Eddie Redmayne counts his 2015 Oscar-nominated role as the Danish transgender artist Lili Elbe among his professional regrets, the actor said during a recent interview.
The biopic “The Danish Girl” told the true story of one of the first people in history to have gender reassignment surgery.
The Tom Hooper-directed film starring Redmayne — as well as Alicia Vikander as the artist’s wife, Gerda Wegener, a role that earned her the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress — drew criticism from the LGBTQ community and its allies for not casting a trans actor to play the role.
When asked his feelings about the film in hindsight, the 39-year-old British actor told The Sunday Times, “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,” he explained.
Redmayne was nevertheless lauded for his performance in “The Danish Girl” and had called it “a great privilege to play” the trailblazing trans artist, IndieWire reported in 2015. One way he prepared for the role was by consulting with Matrix director Lana Wachowski, who came out as trans in 2010.
Redmayne said his current gig as The Emcee in “Cabaret,” alongside 31-year-old Irish actress Jessie Buckley (“Fargo”), at London’s Playhouse Theatre is different.
“Of all the characters I’ve ever read, this one defies pigeonholing,” he claimed of the master of ceremonies character, who is known to perform in drag. Queer actors have often played the part in the past.
“I would ask people to come and see it before casting judgment,” he implored readers.
Redmayne snagged his first Best Actor statuette the year prior for his physically demanding and emotional role as the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who lived with the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease for more than 50 years until his 2018 death at age 76.
For her part, author J.K. Rowling has recently been criticized by fans and activists for her comments, as well as fictional characters, which have been characterized as anti-trans.
Last year, Redmayne responded by distancing himself from Rowling in a statement to Variety, saying, “I disagree with Jo’s comments.
“Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid … They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]