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Eddie Redmayne says playing trans woman in ‘The Danish Girl’ was “a mistake”

The actor was Oscar-nominated for his role as transgender artist Lili Elbe

By Hollie Geraghty

Eddie Redmayne stars as trans artist Lili Elbe
Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'. (Photo: YouTube).

Eddie Redmayne has said that he wouldn’t accept his role as a transgender artist in the 2015 film ‘The Danish Girl’ if offered today, describing it as a “mistake”.

In an Oscar-nominated performance the actor played Lili Elbe, who was one of the first transgender people to undergo gender reassignment surgery in Germany 1930.

Now in a new interview with The Sunday Times, the Academy Award winning actor reflected on why he would not take the role today.

“No, I wouldn’t take it on now,” Redmayne said when asked if he would say yes if offered today. “I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.”

He continued: “The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table. There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”

The ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them’ actor also spoke out about controversial tweets made by author JK Rowling in 2020, which resulted in accusations of transphobia.

The actor initially criticised the ‘Harry Potter’ author’s comments, telling Variety: “As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.

“I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”

He also told the Daily Mail that he was shocked by the social media hatred Rowling faced. He said he had many ‘trans friends and colleagues’ who are ‘having their human rights challenged around the world and facing discrimination on a daily basis’.

He then spoke about the ‘vitriol’ she faced on social media, which he said was ‘absolutely disgusting’, and which prompted him to write a private letter to her.

He added: “Similarly, there continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating.’

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, director Chris Columbus and other cast members from the ‘Harry Potter’ films will reunite for HBO Max special  ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’ on January 1 to celebrate 20 years since ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’.

Rowling is currently not scheduled to appear.