Eddie Redmayne was cast as trans woman due to his ‘gender fluidity’

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The director of upcoming film The Danish Girl has opened up about his decision to cast Eddie Redmayne as a transgender woman.

Oscar winning actor Eddie Redmayne is taking on the role of 1920s transgender pioneer Lili Elbe for the upcoming film, helmed by director Tom Hooper. The pair previously worked together on Les Miserables.

The upcoming film is based on the true story Lili Elbe, a landscape painter. who realised that she was transgender after posing in women’s clothes for her wife. She became known after undergoing one of the first gender reassignment surgeries.

However, some trans activists are none too thrilled the casting of Redmayne, questioning whether transgender roles should be played by cis actors.

Speaking to Screen Daily, Tom Hooper said there was really no other candidate 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 and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role.

“I felt that there was something in him that was drawn to the feminine… that was something that I felt he might be interested to explore further.”

He added that there is a “tremendous pool of talented trans actors out there”, and “a journey to go on to make sure that talented trans actors have the same access to opportunities both in front of and behind the character as cisgendered actors.”

The director added: “What’s extraordinary is when I first fell in love with the idea of making this film, it was perceived to be a very hard film to finance, and now people talk to me as if it was an obvious film to do, and that’s just in five or six years.”

The Danish Girl has a release date of January 1 2016, in the middle of awards season.

The first official poster was released this week, though images were printed in several major newspapers earlier this year after an accidental leak.