Eddie Redmayne is reflecting on his role in “The Danish Girl,” where he portrayed transgender woman Lili Elbe, one of the first recipients of gender-reassignment surgery.
In an interview with The Times published Sunday, the actor stated that he “wouldn’t accept it on now”. Although I made the film with all my best intentions, it turned out to be a huge mistake.
The 2015 film follows the stages in Elbe’s transition from artist Einar Wegener and its effect on her wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander).
Redmayne, who is cisgender, earned a best actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal and the movie was mostly applauded, but over time has been met with criticism for not casting a trans actor in the part.
“The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table,” Redmayne told The Times. “There must be a leveling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”
Redmayne is set to star in a new production of “Cabaret” as the Emcee, a character that is often played by LGBT actors, which he also addressed in The Times interview. “Of all the characters I’ve ever read, this one defies pigeonholing. It would be a good idea to invite people to visit it, before casting any judgments,” he stated.
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Vikander has also reflected on her role in “The Danish Girl,” saying she understood the backlash over Redmayne’s casting.
Vikander said to Insider, “We must make changes and make sure trans people and women get jobs.”
More:Eddie Redmayne says that J.K. Rowling has been the victim of online vitriol.
Hollywood has been discussing representation of the LGBTQ community.
Selena Gomez, who famously dated Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas, signed to play lesbian mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado. Cisgender actress Halle Berry considered taking on an undisclosed male transgender role last summer.
More:Halle Berry apologises for considering transgender role next, but vows she will be an ally
In years prior, straight actors Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer sizzled onscreen as lovers in “Call Me By Your Name.” Cisgender actor Jeffrey Tambor played a transgender woman in “Transparent.” Straight actor Nick Robinson channeled a young gay man struggling with his identity in “Love, Simon.”
But more recently, actors and industry experts have been speaking out about the need for queer and transgender actors to play roles that represent these communities.
“It would be nice if there were enough LGBT roles that anyone could play them because there wasn’t any scarcity of representation,” says Jane Ward, a gender and sexuality studies professor at the University of California, Riverside told USA TODAY last year. However, this is not true.
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David Oliver contributes