Eddie Redmayne visited Highbury School last Friday.

ACTOR Eddie Redmayne dropped into Highbury Grove School last Friday to help students make a stand against motor neurone disease.

The award-winning actor is to play physicist Stephen Hawking, who suffers from the disease, in Theory of Everything, a forthcoming biopic.

He said: “After the first months whilst prepping to play Stephen Hawking I got to meet some extraordinary and inspiring people who suffer from motor neurone disease and it’s become a cause very close to my heart.

So it was lovely to talk to these young and excited students about a cause that I think is very important, because they are going to go out and raise money in this area and they seem invigorated by this.”

The event put together by Paul Gilbert, assistant headteacher of the school in Highbury.

It involved Year 7 pupils examining case studies to increase awareness and encourage fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association as well as for an international charity, the Addis Ababa Food Run in Ethiopia.

He has a string of Hollywood blockbusters to his name — but Eddie Redmayne still calls his school drama teacher for acting tips.

The 32-year-old Les Misérables star attended the first night of his Eton teacher Simon Dormandy’s production Eldorado at the Arcola Theatre, in Dalston.

He is one of a number of pupils Dormandy helped on their way to fame in his 15 years as head of drama, including Thor star Tom Hiddleston and The Iron Lady actor Harry Lloyd.

Redmayne said he owed his career “entirely” to his teacher. He told the Standard: “Occasionally I’ll call up Simon and say, ‘Can I just come and run through some stuff with you?’ He is still the person whose advice I seek “I had one teacher who was so inspiring he gave me a career. He was always brilliant when we were at school and it’s amazing to see him working professionally.”

Dormandy said he realised Redmayne’s talent the first time he auditioned while at school.

He said: “The first time I met Eddie he was in the very first production I did, my own adaptation of A Passage to India, and he played the leading female part and I knew as soon as I met him that he was exceptionally gifted.”

Playing women was routine in an all-boys’ school — and it served Redmayne well as his first professional job was as Viola in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, alongside Mark Rylance.

Redmayne said: “I’m sure the only reason I got that job was because I played girls’ parts in school plays.” His next big role is playing the villain alongside Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in Jupiter Ascending, the latest offering from the Wachowskis.

Ahead of the film’s release later this year, Redmayne said: “I’ve never experienced a job quite like it where you have to try to tap into their imagination and theirs is extraordinarily insane.”