To portray the early 20th-century transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne did extensive research, interviewing transgender women about their own experiences to make sure he got it right. But in Details magazine’s new cover story, Redmayne reveals that before he started looking into Elbe’s story, he was largely ignorant of many transgender issues and terms.
“I fell into all the clichés of ignorance,” Redmayne said. “I didn’t realize that gender and sexuality weren’t related. I confused the terms transvestitism and transgender. But what’s lovely is, the second you understand the difference, you see how gigantic it is and how important it is that we educate ourselves.”
Redmayne has played female roles before, especially on stage in Shakespeare plays, but he added that even in early Danish Girl dress rehearsals, he was struck by how differently he was treated when he was playing Elbe.
“Just walking onto a set filled with men, watching the difference in how you’re treated, or the scrutiny… the gaze was overwhelming,” he said. “A lot of the women I worked with said, ‘Yeah… welcome to our world.’”
Read the full interview at Details.