Upcoming film explores a young Stephen Hawking’s experiences adapting to his disability

When people with disabilities are portrayed in mainstream media, often times they are the punchline of a joke or a side-plot behind an able-bodied protagonist. Constantly on the lookout for films breaking that stigma, I was intrigued when I heard of the upcoming movie The Theory of Everything. The film sets out to explore the young life of Stephen Hawking, the popular physicist and cosmologist. Hawking was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease while in his twenties, and was predicted to only live two more years. He is currently seventy-two. In addition to his budding romance with his first wife, The Theory of Everything delves into Hawking’s experience transitioning from being an able-bodied person to being someone with a disability that impacted almost every aspect of his life. Throughout this time, Hawking continued his academic career, writing the first of his many influential works, A Brief History of Time. Portrayed in the film’s trailer is the idea that Hawking’s disability was not something to be overcome, but instead a fact of his life to be adapted to and worked with, as he demonstrates via his successful career as a scholar and scientist. The Theory of Everything is due to be released this winter, and I, for one, am highly anticipating seeing it.

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.