Eddie Redmayne is getting ready to star in a new production of Cabaret, and as part of his publicity tour for the gig, he sat down with The Sunday Times and addressed the longstanding controversy over his decision to play real-life transgender artist Lili Elbe in the 2015 movie The Danish Girl. The role got him an Oscar nomination, but criticisms of the casting (and of The Danish Girl in general) have made a more lasting impact than the movie itself.
Now, Redmayne flat-out says that it “was a mistake” for him to have played Elbe in the film. He says that, although The Danish Girl was made “with the best intentions,” he wouldn’t take on the role now. He believes that decisions like him starring in that movie happen “because many people don’t have a chair at the table” and that “there must be a leveling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates.”
To parse his statement there a bit, it seems like he’s not necessarily saying that cisgender people should never play transgender people (even if he thinks it was a mistake when he did it), but that transgender people—or at least more people in general—should have a say and be involved in these kinds of decisions.
This denouncement of The Danish Girl comes more than a year after Redmayne addressed the transphobic statements made by J.K. Rowling—who created the Fantastic Beasts series he stars in. At that time, Redmayne offered a disappointing suggesting that, while it’s “absolutely disgusting” to see how transgender people are treated online and out in the world, it is “equally disgusting” to see the way Rowling has been treated since she started saying transphobic stuff.
Fantastic Beasts 3, subtitled The Secrets Of Dumbledore, is supposed to be in theaters on April 15, 2022. Mads Mikkelsen is replacing Johnny Depp as the villain Grindelwald, so that’s cool at least.