Eddie Redmayne has some regrets about his role in The Danish Girl.
‘It was a mistake’ to take on a trans role
The Fantastic Beasts and Early Man actor, 39, has admitted that taking the role of trans character Lili Elbe was ‘a mistake’ and that he would not take the role if it was offered to him today.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Eddie opened up about his thoughts regarding his iconic turn as Lili, one of the first-ever people to have surgery for gender reassignment in 1930.
“No, I wouldn’t take it on now,” Eddie said. “I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.”
Although he garnered critical acclaim for his impressive turn as the trailblazing Danish woman, Eddie was also slammed for taking on a role that many thought should be portrayed by an actual trans actor.
“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,” he explained when asked about the backlash he received at the time the film came out.
In an interview in 2015, at the heels of the film’s release, Eddie spoke with IndieWire and said that he did wish to see more trans actors in the movie industry.
“I think there has been years of cisgender success on the back of trans stories,” the actor admitted.
“I hope there’s a day when there are more trans actors and trans actresses playing trans parts, but also cisgender parts. And I hope…that one should be able to play any sort of part if one plays it with a sense of integrity and responsibility.”
What does it mean to be cisgender?
With Eddie’s revelation now a trending topic, many are wondering what he meant when he labeled certain roles as ‘cisgender.’
The term cisgender, which comes from the Latin prefix meaning ‘on this side of,‘ was coined in the 1990’s but gained momentum as a word in the early 2000’s and was even explored on Vanderpump Rules in 2019.
Relating specifically to gender versus sexuality, cisgender means that a person identifies with the sex assigned to them at birth.
Because identifying as a cisgender male or female is subjective, it isn’t visibly apparent when a person defines themselves as cisgender and assumptions should not be made regarding someone’s sexuality.
As articles have made clear, being cisgender and being straight are also two completely different things.
Being cis relates to gender identity and being gay to sexuality, meaning gay men and women can also identify as cisgender since being gay refers to their sexuality only.
Just as cisgender has nothing to do with a person’s sexuality, being cis also does not relate to being transgender.
Transgender “describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth,” which means that someone could be born with female body parts but not identify with being female.