Star Wars actor Diego Luna playing a trans woman in Berlin, I Love You

L - Diego Luna in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story R - Diego Luna in Berlin, I Love You

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna is playing a transgender woman in upcoming film Berlin, I Love You, provoking instant criticism.

The actor, who has also appeared in LGBT+ films Y tu mamá también and Milk, was revealed to be playing a trans woman in a clip from the upcoming Emmanuel Benbihy romantic comedy film.

The clip, debuted on NewNowNext, shows Luna’s character speaking about sexuality and gender with a bicurious teen, played by Michelangelo Fortuzzi.

Clip reveals Diego Luna is playing transgender woman in Berlin, I Love You

In the clip, Fortuzzi’s character says: “I don’t know if I prefer to kiss men or women…. will you please kiss me? I want to know how it feels, to kiss a man.”

Diego Luna and Michelangelo Fortuzzi in Berlin, I Love You.

Diego Luna and Michelangelo Fortuzzi in Berlin, I Love You.

Luna’s character responds: “You know, what, baby, right now you’re in front of a woman. It’s just not going to work.”

When the teen retorts, “But, you are a man”, Luna’s character replies: “It’s a little more complicated than that.

The film, the latest in the Cities of Love series, boasts an all-star ensemble cast including Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Mickey Rourke.

However, the casting of the cisgender actor as a transgender woman is bound to reignite anger in the industry, as real-life transgender stars struggle to find parts.

Berlin, I Love You is latest film to cast a male Hollywood star as a trans woman

A string of Hollywood A-listers have previously played trans roles, including Jared Leto, Eddie Redmayne, Jeffrey Tambor and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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However, the casting of cis actors in trans roles has become widely frowned upon in the industry over the past few years.

In July 2018, Scarlett Johansson dropped out of previously-announced film Rub & Tug, after anger at her casting as a transgender man.

The film project was reportedly shelved after the star’s exit. No recasting was ever announced, despite calls for a talent search to find a new transgender star.

In August 2018, a string of major production companies and talent agencies signed a letter calling for a better approach to trans inclusion.

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The TRANSform Hollywood guidebook that accompanied the letter cautioned against casting major cisgender stars as trans people in projects.

It warned: “The world is evolving, and today it is a mistake, especially if you are cross-sex casting (a cis man to play a trans woman, or a cis woman to play a trans man.) It simply isn’t cost effective to take this risk; recent projects which cast cis actors to play trans roles have felt the tide of public opinion turn against them and have taken a hit at the box office.

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