Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Randee Dawn

Nearly everybody gets tongue-tied when meeting a personal hero. But not Eddie Redmayne! 

When the actor — who spent months learning how to portray Stephen Hawking in the new film "The Theory of Everything" — got to meet the cosmologist and physicist himself, having nothing to say was not the issue at all.

"I'd spent four, five months researching [him] and he'd become like idol-like in my mind," Redmayne recalled on TODAY Tuesday. "So when I actually got to meet him I was so nervous that I basically just sort of spewed forth information about him, to him, for about the first 40 minutes."

Actor Eddie Redmayne, left, poses with Stephen Hawking, who Redmayne portrays in the new movie, "The Theory of Everything."Liam Daniel / Today

Redmayne, who made a name for himself in "Les Miserables" and "My Week With Marilyn," says he "calmed down a bit after that."

Still, early reviews for the film are buzzing about a possible Oscar nomination for the British actor, whose performance critics have said "towers" and is "astonishing."

Check out this exclusive TODAY clip from "The Theory of Everything"

Still, Redmayne knows he's no match for Hawking on any kind of scientific level — no matter how many facts he memorizes. "I gave up science when I was like 14 or 15," he admitted on preparing for the film. "I'm not going to lie, I went to kind of like 'Astronomy for Children' websites!"

"The Theory of Everything" opens in theaters on Nov. 7.

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter.