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22 November 2021

Eddie Redmayne says playing a transgender woman in movie The Danish Girl was ‘a mistake’

22 November 2021

Eddie Redmayne has admitted that playing a transgender woman in 2015’s The Danish Girl was a “mistake”.

The Fantastic Beasts actor, 37, received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Danish painter Lili Elbe, a transgender woman and one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

His casting however sparked a debate about cisgender actors taking on roles that could be played by transgender actors.

Speaking with The Sunday Times, Redmayne said that if an opportunity like that came around now, he “wouldn’t take it on” after taking onboard the criticism.

Referencing his preparation for the part, which involved meeting with transgender women of different ages to gain insight, he explained: “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 levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates,” he concluded.

His remarks echo those made earlier this year by his co-star in the film, Alicia Vikander.

Eddie Redmayne’s co-star in The Danish Girl Alicia Vikander previously spoke about the controversy around his casting


Vikander won an Oscar for her role as Elbe’s wife and said that while she felt Redmayne had done an amazing job in the flick, she understood the criticism.

Speaking to Insider in August, she said: “I totally understand the criticism that has been out there, because we need to make change.

“We need to make sure that trans men and women actually get a foot in and get work.”

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