Eddie Redmayne says her role as a transgender woman in The Danish Girl was “a mistake”

The actor, who considered that an actor “Should be able to play any role, if he plays it with a sense of integrity and responsibility”, made a 180 ° turn, explaining that he would not accept the role if offered to him today.

His performance earned him an Oscar nomination in 2016, in the best actor category. Whatever. Eddie Redmayne obviously doesn’t mind spitting in the soup. From the British daily The Times , relayed by BFMTV, the actor regretted his role in The Danish Girl, where he plays Lili Elbe, one of the first transgender women to benefit from sex reassignment surgery.

“If I was offered this role today, I wouldn’t accept it. I would not do it again today ”, he said, pointing out that he had “Made this film with the best intentions”, but considering that “it was a mistake”. By the time the critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning Alicia Vikander film was released in 2015, voices were raised when a non-transgender man had taken on the role of the Danish trailblazer. Members of the LGBT community felt the role should have been played by a trans person, regardless of Eddie Redmayne’s acting quality. Questioned, the actor retorted that an actor “Should be able to play any role, if he plays it with a sense of integrity and responsibility”.

Recurring controversies

180 ° turn, therefore. “The wider discussions about the tension surrounding the casting are due to the fact that many people do not have a voice. We have to get up to speed, otherwise we will continue to have these debates ”, justified Eddie Redmayne, when he was reminded that, without his participation in The Danish Girl, the movie would never have been shot.

The controversies surrounding trans characters interpreted by “cisgender” actors [dont le genre correspond au sexe biologique, NDLR] in the cinema are legion. In 2018, Scarlett Johansson gave up playing the role of a transgender masseur turned pimp, after receiving a volley of green wood on social networks. In 2020, actress Halle Berry, who was also preparing to play a trans man, had to abdicate and make a mea culpa of rigor. “As a cisgender woman, I understand that I shouldn’t have considered this role, and that the transgender community should definitely have the opportunity to tell their own stories., she posted on Twitter. I am grateful for the advice and conversations of the past few days and will continue to listen, educate myself and learn from this mistake. I promise to be an ally and to work for a better representation on screen, in front of and behind the cameras.

In France, hysteria is less. Director Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, whose film A Good Man evokes the story of a transgender man, Benjamin, who decides to carry the child he wishes to have with his partner, has nevertheless been the subject of criticism. The filmmaker did not deflate, claiming to have “First choose an interpreter”, in the person of Noémie Merlant, a so-called “cisgender” actress. “Benjamin’s role is a capital role, huge, very important, and you have to have experience”, she explained Saturday, October 16 on the set of We are live on France 2.


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