Community//

See Rosamund Pike embody Nobel Laureate Madame Curie in RADIOACTIVE

#STEM Points: Marie Curie was not written out of science history.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Unlike historic women of science Hypatia and Ada Lovelace, Marie Sklodowska or “Madame Curie” was not lost to the fickle fingers of recorded history. This is due in part to being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903; but wait, she was nominated only after a struggle, and literally received one-quarter (25%) of that Nobel, though later followed by a solo award in 1911 for Chemistry. Now ask yourself, given this formidable resume, who would you cast to play her?

Rosamund Pike plays Madame Curie in “Radioactive” from Amazon

Enter GONE GIRL’s Rosamund Pike, the British actor who has been on Hollywood’s radar since DIE ANOTHER DAY. In RADIOACTIVE, available now from Amazon on Prime Video, Pike shows her mettle and steely brilliance as an updated version of Madame Curie.

Not brash, nor a rule-breaker in her polite insistent daily life of the period, this fin de siècle-leaning Marie Curie blows open the subatomic world with her scientist husband Pierre Curie, to the degree that an element they discover, Polonium, will be named for her home country of Poland. Not to mention Radium, atomic number 88, their better-known subatomic discovery, that became the basis of x-ray technology. 

Get this, the actual French word “radio-actif” was invented by the Curies, hence the fitting title RADIOACTIVE in its English iteration. But wait, there’s more, the curie, or Ci, is the unit measurement for radioactivity, with the caveat that it is a non-SI unit, meaning non-International System unit, but still cited in the SI (Système Internationale). 

Okay, that’s enough subatomic ballyhoo. Science fans and everyone else will adore Rosamund Pike in this film because she is a multi-dimensional woman, who has an affair, gets embroiled in a scandal, and is as resilient as any contemporary counterpart would dare to be. Much like her bespoke “radio-actif”, Curie’s persona is shining and active as the word’s Latin roots reveal.

While Marie Curie born in 1867 would die this month, July, in 1934 in Savoy, France, her legacy continues not only in schools and universities, in labs and hospitals, but also in this un-missable embodiment by Rosamund Pike. See it, and remember, this is about a woman who authored “Recherches sur les Substances Radioactives (Investigations on radioactive substances)” in (1904), “L’Isotopie et les Eléments Isotopes (Isotopy and isotopic elements)” and penned the seminal “Traité de radioactivité (Treatise on radioactivity)” in 1910. 

RADIOACTIVE is based on “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout” by Lauren Redniss, no slouch herself as a Guggenheim Fellow and “genius grant” MacArthur Foundation alum. Catch it on Prime Video, or wait it elsewhere (just kidding, ps, don’t do that!).

Pike’s Pixel Perfect Portrait of a Paragon of Perseverance in Physics

What Amazon Says Officially About RADIOACTIVE

From the 1870s through our 21st century, RADIOACTIVE tells the story of pioneering scientist Marie Curie (Rosamund Pike) through her extraordinary life and her enduring legacies – the passionate partnerships, her shining scientific breakthroughs, and the darker consequences that followed.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi

Written by Jack Thorne

Based on the book by Lauren Redniss

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Sam Riley and Anya Taylor-Joy

# # #

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

How the “Mother of Modern Physics” Became One of Our Greatest “First Responders” — Madame Curie on the Frontlines

by Priscilla Hart
Wisdom//

What Gives Me Energy

by Elizabeth Blackburn
Make a Wish....One...for all!
Community//

From Sacrifice to Possibility!

by Veera Khare Asher, DMA, CSCS, USAW

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.