APS News

APS and Smithsonian Roll Out Red Carpet for The Theory of Everything

On Thursday, November 6, APS cohosted the Washington D.C. premiere of the new Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. The film focuses on the life of the acclaimed cosmologist and his marriage to his first wife Jane Hawking.

November 11, 2014  |  Michael Lucibella

Actor Eddie Redmayne at the premiere of The Theory of Everything

At the event, located at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, screenwriter Anthony McCarten said that they made sure the physics discussions in the movie were as accurate as possible.

"We make no excuses. We did our homework on the science," McCarten said. He added that getting the science right was important even though that the most difficult part of writing the film was “decoding the physics for the general public and finding the metaphors for the general public.”

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars as Stephen Hawking in the film. Already his portrayal of the brilliant but handicapped physicist has been generating Oscar buzz. "One of the best things about my job I suppose is being able to jump between different worlds and immerse yourself in them," Redmayne said.

David Kaiser, a physicist at MIT who also attended the premiere, commended the portrayal of science in the movie. "I think the film was really beautifully crafted,” Kaiser said. “It gives us a glimpse of the inherently collaborative and communal process [of science]."

The Theory of Everything opened nationwide on November 7, the same day that another physics-inspired film, Interstellar was released. Loosely based on some of the general relativity theories of Caltech physicist Kip Thorne, the film vividly depicts astronauts encountering the space-time warping effects around a massive black hole.

"It’s wonderful to see science in the media," said France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation. "It’s just what we need to excite young people about the field."