, “A lot of people don’t even think about Stephen Hawking’s domestic life, much less know that he walked and talked, and they certainly don’t know that he fathered children. When you look deeper into his life, you see so much more than just the genius: you find a father, a husband, and – under it all – an eternal optimist.
“But, for me, the most powerful element of this story was the sense that he would never have achieved what he did without a partner like Jane.”
What also struck Bruce was how Stephen and Jane’s love story was simultaneously unique and universal. She explains, “Nobody has ever lived what the Hawkings experienced as a couple; here were two young people with their whole lives in front of them, full of nothing but promise, and then this bomb drops on them with Stephen given two years to live – in effect, a death sentence delivered at age 21. Yet, instead of running from it, they chose to face this impossible life together; in that regard, I think they are one of the most inspirational love stories of our time.”
The marriage would evolve and adapt while Stephen made significant strides in his work. Bruce notes, “Jane and Stephen’s relationship in this movie spans 25 years, as we seem them achieve things the most able-bodied among us can’t even imagine. On that level, it’s unique. At the same time, what is completely universal is loving and caring for someone.”
“Jane had done this extraordinary thing,” says McCarten. “She said to Stephen, yes I’ll marry you and I’ll take that ride with you. This was essential to Stephen, since, as he admits, he was in a bit of a dark hole at the time. He was just beginning his life when he was told that it would end very soon. Despite the uncertainty, with Jane he entered into marriage joyfully and optimistically.
“It was a personal and professional turning point all at once. With Jane’s help, he overcame his depression, and the ticking clock of his prognosis sparked his mental process. In a very short time he began to achieve his full potential as an astrophysicist. The Theory of Everything charts this intellectual ascent alongside his physical deterioration; through it all Stephen somehow finds the courage and internal drive not only to cope but also to actually prevail – which is astonishing.”
It would take McCarten and Bruce several years to secure the full legal rights, and the blessing and permission from Jane and Stephen, to allow this love story to become a movie. During those years they worked tirelessly together on the story, promising to eschew sensationalizing or sentimentalizing the couple’s history, and committing to conveying the complexity of the marriage.
McCarten asserts, “For them to have marched through that difficult terrain together and had a marriage that lasted decades was nothing less than a triumph. Stephen and Jane both show us all what human beings are capable of when they set their minds to something. But in writing the script, I had to allow for showing their moods and frustrations that were completely understandable. Our film celebrates Stephen, but it doesn’t try to mythologize him; he had very strong negative emotions about the loss of his physical powers and we show that, as well as the highs and lows of the marriage.
“The Theory of Everything is as much about the physics of love as it is about the love of physics.”
Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh joined the project. The award-winning Working Title Films producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, with whom Bruce had made the telefilm Mary and Martha, also came on board.
Bruce notes, “Tim and Eric cared deeply about this story, and about getting our telling of it to deliver the truth and emotional power that was in the Hawkings’ lives. The support of Working Title was overwhelming.
“Everyone felt that, given the way he has empathized with real-life people in his films, James would have the sensitivity needed to tell this story.”
Marsh, who had won the Academy Award for his documentary Man on Wire, was continuing to work on both narrative and nonfiction features. When he received the script, the director admits, “I had the fixed image of Stephen Hawking as the great scientific mind with the wheelchair and the voice machine.
“But I quickly became infatuated with Anthony’s take. He found the fascinating point of view, which was to tell the story from the perspective of the woman who was falling in love with an able-bodied man; she then makes the critical choice to stay with the man she loves when he is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The moving and unusual love story that Anthony wrote was quite original in demonstrating what it’s like to live with someone who is both disabled and a genius, and the burdens it placed on Jane’s career and on her as a wife and mother. This was very rich territory.”
The director was also drawn to The Theory of Everything because its spirit recalled Man on Wire for him; both are about men who defy conventional human boundaries and limitations. He muses, “There is definitely an affinity, and there is also a cosmic irony: Stephen is physically constrained and yet mentally he is able to go wherever he wants. His mind can and does travel to the outer limits of the universe, but his body is confined.”
The tonal challenge that Marsh zeroed in on was that “Stephen Hawking’s story, while bittersweet, is not a tragedy even though a near-fatal illness befalling a young able-bodied man with promise has all the elements of one. It’s Stephen’s character which takes that out of the equation; his defiance of the illness with humor, perseverance, and grit makes this story the opposite of a tragedy in the end.
“Fifty years on, Stephen is still alive – and that is incredible.”
Already a man who has upended our concept of the creation of the universe, Professor Hawking continues to challenge and inspire us well into a new millennium.
“For any actor, playing Stephen Hawking was going to be intimidating,” admits screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten. “He’s a well-known public figure, an icon. My script called for an actor who could show the audience a man evolving over 25 years, going from being fully functional to having the use of only a few muscles – mainly one hand and some limited facial movement – and having his voice be superseded by a machine’s.”
Director James Marsh adds, “Whomever would play this part would have to do a lot of preparation. He would also have to convince as the Stephen only those close to the man knew, the shy university student.”
Producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner had recently worked with one of England’s rising stars, Eddie Redmayne, on the smash Les Misérables, and the actor was already aware of McCarten’s script. Marsh comments, “I was enthusiastic when Eddie’s name came up, and knew he was a great choice. The level of his commitment to the role was extraordinary, as he was fully onboard for not only the physical preparation but also the psychological preparation.”
Producer Lisa Bruce notes, “Eddie had a relentless intensity from day one. It was truly amazing to watch his evolution as he captured the many layers of both the Stephen we think we know as well as the man behind the image.”
Redmayne remarks, “When I read the script I was astonished at what this man has experienced, and done, since 1963. It was one of the most inspiring things I’d ever read. Stephen Hawking is an icon of hope.
“But this movie is also about the human being behind the icon. When we meet him in this story, he is 21, and so vibrant and athletic. He goes on to live a full life with a twinkle in his eye, and continues to do so. There are different sides to him: the wit, the brilliance, the stubbornness…I got the impression that he had a rock-star personality.”
In further researching the subjects’ lives, Redmayne learned that the professor came from a solidly intellectual family, while Jane Wilde’s decision to pursue an academic career was still considered a brave choice for a woman back in the 1960s. “They were very different people, both extraordinary yet polar opposites,” he says. “The idea of two human beings completing one another and defying all the odds I found compelling – and oh, was it romantic!”
The challenge of the physical demands required to play Stephen Hawking loomed large. As Redmayne’s friend and fellow actor – and, soon, The Theory of Everything cast member – Charlie Cox said when Redmayne told him about the role, “You have no option but to give it 3,000%.”
Accordingly, Redmayne parsed even the smallest details on the man he would be portraying. He notes, “Jane discusses in her book how Stephen had incredibly expressive eyebrows. That was something I spent months in front of a mirror working on.
“When I met Stephen, I noticed how ‘yes’ is sort of a smile and ‘no’ is almost a grimace, yet they only manifest in a couple of the facial muscles for him, so I learned how to isolate those.”
Redmayne adds, “The production surrounded me with an extraordinary team. James Marsh encouraged everyone to collaborate, and gave me the freedom to work closely with the different departments.
“One of the great thrills of doing this role was working with people who are at the top of their game. We were all of us taking on something we’d never done before which was quite special.”
Vocal coach Julia Wilson-Dickson and movement director Alex Reynolds were brought in early on by the filmmakers to work with Redmayne. Reynolds coordinated with the actor just how the various degenerative stages of motor neuron disease would be fully expressed on-screen as called for in the script.
Redmayne obtained permission to visit MND patients both at a clinic and at home. He explains, “I felt I had the responsibility of portraying this as a real condition.” The actor counted himself as fortunate to be able to meet with Stephen as well, and straight away “apologized to Professor Hawking for having chosen to study art history.”
Since there is no existing documentation of Stephen in the early stages of deterioration, Redmayne and Reynolds consulted with a doctor who specialized in motor neuron disease to more precisely chart the progression. Redmayne also shared the research with Wilson-Dickson. To carry the findings over for the 48-day shoot, Redmayne created a climbing-numbers chart that would gauge how advanced the MND was in a particular scene – a method which proved invaluable since, like most feature films, The Theory of Everything was not shot in sequence.
“Eddie prepared for months, to be ready to give multiple levels of performance,” marvels McCarten. “He had to be aware on any given day for a scene, ‘Is this stage four of my voice?’ ‘Does this mean stage three of my body?’
“He would go from ‘a 4.3 day’ for one day’s work to, for a scene set 10 years earlier and filming the next day, ‘a 2.7 day.’ Each day required all of his talent, discipline, and intelligence.”
Marsh availed himself of the chart as “a sacred text, because it demonstrated what was possible and not possible for Stephen at a moment in time. This had a big impact on how [director of photography] Benoît Delhomme shot a scene, and on how we framed it.
“We were sensitive to Eddie’s ability to engage the audience with no more than just a cast of his eyes and a small shift of the body. This is not easy for an actor to pull off, and it came at a physical cost to him. Every day he was in some sort of stress position that he had to maintain for hours at a stretch, while still projecting and making the character emerge out of the disability.”
McCarten states, “Watching Eddie day after day on the shoot, I would see not him but rather Stephen Hawking.”
Marsh concludes, “As impressive as the technical elements of Eddie’s performance are, that he brings it all to emotional life is even more so.”
To portray Jane Hawking, the filmmakers needed an actress who would face less physical challenges but any number of psychological ones, incarnating the emotions of a pillar of strength.
Director James Marsh notes that “Jane’s beats in the story are all emotional ones. I felt that Felicity Jones would match up well with Eddie Redmayne as actors, which she did, and as a director I found the collaboration with her to be exciting.
“There were many difficult scenes where Eddie would be exposed physically and Felicity would be emotionally exposed. She had to show paradoxical feelings, and that’s tough to do. All at once, she needed to convey what it was like to love someone who is suffering from a debilitating illness as well as the burdens it put on her as a lover and on her career.”
Jones admired the script’s “empathy for human beings. As an actor, I was glad to have the opportunity to play a character across many years.”
Screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten notes, “Felicity built a deep characterization of Jane, treading a precarious path between frailty and strength.”
Poring over both script and memoir, the actress made a point of meeting with Jane Hawking early on. “I was in awe of her determination. She is someone who never gave up,” offers Jones. “She dedicated her life to Stephen but at the same time retained her own sense of identity. It was important for her to be recognized in her own right, which is why she continued on with her studies while caring for him and raising a family. What this woman accomplished!
“I was also keen to capture the way Jane held herself – the way she moved was almost balletic – and her idiosyncratic, rather musical tone of voice. These were key elements in inhabiting Jane and I worked with a great team to achieve them: Jill McCullough on dialect, Aleksandra Kozlov on musical performance, and Danny McGrath on movement.”
McCarten notes, “Jane met with Felicity several times, and I know that impacted her portrayal. Felicity would convey how much Jane had going on just under the surface – the rich, roiling internalized emotions. For her to do such scenes over and over again got her into the mindset of Jane’s powerful ability to hold things together.
“I feel that Felicity captured the Jane I have come to know. There’s an authenticity and a discipline to her portrayal that mirror Jane’s own strengths.”
Producer Lisa Bruce adds, “Felicity was amazing in that she was both delicate and powerful at the same time. In many ways, her role anchors the story as Jane anchored Stephen throughout their marriage.”
The love between Jane and Stephen is at the heart of the movie, and the effectiveness of the latter half of the story is enhanced by the glow of the initial romance, particularly the May Ball sequence which is the film’s beautiful centerpiece. Marsh explains, “Their marriage later gets complicated, so we have to believe how madly in love Stephen and Jane were from the start. There had to be great vulnerability and tenderness on both sides.”
Jones states, “I believe there was an immediate sexual attraction between Stephen and Jane, but at the same time there was a meeting of the minds. They challenged each other as well; there was a competitiveness between them as they were both fiercely academic, one seeking to understand the world through art and the other through science, and both very defensive of their respective areas of interest.”
Redmayne and Jones bonded together as friends and colleagues, finding that despite all the careful preparations they would both be open to on-set serendipity. She comments, “Eddie and I have very similar ways of working: we’re both relentless when it comes to getting a scene right. I loved every minute of working with Eddie; even with all the technical work he had to do, he would always be finding ways to help the performances of the other actors around him. He’s an extraordinarily unselfish actor.”
Redmayne remembers, “Felicity would sometimes be off-camera improvising lines or shouting things at me to keep me off-balance. You can only do that with someone you really trust, and I trusted her implicitly. I’ve such respect for Felicity; she is sensational.”
Producer Lisa Bruce comments, “This movie is a very adult love story in that it’s not all neatly tied up with a bow. While all marriages shift and change with time, the colossal level of pressure the Hawkings’ marriage faced would have crushed most in the early stages – and yet they stayed together for so long. What they faced is unlike anything we have ever experienced in a love story, and for me that is why this was such a rare and powerful journey worth taking.”
Felicity Jones admits to being fascinated “that while Stephen and Jane were together, Jane met someone else and Stephen welcomed him into their home. So then there was an unconventional but truthful dynamic among three people. I got to explore both Jane’s relationship with Stephen as well as her relationship with Jonathan.”
Widowed choirmaster Jonathan Hellyer Jones, played by Charlie Cox, bends the emotional arc of The Theory of Everything. Jones says, “I feel that Jane and Stephen’s relationship had reached a point where it couldn’t continue in the same way. That is also directly addressed when Elaine [Mason, the nurse portrayed by Maxine Peake] comes in later. It’s complicated – and wonderfully human.”
When Jonathan enters the picture and becomes part of it to a surprising degree, Marsh sought to convey “a rather beautiful harmony that is created among three adults. Inexorably, through their common needs, Jane and Jonathan begin to fall in love, which is something Stephen that needs to accept.”
Cox observes, “Jane is kind of at her wit’s end when, quite by chance, she meets Jonathan. He starts helping out with the Hawking family, but when he develops feelings for Jane he has surprising decisions to make. He’s a good man trying to do the right thing.
“What’s lovely about the way Anthony has constructed the script is that you become fully emotionally invested in all three of these people and their respective love stories. On the set, James created an environment of freedom so that we could get at the heart of the moments between our characters.”
Marsh praises Cox for “underplaying Jonathan’s attraction to Jane. His performance is extremely well-judged and nuanced; that was important, so we were able to show how Stephen would empathize with Jonathan.”
As co-chairs of one of the world’s leading film production companies, producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner have made movies around the globe – and also closer to home. Accordingly, for the U.K. location shoot of The Theory of Everything, the filmmakers were granted considerable access to Cambridge, the town and campus where Jane and Stephen Hawking’s love story began; Cambridge was also where they made their home and family.
The production’s shooting sites included St. John’s College; Stephen had actually attended Trinity Hall, but 50 years on that now proved to be less suitable for filming. Screenwriter/producer Anthony McCarten offers, “St. John’s is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, colleges at Cambridge. The main hall is known as ‘the wedding cake,’ because it has such grandeur about it.”
Another key location was the Cavendish laboratory, where the atom was first split and where Stephen is entrusted with a key, as if being passed the task of discovering new breakthroughs. “Places like Cavendish add to the magic of a film because of what comes through in its very look and design,” says McCarten.
Director James Marsh concurs, adding that “shooting in Cambridge gave us a texture, a sense of university life and of academic life; so much of Stephen’s life has been spent in academia. We were able to shoot exteriors and some interiors for a week there, thankfully including the crucial set piece of the university’s May Ball, which brings Stephen and Jane to a romantic breakthrough.”
Professor Stephen Hawking was in attendance during the filming of the May Ball sequence, as were Lucy and Timothy Hawking – two of his children with Jane, who herself visited the May Ball shoot with Jonathan Hellyer Jones. At other times, Jane escorted the filmmakers around to locales in Cambridge that were meaningful to her and Stephen.
The medieval architecture and timelessness of Cambridge are also represented on-screen by Trinity Lane, the Arts School lecture theatre, within which scenes of the Rutherford laboratory and lecture hall were filmed.
The overall backdrop of Cambridge gave a consistency to the look of the film and its spanning of over two decades in the Hawkings’ lives, although production designer John Paul Kelly and his team did have to recreate the Cavendish library at interiors elsewhere, since the original was relocated in the early 1970s; fortunately, documentary and newsreel footage were available for reference.
The opening and closing scenes of The Theory of Everything, which take place at Buckingham Palace, were actually shot variously at Lancaster House in London and at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames. Other London locations included the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, which stood in for the Bayreuth Opera in Geneva. The interiors of Stephen’s college of Trinity Hall were recreated at the historic Harrow School in northwest London.
No matter what the location, Marsh credits his director of photography Benoît Delhomme with creating memorable moments that were purely visual. Marsh points out, “There’s not a lot of dialogue in certain parts of the film; you’re just observing people. Benoît and I came up with the idea of using home movies of the Hawking family to advance the story. Benoît shot these scenes in Super 8 and 16-millimeter film to create another kind of texture for the movie that feels intimate and allows us to get to know the family better. You see how the children are very playful with their father even though he is in a wheelchair; they are natural and accepting.”
The homestead sequences were further enhanced by Stephen giving Kelly permission to use his own certificates, medals, and awards on-screen. Furthermore, Jane still lives in the first home that she and Stephen inhabited when they were married; she granted Kelly full access so that he and his department could recreate it on a soundstage. Their second home has since been demolished, so the department recreated the interior of that one from family photographs.
On-screen, the homes “environments start out as quite restrictive,” Kelly points out. “There are many staircases that Stephen soon will never be able to use again. As the story progresses and he starts to become a celebrity, the interior spaces begin to increase, mirroring Stephen’s emotional journey.”
Another key element of the production design was the progression of wheelchairs that Stephen uses throughout his life, and Kelly took pains to have them accurately recreated. The production designer notes, “Stephen started on a regular wheelchair, then was in an electric wheelchair, and eventually had a wheelchair that was adapted to include a computer and voice machine. We did a huge amount of research to get them as close to the real ones as possible.
“But we also needed a number of technicians to make sure the wheelchairs moved where and when they were supposed to – and that the computer and voice activator worked at precisely the right moment.”
The film’s warm, romantic look was further enhanced by costume designer Steven Noble. Faced with the task of breaking the script down into decades while also creating a seamless progression of U.K. clothing styles from the 1960s through the 1980s, Noble deployed a consistent color palette for the characters.
When dressing Felicity Jones as Jane, Noble was mindful of the psychological progression of her character, from young student to wife and mother and full-time caretaker. He notes, “Jane goes through a low ebb in the 1970s where she is a bit depressed, and we made the color palette a bit drabber. After she meets Jonathan, she breaks out of that and dresses a bit more glamorous.”
For the May Ball sequence, Noble and his department had to dress more than 200 extras. “It was great fun to do,” he enthuses. “The palette was summery and very pastel. We went with full-on ball gowns, the works. I was very pleased, especially with how Felicity looked; she wore this pale blue fitted sleeveless ball gown. It was simple yet it was stunning on-camera.”
As Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne has 77 costume changes in The Theory of Everything. The outfits by Noble’s team created stayed true to the professor’s own eccentric sartorial style. Noble reflects, “He was always a bit disheveled. His ties were never quite straight. He was always slightly untucked or had a button missing. It gave him the otherworldly academic look, appropriately enough.
“We started with Stephen as a student in 1963 with just normal-fitting clothing and then oversized the suits and the clothes for later on into the disease. As the jackets get larger, he looks more emaciated. We also asked [hair, make-up and prosthetic designer] Jan Sewell to make prosthetic pieces for what we called the ‘bony’ parts of his body: knees, elbows, shoulders – all of which gave him a slight deformity.”
Sewell, assigned the task of creating hair, make-up, and prosthetics – and combinations thereof – for Eddie Redmayne to make use of in externalizing the various stages of Stephen’s illness, points out that “Stephen hasn’t aged like the way the rest of us do because he has not been able to use his muscles; that has changed his face and his body. When Eddie met with people who had motor neuron disease, he took note of how much their hands change, and so we incorporated that into the process.”
“One of the things I did was change the shape of Eddie’s ears. If you make someone’s ears or nose bigger, the rest of the face will change shape and look smaller. We also added different shaped teeth that would change the contours of his mouth.”
