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Eddie Redmayne’s latest role shines a positive light on the trans community

Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has taken on the role of a transgender woman for his new film, The Danish Girl, and the role has taught him some valuable lessons.

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According to IMDB, the film, based on David Ebershoff’s 2000 novel of the same name, has famed director Tom Hooper (who won an Oscar for the drama The King’s Speech) at the helm.

Redmayne has proven himself as an actor so we’re expecting brilliance when he hits the screens portraying the story of transgender woman Lili Elbe’s life — she is believed to have been one of the first known recipients of sexual reassignment surgery in 1930.

When Redmayne started the film he confessed to knowing nothing about Elbe’s story.

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“I knew nothing about it, going in,” he told Out magazine. “It felt like it was a piece about authenticity and love and the courage it takes to be yourself.”

And it is all those things. But the story has also taught Redmayne something about gender and that it’s “fluid. And also that it needn’t be labeled (sic).”

One of the names creating awareness for the transgender community at the moment is Caitlyn Jenner and Redmayne was happy to share his thoughts on her Vanity Fair spread, saying that he salutes her “courage.” However he also realises that her story is an isolated one and should not reflect the entire community.

“I was in New York when the [Jenner] Vanity Fair cover came out and I was reading The New York Times, and all of the op-ed pieces that were being written about it,” Redmayne revealed to Out. “The dialogue was so rich and full, with everyone having opinions. Then I came back and saw the trailer for the film.”

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“I absolutely salute her courage,” he said of Jenner. “Hers is a very specific story, and it’s one that shouldn’t stand for everybody’s. But it is amazing what’s she gone through and how she’s done it.”

What is so spectacular about Redmayne’s role is that he is helping to educate cisgender people and start a discussion about trans issues. We hope this is only the beginning of a movement to create better awareness, respect and empathy for others.

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