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Eddie Redmayne ‘Wouldn’t Take’ Trans Role in ‘the Danish Girl’ Now

  • Eddie Redmayne told The Sunday Times that he “wouldn’t take” his role in “The Danish Girl” now.
  • Redmayne played the first documented person to undergo gender reassignment surgery in the biopic.
  • The film was criticized for not having a trans actor in the lead role.

Eddie Redmayne told The Sunday Times that “it was a mistake” to play a trans character in “The Danish Girl,” which has been criticized for its inauthentic casting.

“The Danish Girl,” which came out in 2016, was based loosely on the life of Lili Elbe, the first documented person to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Redmayne played the lead and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. However, the movie, particularly Redmayne’s casting, received criticism for featuring a cisgender actor in a trans role.

When asked by The Sunday Times whether he would still take the role today, Redmayne responded: “No, I wouldn’t take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.”

The interviewer, Kirsty Lang, then pointed out that the movie was only greenlit when Redmayne was cast after winning an Oscar for his performance in “The Theory of Everything.” To this, Redmayne replied: “The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table. There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”

Redmayne, his co-star in the movie Alicia Vikander, and the film’s director Tom Hooper have all defended the casting in the past.

fantastic beasts eddie redmayne

Eddie Redmayne.


Most recently, Vikander told Insider in August that she thought Redmayne did “a wonderful job in the role.”

“I totally understand the criticism that has been out there, because we need to make change and we need to make sure that trans men and women actually get a foot in and get work,” Vikander, who won an Oscar for her role in “The Danish Girl,” said.

“My only concern is that we may need to get to a point in the end where we have trans women and men playing cis characters. Because that is the main thing, you know?” 

Redmayne and Hooper made similar arguments in 2015 with Redmayne pointing out to IndieWire that a trans actress was also cast in the movie as a cisgender nurse.

Queer filmmakers and actors told Insider that it “boils down to respect” as to whether it is appropriate to cast a straight cis actor in queer roles.

“What I’m not okay with is when there is no respect or when there’s a conscious decision,” Broadway actor Michael James Scott said. “I question the motive behind that. Why can’t we try to find a queer actor first?”

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