For Felicity Jones, Sewell’s tasks were far more conventional, though no less painstaking. “Felicity always wanted to keep the essence of Jane Hawking, while I very much wanted to channel the periods through Jane,” comments Sewell. “In the May Ball scene, we gave Felicity a little Audrey Hepburn hairdo. Overall, Jane progresses from shorter hair to a bit longer, and we looked at photographs to get this approach right.”
As a love story that begins as an everyday romance and then veers into uncharted territory, screenwriter and producer Anthony McCarten remarks that The Theory of Everything ultimately has “closure provided by history. Our film only deals with a little more than half of Stephen’s life; what we know of him and Jane – and from him and Jane – is that they fell deeply in love, had their love tested and saw it endure, raised a family, and ultimately faced a sea change in their relationship which they addressed together. Not your conventional ‘Hollywood ending,’ but a happy ending nonetheless.”
Director James Marsh states that “Jane is utterly unsentimental, and I wanted to make a film that was similarly tough and detailed; I did not want to shy away from the difficulties of the marriage or the distress of the disease because these help make the love story so profound and inspiring.”
Producer Lisa Bruce notes, “Love and the universe both got placed under the microscope by these two extraordinary people. They found the answers they were searching for, looking to the stars and beyond while also into themselves.”
EDDIE REDMAYNE (Stephen Hawking)
Eddie Redmayne was in 2012 nominated for BAFTA’s Rising Star Award for his continuing body of work. Subsequently, he shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination with his fellow actors from Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The Working Title movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning three; and won three Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture. For his performance as Marius, Mr. Redmayne was nominated for an Evening Standard British Film Award and an MTV Movie Award.
He has starred in several other films, including Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, starring as the “my” part of the story as Colin Clark opposite Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe; Tom Kalin’s Savage Grace, opposite Julianne Moore; Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age, also for Working Title, opposite Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I; Gregory Read’s Like Minds, with Toni Collette and Tom Sturridge; Udayan Prasad’s The Yellow Handkerchief, opposite Kristen Stewart; Justin Chadwick’s The Other Boleyn Girl; Stephen Poliakoff’s Glorious 39; Timothy Linh Bui’s Powder Blue; Christopher Smith’s Black Death; Derick Martini’s Hick; Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd, as the son of the characters portrayed by Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie; and Andy and Lana Wachowski’s upcoming sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending.
The London native has also attracted attention on stage. For his Broadway debut starring as Ken opposite Alfred Molina as painter Mark Rothko in John Logan’s Red, directed by Michael Grandage, he won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play; the production won six Tonys overall, including Best Play. Mr. Redmayne also received a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination; for the production’s previous staging in London, at the Donmar Warehouse, he won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor.
His other U.K. stage work includes starring as Shakespeare’s Richard II, again directed by Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse; in Christopher Shinn’s Now or Later, at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Dominic Cooke; and in Anthony Page’s Almeida Theatre staging of Edward Albee’s The Goat or Who is Sylvia? The latter production earned Mr. Redmayne the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award and the Evening Standard Award for Outstanding Newcomer.
His notable television credits include starring in the BBC miniseries Birdsong, directed by Philip Martin; Tess of the D’Urbervilles, directed by David Blair; and The Pillars of the Earth, directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan. His first miniseries appearance was in Elizabeth I, also his first project with director Tom Hooper.
Mr. Redmayne is currently in production on his next movie: Working Title’s The Danish Girl, reuniting with director Tom Hooper and starring as painter Einar Wegener opposite Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener.
FELICITY JONES (Jane Hawking)
Felicity Jones won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize in 2011 for Drake Doremus’ romantic drama Like Crazy. The picture also won the Grand Jury Prize. Ms. Jones subsequently went on to win the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor, the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performer, and the Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer.
In 2013, Ms. Jones was nominated for a British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Ralph Fiennes’ The Invisible Woman; starring opposite Mr. Fiennes, she portrayed Charles Dickens’ beloved Nelly Ternan.
Ms. Jones also starred in Julie Taymor’s reimagining of The Tempest, opposite Helen Mirren; Niall McCormick’s Albatross, for which was a British Independent Film Award nominee as Best Supporting Actress; Breathe In, reteaming her with director Drake Doremus, opposite Guy Pearce; Phil Traill’s romantic comedy Chalet Girl, starring in the title role; Donald Rice’s Cheerful Weather for the Wedding; Stephen Frears’ Chéri; Julian Jarrold’s Brideshead Revisited; Tanya Wexler’s Hysteria; Shimmy Marcus’ SoulBoy; Baillie Walsh’s Flashbacks of a Fool, as the younger incarnation of the character played by Claire Forlani; and Cemetery Junction, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Most recently, she appeared as the mysterious Felicia Hardy in Marc Webb’s blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Ms. Jones also has extensive stage experience. She starred in Michael Grandage’s Domar Warehouse staging of Luise Miller, earning rave reviews for her performance in the title role. At the Royal Court Theatre, she starred in That Face under the direction of Jeremy Herrin. Her performance in Mr. Grandage’s Donmar Warehouse revival of The Chalk Garden, in which she starred with Margaret Tyzack and Penelope Wilton, earned her an Evening Standard Award nomination for Outstanding Newcomer.
Her television credits include the children’s drama The Worst Witch, reprising her character of Ethel Hallow as a series regular on Weirdsister College. Ms. Jones appeared on an episode of Doctor Who, alongside David Tennant as The Doctor, and on an episode of Girls, opposite Richard E. Grant and Jemima Kirke; and starred in the series Servants and Meadowlands (a.k.a. Cape Wrath).
Among her telefilm credits are Northanger Abbey, based on the Jane Austen novel, directed by Jon Jones; Sir David Hare’s Page Eight and Salting the Battlefield, both opposite Bill Nighy; and The Diary of Anne Frank, in which she portrayed Anne Frank’s sister Margot and was again directed by Mr. Jones.
She has also made her mark in radio, narrating as Emma Grundy in the popular BBC Radio 4 show The Archers. Also for the network, she has performed in recordings of Watership Down and Mansfield Park.
Ms. Jones’ upcoming movies include Rupert Goold’s True Story, with James Franco and Jonah Hill; Eran Creevy’s Autobahn, alongside Nicholas Hoult, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Sir Ben Kingsley; and Juan Antonio Bayona’s much-anticipated drama A Monster Calls.
CHARLIE COX (Jonathan Hellyer Jones)
With his fellow actors from the Boardwalk Empire cast, Charlie Cox shared a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2012 for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series; the group was nominated for the Award again in 2013, following the conclusion of Mr. Cox’s two seasons on the HBO show as Irish immigrant and crime soldier Owen Slater.
Mr. Cox was born in London and received his training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He made his West End stage debut in Harold Pinter’s The Lover and The Collection at the Comedy Theatre, directed by Jamie Lloyd. His other stage credits include Heinrich von Kleist’s The Prince of Homburg, playing the title character in the Donmar Warehouse production adapted by Dennis Kelly and directed by Jonathan Munby.
He made his feature film debut in Matthew Parkhill’s Dot the I, alongside Gael García Bernal and Tom Hardy. His early films included Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice, with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons; and Lasse Hallström’s Casanova, starring Heath Ledger.
His breakout performance was in the lead role of Tristan Thorn in Matthew Vaughn’s Stardust, based on the Neil Gaiman novel. Mr. Cox starred opposite Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, and Michelle Pfeiffer in the fantasy adventure.
Among his other movies are Roland Joffé’s There Be Dragons; Simon Shore’s Things to Do Before You’re 30; Glorious 39, alongside Bill Nighy, Julie Christie, and The Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne for writer/director Stephen Poliakoff; and Charles Martin Smith’s Stone of Destiny, in which Mr. Cox starred as Scottish folk hero Ian Hamilton.
He guest-starred in the very first episode of Downton Abbey; and starred as Ishmael in Mike Barker’s epic miniseries Moby Dick, opposite William Hurt and Ethan Hawke.
Mr. Cox is currently at work on Marvel’s eagerly anticipated series Daredevil, to premiere via Netflix in 2015, in which he stars as Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who fights injustice in court and also on the streets as the costumed hero Daredevil. Deborah Ann Woll, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elden Henson, and Rosario Dawson round out the cast of the show.
EMILY WATSON (Beryl Wilde)
One of the entertainment industry’s most acclaimed actresses, Emily Watson came to the world film community’s attention for her memorable performance in Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves, which was her first movie. She received Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and BAFTA Award nominations; won the New York Film Critics Circle award, National Society of Film Critics award, and the Felix Award for Best Actress; and was named British Newcomer of the Year at the London Critics Circle Film Awards.
Ms. Watson was again nominated in the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and BAFTA Awards, and at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, for her portrayal of real-life classical cellist Jacqueline du Pré in Hilary and Jackie, opposite Rachel Griffiths and directed by Anand Tucker. The performance also earned her the British Independent Film Award (BIFA) for Best Actress.
Her other films include Philip Saville’s Metroland, opposite Christian Bale; Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer; Tim Robbins’ Cradle Will Rock; Alan Parker’s Angela’s Ashes; Alan Rudolph’s Trixie; Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love; Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon; John Hillcoat’s The Proposition; Richard E. Grant’s Wah-Wah; Tim Burton and Mike Johnson’s Corpse Bride, in voiceover; Julian Fellowes’ Separate Lies, with Tom Wilkinson; Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York; Sophie Barthes’ Cold Souls; Jim Loach’s Oranges and Sunshine, for which she was an Australian Film Institute Award nominee and a Film Critics Circle of Australia Award winner as Best Actress; Steven Spielberg’s War Horse; Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina; Some Girl(s), adapted by Neil LaBute from his play and directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer; Brian Percival’s The Book Thief; Ama Asante’s Belle; and Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the ensemble honored with the top prize of Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
She was recently again a Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nominee, for her performance opposite Dominic West in the miniseries Appropriate Adult. Her portrayal of Janet Leach in the real-life tale also earned Ms. Watson a BAFTA Award.
In 2015, she will be seen in several new films including Alejandro Monteverde’s WWII drama Little Boy, with David Henrie, Michael Rapaport, and Tom Wilkinson; and Baltasar Kormákur’s epic Everest, also for Working Title Films.
A veteran of the London stage, Ms. Watson’s theatre credits include Three Sisters, The Lady from the Sea, and The Children’s Hour at the Royal National Theatre. She has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, in such productions as Jovial Crew, The Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well, and The Changeling. In the fall of 2002, she starred at the Donmar Warehouse in two shows concurrently, Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night, both directed by Sam Mendes. These critically lauded productions also were staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City.
SIMON McBURNEY (Frank Hawking)
Director, actor, and writer Simon McBurney is one of the most innovative and influential artists working in theatre today. He was the recipient of the Olivier, Evening Standard, and London Critics Circle Awards for Best Play for A Disappearing Number, which played at the Barbican Theatre in London.
The co-founder of the troupe Complicité (originally named Théâtre de Complicité), Mr. McBurney has written, directed and acted in more than forty productions for the company. New York audiences have seen his stagings and adaptations of The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol, at the 1996 Lincoln Center Festival; The Chairs, which received six 1998 Tony Award nominations; The Street of Crocodiles, at the 1998 Lincoln Center Festival; The Noise of Time, at Lincoln Center in collaboration with The Emerson String Quartet in 2000, and again in 2003; Mnemonic, which won three Lucille Lortel Awards including Unique Theatrical Experience of 2001; 2002’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, produced with Tony Randall’s National Actors Theatre, starring Al Pacino; The Elephant Vanishes, at the 2004 Lincoln Center Festival; and the 2008-2009 Broadway revival of All My Sons, starring John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest.
He collaborated with Russian composer Alexander Raskatov on an opera adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s novella A Dog’s Heart, staged at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and the ENO (English National Opera) in London’s West End in 2010.
Mr. McBurney is the recipient of the 2008 Berlin Academy of Arts Konrad Wolf Prize for outstanding multi-disciplinary artists. Also in 2008, he became the first non-Japanese director to receive the Yomiuri Theatre Awards Grand Prize, for his staging of Shun-kin.
As an actor, he performs extensively in film and television. Films have included Nicole Holofcener’s Friends with Money, opposite Frances McDormand; Brian Gilbert’s Tom & Viv; Bill Forsyth’s Being Human; Martha Fiennes’ Onegin; Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things; Jonathan Demme’s The Manchurian Candidate, with Denzel Washington; Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland, alongside Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker; Chris Weitz’s The Golden Compass; Saul Dibb’s The Duchess, opposite Keira Knightley; Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies and Robin Hood; David Yates’ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, as the voice of Kreacher; Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre; and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In television, he starred in The Borgias opposite Jeremy Irons; in Rev., opposite Tom Hollander; and in the upcoming miniseries The Casual Vacancy, which is based on J.K. Rowling’s novel.
DAVID THEWLIS (Dennis Sicama)
Actor, writer, and director David Thewlis is well-known to filmgoers for his cinematic collaborations with filmmaker Mike Leigh and for his thrilling adventures with a boy wizard.
The latter encompassed five of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter movies, directed by Alfonso Cuarón and then David Yates, respectively, in which Mr. Thewlis portrayed Professor Remus Lupin.
He starred for Mr. Leigh in the short film The Short & Curlies and then the feature Life is Sweet. For his performance as Johnny in the writer/director’s Naked, Mr. Thewlis was voted Best Actor at the Cannes International Film Festival; was named Best Actor by the National Society of Film Critics, the Evening Standard British Film Awards, and the New York Film Critics Circle; and won the London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actor of the Year.
His many other films as actor include David Caffrey’s Divorcing Jack, for which he received a British Independent Film Award nomination; Christine Edzard’s Little Dorrit; Louis Malle’s Damage; Caroline Thompson’s Black Beauty; Agnieszka Holland’s Total Eclipse; Michael Hoffman’s Restoration; Henry Selick’s James and the Giant Peach, in voiceover; Rob Cohen’s DragonHeart; Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years in Tibet; Bernardo Bertolucci’s Besieged; Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven; Terrence Malick’s The New World; Mark Herman’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; The Inner Life of Martin Frost, starring as the title character for writer/director Paul Auster; Bernard Rose’s Mr. Nice, for which he earned a PPG Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film; William Monahan’s London Boulevard, for which he was nominated for the Evening Standard British Film Awards’ Peter Sellers Award for Comedy; Luc Besson’s The Lady; Dean Parisot’s RED 2; Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate; Steven Spielberg’s War Horse; Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem; and Joel and Ethan Coen’s beloved The Big Lebowski.
Mr. Thewlis’ U.K. television credits include Dennis Potter’s classic miniseries The Singing Detective, directed by Jon Amiel; Beeban Kidron’s acclaimed telefilm Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; David Drury’s Prime Suspect 3, with Helen Mirren; Conor McPherson’s telefilm Endgame, adapted from the Samuel Beckett play; and an episode of the anthology series The Street, directed by Terry McDonough, in which he played a dual role and for which he received Monte Carlo TV Festival and Royal Television Society Award nominations.
His stage credits include The Sea, at the Royal National Theatre, directed by Sam Mendes; and Ice Cream, at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Max Stafford Clark.
Mr. Thewlis wrote and directed the feature Cheeky, in which he starred; and Hello, Hello, Hello, which was a BAFTA Award nominee for Best Short Film.
In 2008, he was honored with the British Independent Film Awards’ Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film.
JAMES MARSH (Director)
A director of both documentary and narrative feature films, James Marsh won an Academy Award as the director of Man on Wire, which was voted the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. The movie, about how Philippe Petit came to walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, won awards around the world; Mr. Marsh received BAFTA and Independent Spirit Awards, among other honors.
His most recent narrative feature was Shadow Dancer, a dramatic thriller set in 1990s Northern Ireland, starring Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, and Gillian Anderson. Shadow Dancer screened at the Sundance and Berlin International Film Festivals, and won both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Dinard Festival of British Film. Ms. Riseborough won the British Independent Film Award and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Mr. Marsh’s other narrative features as director include The King, also as screenwriter, which starred Gael García Bernal and William Hurt in a Texas-set drama of family secrets and for which he received a Gotham Independent Film Award nomination for Breakthrough Director; and the U.K. police drama Red Riding: In the Year of our Lord 1980, starring Paddy Considine, which screened at the Telluride, New York, and AFI Film Festivals.
His documentary Project Nim, about the chimpanzee raised as a human in the 1970s, brought Mr. Marsh the Best Director award at in the World Cinema – Documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary, among other honors.
His other documentary features as director include The Team, about men competing in the First Homeless World Cup; Wisconsin Death Trip, tracking and re-enacting a small town’s misfortunes in the 1890s, which screened at the Telluride, Venice, and San Sebastian film festivals; and, for U.K. television, the Arena documentary Blondes: Jayne Mansfield and the BBC2 documentary John Cale, which won the BAFTA (Wales) Award for Best Documentary.
A native of Cornwall, Mr. Marsh has also directed commercials for Audi, Coca-Cola, and the BBC.
TIM BEVAN and ERIC FELLNER (Producers)
Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is one of the world’s leading film production companies.
Founded in 1983, Working Title has made nearly 100 films that have grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide. Its films have won 10 Academy Awards (for Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables; Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo; Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age; and Joe Wright’s Atonement and Anna Karenina), 36 BAFTA Awards, and prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Mr. Bevan and Mr. Fellner have been accorded two of the highest film awards given to British filmmakers; the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, at the Orange British Academy Film [BAFTA] Awards, and the Alexander Walker Film Award at the Evening Standard British Film Awards. They have also both been honored with CBEs (Commanders of the Order of the British Empire). The Producers Guild of America awarded them its David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, the Guild’s top honor.
Working Title enjoys ongoing and successful creative collaborations with filmmakers the Coen Brothers, Richard Curtis, Stephen Daldry, Paul Greengrass, Tom Hooper, Ron Howard, Edgar Wright, and Joe Wright; and actors Rowan Atkinson, Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Nick Frost, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Simon Pegg, Eddie Redmayne, and Emma Thompson, among others.
Its extensive and diverse productions, in addition to those mentioned above, have included Mike Newell’s Four Weddings and a Funeral; Richard Curtis’ Love Actually and About Time; Roger Michell’s Notting Hill; both Bean movies, directed by Mel Smith and Steve Bendelack, respectively; Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End; Paul and Chris Weitz’ About a Boy; Sydney Pollack’s The Interpreter; both Bridget Jones movies, directed by Sharon Maguire and Beeban Kidron, respectively; Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice; Baltasar Kormákur’s Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale; both Nanny McPhee movies, directed by Kirk Jones and Susanna White, respectively; both Johnny English movies, directed by Peter Howitt and Oliver Parker, respectively; Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, starring Gary Oldman; Asif Kapadia’s Senna, the company’s first documentary feature, about legendary race car driver Ayrton Senna; Paul Greengrass’ United 93; and Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon and Rush.
The success of the film Billy Elliot, directed by Stephen Daldry, has continued on stage with Billy Elliot the Musical, directed by Mr. Daldry with book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and music by Elton John. The winner of 76 theatre awards internationally, the production in the spring of 2015 celebrate its 10th birthday in London, where it has been running continuously since its world premiere. It ran for over three years on Broadway, winning 10 Tony Awards in 2009 including Best Musical and Best Director, and toured across America. Soon to open in the Netherlands, the show has also played in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto, Brazil, and Seoul, South Korea. It has been seen by over 9.5 million people worldwide.
Working Title’s current slate includes Stephen Daldry’s Trash, starring Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen; Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac; the untitled film starring Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong, directed by Stephen Frears; Baltasar Kormákur’s epic Everest; Brian Helgeland’s Legend, starring Tom Hardy as Ronald and Reginald Kray; Max Joseph’s We Are Your Friends, starring Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski; Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar!, starring George Clooney; and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.
LISA BRUCE (Producer)
As producer, Lisa Bruce has made features both domestic and internationally, both independently and with major studios.
She most recently produced the Working Title and HBO telefilm Mary and Martha, directed by Phillip Noyce and written by Richard Curtis; Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn starred in the fact-based story about two mothers who united to better educate the world about malaria. Previously for HBO, she had produced Walkout, starring Alexa Vega and Michael Peña, about Mexican-American activism in 1968; Edward James Olmos received a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for helming the telefilm.
