Eddie Redmayne Admits His Role In 'The Danish Girl' Should Have Been Played By A Transgendered Actor
Academy Award winning actor Eddie Redmayne spoke to The Sunday Times UK about his regret in taking one one of his most popular roles, namely playing Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl from 2015. A role which garnered him an Oscar nod for playing a the danish artist who eventually became a transgender pioneer as one of the fist to get gender reassignment surgery.
In the interview, Redmayne mentions that if offered the role today, he would turn it down. Many critics at the time felt that the role of Elbe should have been played by a transgendered actor, a sentiment which the actor has grown to agree with over the past six years.
No, I wouldn't take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake. The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don't have a chair at the table. There must be a leveling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.
This is an important and powerful statement. It is truly enlightening how far we have come as a society where in less than a decade our feelings, opinions, and most of all tolerance for others in the entertainment industry and society as a whole has evolved to be a more inclusive environment for those of marginalized communities to have their say in the creative process.
In the past, Redmayne has also spoken in favor of the Trans Community, especially when his role in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts franchise was brought into question following author Rowling's trans-phobic rhetoric. He said in a 2020 statement,
As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand, I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community, but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so.
These kinds of lessons learned are the first steps in making everyone's story an important one to tell, especially when told by those who have lived through the pain, bigotry, and hopefully acceptance of who they are. It's great to see Hollywood being better, but there is always room for improvement.