“He was an exuberant individual, a figure like Carl Sagan [an American astronomer who did much to popularise science in the Seventies and Eighties], the kind of frontman you want.” The 90-minute drama depicts Feynman as the outsider on the commission, fighting against the vested interests of the others, to arrive at the truth.
“The bluntness of his character was something that I personally love, because I just hate being given the runaround, you know? In a film full of talking heads, Hurt, in a shaggy wig, keeps things energised by imbuing Feynman with an exuberant intelligence that is gripping to watch.
Hurt says he can’t remember where he was on January 28 1986, the day of the Challenger disaster, but the event haunted him for weeks afterwards.
As a private pilot who used to fly small planes, he cared greatly about the space programme.
''But he said, no, that he was finished with marriage.'' For more than a week, the courtroom has been packed with spectators eager to absorb the intimate details of Mr.“The only thing I really want to do these days is go back to school,” he says.The Challenger, made in conjunction with the Open University and the Science Channel, dramatises the workings of the Rogers Commission, the committee of experts set up by President Reagan to find out what caused the space shuttle disaster of 1986.“I was like, ‘Thank God, thank God, thank you, Mr Cronenberg, for entrusting me with the idea of doing something so different from what people expect of me.” Towards the end of the interview I ask Hurt if he’d consider taking another route that’s become popular among American stars, and accept a stage role in the West End?Absolutely, he says: “It’s better than Broadway.” What about a role in our Downton Abbey? ” he says, sounding incredulous I should think there’d be any doubt.
Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.