Ms. Bruce was an executive producer on Ivan Reitman’s hit No Strings Attached, which starred Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, and Lake Bell; on Dito Montiel’s Fighting, with Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard; and on Dante Ariola’s Arthur Newman, starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. She was co-producer of Nigel Cole’s A Lot Like Love, which paired Mr. Kutcher with Amanda Peet; of Christian Alvart’s Case 39, which starred Renée Zellweger and Jodelle Ferland; and of Michael Hoffman’s The Emperor’s Club, starring Mr. Kline.
She was co-producer on the breakthrough feature for director Gavin O’Connor, Tumbleweeds. The independently made film world-premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and subsequently became one of the year’s specialized success stories. The film’s star Janet McTeer was nominated for the Academy Award as Best Actress, and won the Golden Globe Award, among other honors; the film’s young star Kimberly J. Brown won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance. Tumbleweeds was cited by the National Board of Review as one of the year’s 10 Best Films, with Ms. McTeer named Best Actress.
Ms. Bruce was a founding partner of Orenda Films, a New York-based company that developed, produced, and managed the delivery and worldwide distribution of feature films including Sam Henry Kass’ The Search for One-Eye Jimmy; Buddy Giovinazzo’s No Way Home, starring Tim Roth; and Jan Schütte’s Auf Wiedersehen Amerika.
Prior to producing features, she wrote and directed the documentary Raw Images; produced five short films, including the Student Academy Award-winning film Go to Hell; and wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning short film Night’s Window. She was profiled in the BBC special Women in Film.
Ms. Bruce has taught international workshops on Independent Feature Film Producing at New York University, Columbia University, Ohio University, and Loyola Marymount University; and for the George Soros-funded Eastern European Film Academy in Groznjan, Croatia.
ANTHONY McCARTEN (Producer; Screenwriter)
Born in New Zealand and now residing in England, Anthony McCarten is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and filmmaker.
His first international success came with his play Ladies Night. Translated into 12 languages, it is New Zealand’s most commercially successful play of all time. In 2001, it brought Mr. McCarten France’s premiere theatre award for comedy, the Molière Prize.
His novels have been translated into 14 languages. His first, Spinners, was voted one of the Top 10 novels of 2000 by Esquire Magazine. In 2005, his second novel, The English Harem, became an international bestseller. His third novel, Death of a Superhero, won the 2008 Austrian Youth Literature Prize and was a finalist for the 2008 German Youth Literature Prize. Mr. McCarten’s seventh and latest novel, funny girl, has just been published to critical acclaim.
He adapted, from his novel, and executive-produced Death of a Superhero; the feature was directed by Ian Fitzgibbon and starred Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Aisling Loftus. The movie was nominated for three Irish Film and Television Awards: Best Film, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Michael McElhatton). He also adapted, from his novel, the feature The English Harem; directed by Robin Sheppard, the film starred Martine McCutcheon and Art Malik.
Mr. McCarten wrote and directed Show of Hands, adapted from his novel; the film starred Craig Hall and was nominated for three New Zealand Film and TV Awards, including Best Feature, Best Actress (Melanie Lynskey), and Best Director. He also adapted and directed the feature Via Satellite, from his own play, starring Karl Urban and Danielle Cormack; the film won two New Zealand Film and TV Awards, for Best Supporting Actress (Jodie Dorday) and Best Editing.
JANE HAWKING (Author)
Jane Hawking, who was Stephen Hawking’s wife for over twenty-five years and is the mother of his three children, has lived in Cambridge for most of her adult life.
Her book At Home in France was published in 1994, followed by Music to Move the Stars in 1999 and Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen in 2007. The Theory of Everything is adapted from the latter book.
She has a Ph.D in medieval Spanish poetry and taught Modern Languages for many years but nowadays devotes herself to writing. She is also a keen solo and choral singer.
When not in Cambridge or otherwise travelling, she is usually to be found tending her garden in France.
BENOÎT DELHOMME, AFC (Director of Photography)
Born in Paris, Benoît Delhomme spent most of his childhood in Cherbourg (in Normandy), and in his homemade darkroom experimented with black-and-white stills photography.
Between 1980 and 1982, he studied cinematography at the Louis Lumière School in Paris under the inspirational tutelage of Cesar Chiabaud, who was director Robert Bresson’s favorite camera operator. In 1985, Mr. Delhomme worked as camera assistant to the legendary French cinematographer Bruno Nuytten on the eight-month back-to-back shoot of Claude Berri’s features Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, adapted from the Marcel Pagnol books, in Provence. In the years following, Mr. Delhomme worked on more than 40 short films, experimenting with cameras and cinematography.
In 1992, he shot his first feature film, with the Vietnamese first-time director Tran Ahn Hung, entirely on a soundstage in Paris; The Scent of Green Papaya won the Camera d’Or Award in its world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival, subsequently receiving an Academy Award nomination in the foreign film category. Mr. Delhomme received a Camerimage nomination for his work. The director and cinematographer reteamed two years later to make Cyclo, which was shot on location in Saigon and won the top prize, the Golden Lion, at the Venice International Film Festival. The Saigon shoot spurred Mr. Delhomme to take up painting in addition to taking on feature shoots.
Two films with director Cedric Klapisch, When the Cat’s Away and Family Resemblances, followed and were successful in France and internationally. Mr. Delhomme received a César Award (France’s Oscars equivalent) nomination for his work on Agnès Merlet’s Artemisia, starring Valentina Cervi.
Inspired by John Singer Sargent’s paintings, he shot David Mamet’s adaptation of The Winslow Boy. He collaborated twice with Mike Figgis and Benoît Jacquot, respectively, on The Loss of Sexual Innocence and Miss Julie and on Sade and Adolphe.
In 2000, Anthony Minghella invited Mr. Delhomme to work with him on a short art film Play, an adaptation of the Samuel Beckett play for Channel 4. Returning to features, he shot Tsai Ming-Liang’s Taiwanese film What Time Is It Over There?, winning the Special Jury Prize for Cinematography at the Chicago Film Festival.
His subsequent features have included Michael Radford’s The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino; John Hillcoat’s Lawless and The Proposition, for which Mr. Delhomme won the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Cinematography, among other honors; Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering; Mark Herman’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas; Hideo Nakata’s Chatroom; Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One, starring Channing Tatum and Mr. Pacino; Lone Scherfig’s One Day, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman; and Mr. Pacino’s Salomé project with Jessica Chastain.
JOHN-PAUL KELLY (Production Designer)
John-Paul Kelly won Emmy and BAFTA Awards for his work as production designer on writer/director Stephen Poliakoff’s The Lost Prince, which also won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, among other honors.
