Eddie Redmayne followed up his Academy Award-winning performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything with another awards-baiting turn the very next year, but despite landing a second consecutive Best Actor nomination, The Danish Girl didn’t come without controversy.
Tom Hooper’s adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel of the same name, which was inspired by the lives of painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, came in for criticism after Redmayne was tasked to play one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery, a role that many believe should have gone to a member of the trans community.
Now that diversity and representation have become increasingly important to the Hollywood conversation, Redmayne admitted in an interview with The Times that he would turn down the part were it to be offered to him today.
“No, I wouldn’t take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake. 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.”
Redmayne has been a vocal supporter of the trans community, despite headlining the increasingly-derided J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts franchise as Newt Scamander, but it’s a case of too little too late in regards to The Danish Girl. It’s been almost six years since the biopic hit theaters, and while it was greeted with plenty of critical acclaim and an Oscar win for Alicia Vikander, but it still doesn’t sit right with many people.