British actor Eddie Redmayne told Reuters this week that he was shocked at the lack of progress on transgender rights in the past century.

Redmayne plays transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.

In the period film, Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) plays Elnar Wegener, who is asked by his wife, illustrator and artists 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 marriage.

“Some of the things that … Lili specifically has to go through of violence, discrimination, almost 100 years on from that story, those things haven't necessarily changed,” Redmayne said.

“There is a huge amount of job discrimination and discrimination generally against trans people and a huge amount of violence particularly for trans women of color.”

“And so it's kind of shocking that there hasn't been as much progress in that amount of time,” Redmayne added.

The Danish Girl arrives in theaters November 27.