Finlay (front left) and Oliver outside the Regent Centre

© New Milton Advertiser, Finlay (front left) and Oliver outside the Regent Centre

They may look like ordinary schoolboys out for a night at the cinema, but Oliver Payne and Finlay Wright-Stephens from Christchurch were given a Hollywood style welcome at the Regent Centre at the weekend.

Both boys play roles in the blockbuster movie The Theory of Everything and attended a screening of the film at their local theatre, which has a red carpet, on Sunday, 1 February, along with over 50 of their friends and relatives.

There was great excitement as everyone gathered outside the Regent Centre before the film started and Oliver (who plays Robert Hawking aged 8) said that acting in the film was, “the most exciting thing I’ve ever done.” He added that it was an inspiring story and it was an incredible experience working with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. “They were really nice.”
The boys agreed that they had a lot of fun during the making of the film and they learnt about Stephen Hawking’s life and motor neurone disease, which tragically struck the astrophysicist while he was at university. “He was given two years to live,” said Oliver, “And he’s carried on with great courage. He’s now 72.”

Finlay (who appears at the end of the film as Hawking’s son Timothy) added, “The film is sad, phenomenal and quite emotional.”

He was of course right on all three counts.
Oliver and Finlay attend Priory School in Christchurch and are students at Bournemouth-based Swish of the Curtain.

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