First Look: Eddie Redmayne Transforms into Transgender Artist for ‘The Danish Girl’

Getty Images
Getty Images

Academy Award-winner Eddie Redmayne will look to take home his second golden statuette in two years when he plays transgender artist Lili Elbe in this year’s upcoming film The Danish Girl.

The Danish Girl centers on artist Lili Elbe (born Einar Wegener), who became one of the first documented recipients of gender reassignment surgery in the 1920s. According to the LGBT History Month website, Elbe received five transition-related surgeries, considered groundbreaking at the time, over a period of two years.

Elbe reportedly died in 1931 at the age of 48 from transplant rejection after attempts to transplant a womb failed.

The Danish Girl is Redmayne’s second weighty role in as many years, after his Best Actor-winning performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

The film hits theaters as big- and small-screen portrayals of the LGBT community continue to gather critical acclaim: Tangerine, a film about two transgender prostitute friends on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, was a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance film festival. The films follow several high-profile reality television shows about transgender people, including Caitlyn Jenner’s I Am Cait series and 14-year-old Jazz Jennings’ I Am Jazz.

The Danish Girl is directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) off of a script by Lucinda Coxon. The film is based on the 2001 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Amber Heard (The Rum Diary) and Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) co-star.

The film hits theaters November 27.

UPDATE: The poster art has been removed from this piece at the request of the filmakers.



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