Eddie Redmayne on his role in ‘The Danish Girl’: I think it was a mistake

Media News

Academy award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne is addressing the backlash that he received for playing a transgender character in 2015’s ‘The Danish Girl’. 

In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the actor said he wouldn’t take up the role if he was offered it now. Redmayne’s comments came after he was criticised for the film, which was a biopic on Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

“I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake,” Redmayne said of the role that earned him an Oscar nomination. 

The actor had revealed that he had prepared for the role by meeting with transgender women of all ages.

While many felt that only Redmayne could have done the part and the project would have not happened otherwise, the criticism came as part of the ongoing debate on whether cisgender actors should play transgender roles. 

“The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table,” he added. “There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”

Redmayne’s costar Alicia Vikander, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Elbe’s wife Gerda Wegener, too addressed the controversy in a recent interview. 

“I totally understand the criticism that has been out there, because we need to make change and we need to make sure that trans men and women actually get a foot in and get work,” Vikander said. She also added that she felt Redmayne did “a wonderful job” in his portrayal.