Eddie Redmayne: It is shocking that trans issues haven’t improved much since Lili Elbe

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Eddie Redmayne has reflected on playing a trans character, saying it is “shocking” that trans issues have not improved in the past century.

Speaking to Reuters, Redmayne said he thought it was “shocking” that trans issues such as violence and discrimination have not improved since the time of Lili Elbe, who he plays in The Danish Girl.

Elbe was one of the first people in the world to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Redmayne told Reuters: “Lily specifically has to go through violence and discrimination, and almost a hundred years on from that story, those things haven’t necessarily changed. There is a huge amount of job discrimination, and discrimination generally against transgender people and a huge amount of violence.

“It is kind of shocking that there hasn’t been as much progress in that amount of time.”

Earlier this year, the film’s director responded to criticism on his decision to cast Redmayne in the role, saying he did so because of the actor’s gender fluidity.

The 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.