Eddie Redmayne's portrayal of famed scientist Stephen Hawking in the 2014 drama The Theory of Everything was so spot on that the 36-year-old star won an Oscar for his exceptional work. Eddie attributed much of his layered performance to the real-life meeting he had with Stephen himself just a few days before the film began shooting, which he called "an astounding moment." The bond they shared — Stephen later called Eddie's work so realistic that "at times, I thought he was me" — has naturally left the actor gutted by the English theoretical physicist and cosmologist's death.
Stephen passed away at age 76 on Wednesday after a decades-long struggle with motor neuron disease ALS. Redmayne released a touching statement about the loss to Deadline, reflecting on both Stephen's work and his personality. "We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet," he said. "My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family."