My sister Gayle’s husband, Terry, is a quadriplegic. She has taken care of her husband, who like Stephen Hawking, is a brilliant guy. It’s the hardest work imaginable. I’ve seen first-hand what it takes to continue to love someone with so many physical demands. It takes a very special person.
My sister is one, and so is Jane Hawking.
The Theory of Everything is based on Jane’s book Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen. As a young adult, Hawking contracted a motor neuron disease that eventually paralyzed him completely. Jane, who knew Hawking would end up this way, married him anyway and they had three children.
The focus of The Theory of Everything is equal parts Jane and Stephen. It’s fascinating and educational. He is considered one of history’s most brilliant physicists, authors and — in some ways — philosophers. She’s the reason he got there.
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Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne ( Les Miserables). Felicity Jones ( The Amazing Spider-man 2) plays the ever-patient Jane. Both are very convincing. Redmayne is getting the most attention. The role is incredibly demanding, emotionally and physically. He looks a lot like Hawking and spends huge chunks of the film contorted in a wheel chair.
It’s an amazing piece of acting in a most amazing movie.