The 32-year-old actor was interviewed by best friend Andrew Garfield and here’s what he had to share:
On preparing for his Theory of Everything role: I said to James [Marsh, the director] I’d need time [to prepare], and he gave me four to five months. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS when he was 21. His disease is entirely secondary [to his life] as far as he’s concerned. Similarly, I wanted to make all the physical elements of the performance so embedded and second nature. Some of my favorite moments were improvised. The emotional lines of the film came from reading Jane and Stephen’s books, but also the patients that I met
On the industry competitiveness: I was reading an interview with Rachel Weisz a few years ago and she said, “Every time I finish a job, I think I’m never going to get hired again,” and I was like, “Come on, you’re Rachel Weisz.” But I absolutely get it. Because I think if you’re lucky to do this thing professionally, that you loved doing as a child, and you don’t feel like you’re qualified—it’s that old shtick of waiting to be found out. The idea that you do this job and get paid for it doesn’t seem like it should be allowed.
On New York City: I’m weirdly obsessed. When I was 13 or 14, I had a calendar of black and white New York photos and was endlessly trying to do drawings of them. And then my mum took me to New York, and we were lucky enough to stay in this hotel on the 21st floor. I opened the windows and the curtains, and there was St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with all the highrise buildings flying up above it. I kid you not, my knees buckled. I find New York the most electric, enlivening place. There’s something about the theater world, too. In London the theaters are geographically spread out so there’s no sense of community. In New York, the theaters back onto each other so you’d come out after doing the Rothko play, and Lucy Liu would be walking out from God of Carnage, and you were sharing this back alley, all of you together.
For more on Eddie, visit Gotham-Magazine.com.