He was born and educated in Ireland before moving to London to complete a BA in Architecture at Kingston University. Mr. Kelly then attended the Royal College of Art in London, where he graduated with an MA in Design for Film and Television.
His films as production designer include Roger Michell’s Venus, starring Peter O’Toole and Jodie Whittaker, and Enduring Love, starring Daniel Craig and Rhys Ifans; Richard Curtis’ About Time, also for Working Title Films; John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, for which he received an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) nomination; Justin Chadwick’s The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, for which he was also an IFTA nominee; Fernando Meirelles’ 360; Julian Farino’s The Last Yellow; Charles Sturridge’s Lassie; Michael Winterbottom’s Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story; Tim Fywell’s I Capture the Castle; Shane Meadows’ TwentyFourSeven, starring Bob Hoskins; Carine Adler’s Under the Skin, the star-making film for Samantha Morton; and Paul Greengrass’ groundbreaking Bloody Sunday.
Mr. Kelly’s telefilm credits as production designer include Caryl Churchill’s A Number, directed by James Macdonald; and Julian Farino’s Byron, starring Jonny Lee Miller, and Stephen Poliakoff’s Shooting the Past, both of which earned him Royal Television Society Award nominations.
JINX GODFREY (Editor)
The Theory of Everything marks the tenth collaboration between film editor Jinx Godfrey and director James Marsh. Their previous movies together were Shadow Dancer, starring Andrea Riseborough and Clive Owen; The King, starring Gael García Bernal and William Hurt; Red Riding: In the Year of our Lord 1980, starring Paddy Considine; the nonfiction features Project Nim, The Team, and Wisconsin Death Trip; U.K. television’s Arena documentary Blondes: Jayne Mansfield and BBC2 documentary John Cale; and Man on Wire, which won many awards around the world including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. For her editing of the latter film, Ms. Godfrey was honored with the American Cinema Editors’ (ACE) Eddie Award for Best Edited Documentary.
In addition to her work with James Marsh, her features as film editor include Sir David Hare’s telefilm Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes, and Rachel Weisz; Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now, starring Saoirse Ronan; and Otto Bathurst’s telefilm Margot, starring Anne-Marie Duff as Dame Margot Fonteyn.
She has edited documentaries for television on everyone from Paul Robeson to Charlotte Church, and on everything from rollercoasters to opera troupes.
Ms. Godfrey has edited commercials in the U.K. and the U.S. for over 20 years, working with such directors as Dante Ariola, Mike Figgis, Michel Gondry (for Adidas), Tom Hooper, Tony Kaye, Spike Lee (for Nike), Errol Morris (for American Express), and the late Tony Scott.
STEVEN NOBLE (Costume Designer)
Steven Noble graduated with distinction from York College of Art. He spent several years designing for the theater; working with noted London fashion houses; and styling shoots for such magazines as The Face and ID. All of these creative collaborations shaped his affinity for costume design as a vocation.
He was costume designer on Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People, starring Steve Coogan. His subsequent films as costume designer have included Christopher Smith’s Severance and Triangle; Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield; Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights; Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January, also for Working Title Films, starring Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen; and Jonathan Glazer’s much-talked-about Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson.
Audiences will presently see his work in the family film Get Santa, reteaming him with director Christopher Smith; and on Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club, based on the acclaimed play Posh.
He is currently readying the costume design of Juan Antonio Bayona’s eagerly awaited drama A Monster Calls, which will reunite him with The Theory of Everything star Felicity Jones.
JAN SEWELL (Hair, Make-up and Prosthetic Designer)
Hair, make-up, and prosthetics designer Jan Sewell has won a BAFTA Award and been nominated three additional times.
She was the make-up and hair designer on Marleen Gorris’ Antonia’s Line, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and more recently on Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club and Richard Ayoade’s The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska; and was the make-up designer on Alejandro Amenábar’s historical epic Agora, starring Rachel Weisz, for which she won a Goya Award (Spain’s Oscars equivalent).
For Lee Tamahori’s The Devil’s Double, starring Dominic Cooper in a dual role, she was the make-up, hair, and prosthetics designer – as all were integral to that fact-based film’s storyline.
Her work as designer will next be seen on the epic Everest for Working Title Films, directed by Baltasar Kormákur, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, and Sam Worthington, among many others.
JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON (Music)
Jóhann Jóhannsson is an Icelandic composer and musician who writes for feature films and stage productions – and his own albums; exploring and unifying initially disparate sounds, he distills them into a primal form.
He started studying piano and trombone when he was 11 years old. In high school, he ceased formal music studies. At age 18, he started performing in rock bands in Reykjavik, and continued to for 10 years after studying literature and languages at university; he concentrated on feedback-saturated compositions, using layers of guitar to sculpt soundscapes. Setting the latter instrument aside, he started writing music for strings, woodwinds, and chamber ensembles – and combining acoustic and digital electronic sounds for a unique, seamless blend.
In 1999, Mr. Jóhannsson was a founding member of Kitchen Motors, an art collective that encouraged collaboration among practitioners of jazz, classical, punk, metal, and electronic music. His first solo album, Englabörn, was a suite based on music written for the troupe’s theater piece of the same name. Writing music for plays, and for dance and theatrical performances, led to film.
He has since scored a number of movies, including Eva Mulvad’s documentary feature The Good Life; Marc Craste’s animated short Varmints; So Yong Kim’s For Ellen, starring Paul Dano; Lou Ye’s Mystery; Josh C. Waller’s McCanick, starring David Morse and Cory Monteith; János Szász’s Le grand cahier (a.k.a. The Notebook); Phie Ambo’s documentary Free the Mind; and Denis Villeneuve’s hit Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, on which Mr. Jóhannsson cultivated large string and woodwind presences as well as the distinctive Cristal Baschet and Ondes Martenot instruments.
He formed the all-analog band Apparat Organ Quartet in 1999, recording with his fellow synth and keyboard enthusiasts until 2012. Among his other collaborations have been ones with Barry Adamson, Marc Almond, the Finnish electro-band Pan Sonic, the Hafler Trio (a.k.a. English composer Andrew McKenze), CAN drummer Jaki Liebezeit, and Sunn O )))’s Stephen O’Malley.
Among Mr. Jóhannsson’s notable compositions is “IBM 1401 – A User’s Manual,” incorporating sounds that his father, one of Iceland’s first computer programmers, created. He has recently done two ambitious multimedia projects with filmmaker Bill Morrison, including an expanded Calder Quartet interpretation of the latter composition; and “The Miners’ Hymns,” which pays tribute to the coal-mining culture of Durham, England, and which he performed with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble and brass bands at venues in the U.S. last winter.
His varied discography also includes Virthulegu Forsetar, a fanfare for pipe organ and brass; Fordlandia, a cinematic ode to the city that Henry Ford tried to build in the Amazon jungle; and “Copenhagen Dreams,” a visual and musical reflection on the city and its people.