Eddie Redmayne says playing a transgender woman in the 2015 film “The Danish Girl” was a mistake.
“No, I wouldn’t take it on now,” Redmayne said in an interview with London’s Sunday Times. “I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.”
“The Danish Girl,” which is based on the 2000 novel of the same name, tells the story of Lile Elbe, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery.
The film, directed by Tom Hooper, was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Redmayne’s nomination for best actor. But it was heavily criticized for not casting a transgender woman in Redmayne’s place.
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“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.”
In 2016, Hooper told CBS News that filmmakers did a “lot of research” before making the film, including meeting with members of the trans community. “That research began to give us some sort of understanding into the journey that Lile Elbe must have gone on,” Hooper said.
Some critics panned the film for choosing Redmayne over a transgender actor. In a 2015 review, transgender writer Carol Grant criticized the decision: “For a film that’s being touted as a progressive step up for ‘transgender visibility,’ everything about its view of trans women and women in general is regressive, reductive, and contributes to harmful stereotypes.”
Actress Elle Fanning received backlash for her portrayal of a transgender teen boy in the 2015 film “3 Generations.” Before he was fired followingof inappropriate behavior from his co-star, Jeffrey Tambor won two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of a transgender matriarch in “Transparent.”