Eddie Redmayne Says Accepting His Danish Girl Role Was a "Mistake"

Despite receiving an Academy Award nomination for 2015's The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne now says taking on the role was a “mistake.”

In the Tom Hooper-directed film based on true events, Redmayne played transgender artist Lili Elbe, who was one of the first people in the world to receive gender reassignment surgery. In a new interview with the Sunday Times, Redmayne has since stated that if the role was to be offered to him now, he wouldn’t take it.

Redmayne, who had previously played Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and won a Best Actor Oscar in 2015 for his performance, earned an Oscar nomination in the same category a year later for The Danish Girl. At the time, criticism surrounding the film made mention of the fact that the role should have been played by a transgender actor. Redmayne now agrees with that sentiment.

“No, I wouldn’t take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake,” he told The Sunday Times. “The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table. There must be a leveling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”

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Redmayne spoke to The Times about the issue while preparing for his upcoming appearance as the Emcee in a new production of Cabaret at London’s Playhouse Theatre, his first West End role in 10 years. The actor is also the lead of the Fantastic Beasts franchise written and produced by J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books and the creator of the world in which that the Fantastic Beasts films are set. In recent years, Rowling has been criticized for her anti-trans remarks and has been under fire for her comments in regard to the transgender community. Redmayne, however, made a statement back in 2020 in opposition of Rowling's views:

“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.”

Meanwhile, the latest Fantastic Beasts film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, is slated for release on April 15, 2022.

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Jessica Watson (4 Articles Published)

Jessica is a News Writer for Collider. She has always had a passion for Film and Television and enjoys being able to share this with others. Most of her spare time is spent in front of the big screen getting lost in the magic of film and the rest is spent with her adorable cat, Slinky.

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