If you had to pick a new voice, which celebrity would you draw from? Liam Neeson’s deep Irish drawl? Anna Kendrick’s perky soprano? Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking got to pick a new voice among a series of high-profile celebrities to find his new speaking voice as part of Red Nose Day.
Hawking has used the same computerized voice to communicate for more than 30 years. So for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, which raises money for poor communities, celebrities both male and female auditioned for the role of “Highly Intelligent Scientist Discussing Physics.”
Some celebs, of course, seemed like a better fit than others.
First up? Liam Neeson, who does seem like an obvious choice.
But some stars didn’t seem to have a very strong grasp of science, which is kind of crucial. Comedian Stephen Fry used an earpiece to get all those hard scientific words right. Rebel Wilson, meanwhile, was confused about exactly which kind of black holes Hawking dealt with.
And of course, the stars of Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything made an appearance. Felicity Jones insisted she could play Hawking better than costar Eddie Redmayne did. Meanwhile, Redmayne wanted to be paid extra for the “sequel.”
Hawking’s response to all of this was to be pretty much horrified.
He poo-pooed Kylie Minogue, Gordon Ramsay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Simon Cowell, and Miss Piggy. He even shot down Andrew Lloyd Webber, who was ready to create a musical about Hawking’s life called “Everybody’s Hawking.”
So when it came down to the wire, Hawking chose someone who didn’t even audition. He chose the always elegant Sir Michael Caine.
Though all those celebrities were no doubt disappointed they didn’t get to be Hawking’s new voice, his choice is totally understandable. Just THINK of how great it would be to sound like Michael Caine all the time. Brilliant choice, Stephen.