The Danish Girl: Eddie Redmayne Criticized for Playing a Trans Woman
Posted 2016/01/09 5253 0
The story of Lili Elbe (birth name is Einar Wegene), the very first sex reassignment surgery recipient in the world, in the biopic The Danish Girl is a strongly impressive movie to critics and the audience. And the stories behind the scene about how to transform Oscer winner Eddie Redmayne to a trans woman in The Danish Girl have been revealed.
The fact that Eddie Redmayne plays as Lili Elbe was criticized fiercely by transgender activists, some people analyzed that even though Eddie is talented, his role should be given to a real transgender to increase the understanding about the community as well as give them a chance in the industry. Earlier, Jared Leto received a similar backlash after winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as HIV-positive, drug-addicted trans woman Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.
However, director Tom Hooper has defended his decision to hand British actor Eddie Redmayne the lead role In The Danish Girl. He emphasized that Eddie was the only actor to be considered for the role. He said: "Eddie was really the person I wanted to make the film with, and I was very passionate about that. I was a great believer in him as an actor. I think also there's a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him, that I found intriguing... I felt that there was something in him that was drawn to the feminine..."
Eddie Redmayne was approached by Tom Hooper and invited to play Lili when they worked together on the set of Les Miserables in 2012. Eddie spent 2 years doing researches on the trans community before officially accepting the invitation. In order to depict the trans artist in The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne decided to build the character from the inside out. He started from reading autobiography Man Into Woman of Lili Elbe and other books related such as Conundrum (Jan Morries, 1974) or watching movies like My Transsexual Summer. He even met privately 6 transsexual women from different generations to learn from their experiences.
The Danish Girl is a 2015 British pseudo-biographical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 fictional novel of the same name by David Ebershoff and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The movie chronicles the life of aritist Einar Wegener. Copenhagen, 1926. Danish artist, Gerda Wegener, painted her own husband, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), as a lady in her painting. When the painting gained popularity, Einar started to change his appearance into a female appearance and named himself Lili Elbe. With his feminism passion and Gerda's support, Einar - or Elbe - attempted one of the first male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, a decision that turned into a massive change for their marriage, that Gerda realized her own husband is no longer a man or the person she married before. A childhood friend of Einar, art-dealer Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts), shows up and starts a complex love triangle with the couple.
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