Eddie Redmayne says he feels privileged
to play transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.
The film premiered last month to rave
reviews at the Venice International Film Festival.
In the movie, British actor Eddie
Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) plays Elnar Wegener, who
is asked by his wife, illustrator and artist Gerda Wegener (played by
Alicia Vikander), to stand in for a female model. The paintings
became wildly popular in 1920's Copenhagen. Gerda's dressing of her
husband as Lili ultimately led him to his historic 1931 operation.
The transformation shocked the world and threatened the couple's
The movie has been criticized for not
casting a transgender actor in the lead role.
Tom Hooper, who directed the film, told
the AP that he found the script “incredibly moving.”
Redmayne called his role “a bit
“Getting to play someone like Lili
Elbe, who is an icon in the trans community, was a great privilege,”
Redmayne said. “I mean, don't take that lightly, if you're lucky
enough to be cast as her.”
“I spent a year meeting members of
the trans community, different generations of trans women. Their
transparency and kindness in order to educate me and to educate
cisgender people was wonderful,” he added.
The Danish Girl arrives in
theaters November 27.