Red­mayne on trans­gen­der rights

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

LON­DON: Af­ter play­ing 1920s trans­sex­ual pi­o­neer Lili Elbe in his new film The Dan­ish Girl Ed­die Red­mayne has said he finds the lack of progress on trans­gen­der rights in the past cen­tury “shock­ing”.

“Some of the things that… Lili specif­i­cally has to go through of vi­o­lence, dis­crim­i­na­tion – al­most 100 years on from that story, those things haven’t nec­es­sar­ily changed,” he said.

“There is a huge amount of job dis­crim­i­na­tion and dis­crim­i­na­tion gen­er­ally against trans peo­ple and a huge amount of vi­o­lence par­tic­u­larly for trans women of colour.

“And so it’s kind of shock­ing that there hasn’t been as much progress in that amount of time,” he said in an in­ter­view to launch the film about one of the first known re­cip­i­ents of sex re­as­sign­ment surgery, born as Ei­nar We­gener in 1882.

We­gener, an artist, be­gan liv­ing as a woman af­ter his mar­riage and had his first gen­der- re­as­sign­ment op­er­a­tion in 1930. She died in 1931 but left di­aries and her life was fic­tion­alised in the book The Dan­ish Girl.

Red­mayne said he had met sev­eral trans­gen­der peo­ple to help him pre­pare for the role, but it made act­ing it no less daunt­ing once the cam­eras started rolling.

“The first time I walked on set (as Lili) I felt scru­ti­nised, I felt the gaze of other peo­ple and I felt ner­vous… It was in­ter­est­ing be­cause it was some­thing that a lot of the (trans) women I’d met had spo­ken about.

“What I learned from this ex­pe­ri­ence is that gen­der is fluid in the way that sex­u­al­ity is fluid and we have bits of ev­ery­thing in us,” Red­mayne said.

Red­mayne won a best ac­tor Os­car ear­lier this year for his por­trayal of physi­cist Stephen Hawk­ing in The The­ory of Ev­ery­thing. – Reuters

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