Eddie Redmayne Calls The Danish Girl Role a “Mistake”

Six years after Eddie Redmayne portrayed Lili Elbe, one of the first transgender people to undergo gender confirmation surgery, the actor is reflecting on his role in The Danish Girl.

By Kisha Forde Nov 22, 2021 4:28 PMTags
Watch: What Did Eddie Redmayne Steal From "The Danish Girl" Set?

Eddie Redmayne revealed that if he were offered the leading role in The Danish Girl today, he "wouldn't take it on now."
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the 39-year-old actor reflected on starring in the Oscar-nominated movie six years after its release. "I made that film with the best intentions," he said of the 2015 film, adding, "But I think it was a mistake." Based on a true story, The Danish Girl starred the Oscar winner as Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who was one of the first people to undergo gender confirmation surgery, in 1930.
"The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don't have a chair at the table," he added. "There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates."
Following its release, The Danish Girl, received industry accolades but also substantial criticism from audiences. Alicia Vikander, who played Lili's wife, Gerda Wegener, addressed the critique over the film earlier this year.

Eddie Redmayne Before He Was Famous

"I totally understand the criticism that has been out there, because we need to make change and we need to make sure that trans men and women actually get a foot in and get work," the 33-year-old actress told Insider, while adding that she thought Eddie did a "a wonderful job" in his portrayal. For their performances, Alicia won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and Eddie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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During the movie's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015, Eddie told reporters that he'd met with trans women of all ages to prepare for the role.
"There's a certain fear that goes into playing any character, but really it felt like an extraordinary privilege [playing Lili]," he said at the time per People. "She is an astounding woman. The notion of transitioning and having confirmation surgery could almost lead to death. But her courage, her will to live a life true to herself, she felt that was more valuable."

"What I found astounding, in relation to Lili's story," he added, "is that almost 100 years on—I know there is a conversation going on at the moment, and that is wonderful—but there is still so much progress that needs to happen."