The ‘The Danish Girl’ Director Explains Why He Didn’t Cast A Trans Actor In The Lead Role

There is a severe limit of trans roles in film, Tom Hooper said.

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne's newest role is that of Lili Elbe in "The Danish Girl." She was one of the first people known to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The first trailer was released earlier this month, and the film looks like it's going to be both beautiful and a tear-jerker.

Director Tom Hooper recently explained why he chose to cast Redmayne as the lead, instead of casting a trans actor. According to Variety, Hooper said, "Access to trans actors, women and men, to roles, both trans roles and cisgender roles, is utterly key, and I feel that within the industry at the moment there is a problem. There is a huge pool of talented trans actors and the access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry could move forward and embrace trans actors in trans and cisgender roles and also celebrate and encourage trans filmmakers."

"In terms of the casting of Eddie...I think there is something in Eddie that’s drawn to the feminine," Hooper continued.

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Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe

The term "Cisgender" refers to those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Redmayne stated, "I met many people from the trans community, both men and women...There was one particular couple in Los Angeles, a woman called Cadence and her partner Trista."

Cadence said two vital things that stuck with Redmayne during the shoot — and probably heavily influenced his performance as Lili. Redmayne explained that "one was that she would do anything and everything to live a life authentic, and the other thing was in relation to her partner. While she was transitioning, the question for her was: ‘How deep was her partner’s pool of empathy?’"

“The Danish Girl” hits theaters on Friday, November 27.

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