So there was a big bang… but before that, what was going down? Was there even a there to be discussed?
The short answer, according to Hawking is “nothing was around before the Big, Big Bang.”
On Tyson’s show, StarTalk, Hawking explains that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity suggests space and time come together and are curved by all the matter and energy inside, therefore suggesting to Hawking that the beginning of the universe is a Euclidean approach.
Hawking then goes into the multiple levels of time and depths of dimensions, making the end of Interstellar look like a 2nd-grade spelling bee.
You can watch the two space nerd-genius-badasses talk about the big questions here: