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Eddie Redmayne vs. Benedict Cumberbatch: Who plays Stephen Hawking best?

It may have just been a TV movie, but it may have predicted the future. Back in 2004, Benedict Cumberbatch played the role of one of the smartest men in the world in the TV movie, Hawking.

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Ten years later, Eddie Redmayne will take on the role of Stephen Hawking, but not without some argument from Cumberbatch.

“I turn my back for five minutes and there’s somebody playing something I’ve already played before,” Cumberbatch said, according to the Huffington Post. “You can’t be possessive about people you play.”

Cumberbatch and Redmayne are actually friends and the Star Trek actor seems happy with the choice of Redmayne to take on the role. The Theory of Everything will be in theaters in November and has Redmayne playing the more romantic side of Hawking.

Back in 2004, Cumberbatch took on the role of the physics genius and starred alongside a very familiar face.

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The clip that the Huffington Post dug up of Cumberbatch’s portrayal has him starring with his Star Trek co-star, Alice Eve. Although it appears she plays a small part in the film, the chemistry between the two actors made them perfect co-stars nearly a decade later.
Through it all, Cumberbatch is glad that another film is being made about such an amazing man, but is happy he was allowed the experience of playing him at one point in his life.

“I had an extraordinary experience which gave me a relationship with Stephen when I was 26, 25,” he said. “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 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.”

You can see Cumberbatch next in The Imitation Game. The Theory of Everything will be in theaters Nov. 7.

Watch the first trailer from The Theory of Everything here:

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