Following talk of Eddie Redmayne emerging as an Oscar frontrunner after the Toronto International Film Festival debut of the Stephen Hawking biopic, "The Theory of Everything," footage of another likely Oscar nominee portraying the brilliant physicist is making the rounds. The full version of the 2004 BBC Television film "Hawking," starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, is available on YouTube.
Cumberbatch, whose Alan Turing biopic "The Imitation Game" also premiered at TIFF to Best Actor buzz, hasn't seen his friend Redmayne's take on Hawking, but his expectations are high.
“I turn my back for five minutes and there’s somebody playing something I’ve already played before," Cumberbatch told USA Today. "You can’t be possessive about people you play. I had an extraordinary experience which gave me a relationship with Stephen when I was 26, 25. It was an amazing moment for me, a really defining moment for me. Nothing can take that away from me. And nothing can alter the fact that what Eddie’s done in ['The Theory of Everything'] is different. And I can sit as an audience member and cheer and be happy about it. For two reasons: It takes Stephen’s story to an even broader audience, and it’s going to celebrate a talented one of my friends who’s one of our best actors. It’s a win-win.”
Here's a short clip in which Hawking woos a girl using Einstein's theory of relativity:
And the full movie:
Compare Cumberbatch's performance with Redmayne's in the "Theory of Everything" trailer:
And, for your general enjoyment, here's Cumberbatch at a 2004 photo call for "Hawking":