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Eddie Redmayne and Elle Fanning to Take On Trans* Roles

eddie redmayne elle fanning

Two well-known actors have recently been announced as playing transgender characters in separate films.

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Eddie Redmayne, known for playing Marius in the 2012 screen adaptation of ‘Les Miserables’, will be playing a transgender women in the screen adaptation of the novel ‘The Danish Girl’.

‘The Danish Girl’ is a semi-fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first recorded transgender people to have what is known today as sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

Elbe was a Danish painter, who previously became renowned under the name Einar Mogens Wegener, before moving with her wife to Paris and living openly as a woman. She died of complications arising from a surgical procedure in 1931.

Redmayne told E! Online that he’s been doing his research for the role by speaking to transgender women.

“Even though it is period and under completely different circumstances than today, I’m meeting many women from the trans community and hearing their experiences. I have put on dresses and wigs and makeup. I’m beginning to embark on that and trying to find out who she is.”

Meanwhile, Elle Fanning, 16 year old sister to Dakota and overachieving young actress in her own right will be playing a transgender boy named Ray in a film entitled ‘Three Generations’.

The film follows the story of teenage Ray’s gender transition and its effects on his relationship with his mother Maggie (Naomi Watts) and his grandmother (Susan Sarandon).

Both announcements have attracted criticism from due to casting cisgender actors in transgender roles. Similar criticisms were directed at Jared Leto’s Oscar-winning performance as Rayon in ‘The Dallas Buyers’ Club’.

Actor and transgender activist Laverne Cox recently became the first openly transgender actor to be nominated for an Emmy for her portrayal of Sophia Burset, a transgender woman in prison on ‘Orange is the New Black’.

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