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Eddie Redmayne wants to be ‘an ally’ of the transgender community

Eddie Redmayne says he wants to be “an ally” instead of “talking for” the transgender community as he stars in The Danish Girl.

The actor plays Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who was one of the first recipients of sex reassignment surgery.

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl (Universal)


Appearing on BBC1's Graham Norton Show this New Year's Eve, Eddie said: “It’s been 15 years in the making and has come out at time when there has been such a shift in these issues coming to the mainstream.

“The story is so beautiful and the people from the trans community I met in preparing for the part were incredibly generous. It has been a privilege and, while not in any way talking for the community, I’m trying to learn to be an ally.”

The actor has previously revealed that he went out as Lili on the streets of Copenhagen between filming.

Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Norton and Eddie Redmayne

Jennifer Lawrence, Graham Norton and Eddie Redmayne (Ian West/PA)


He told Graham Norton: “I was trying to get all sort of ‘method’ on it, but I’m not sure how successful I was, because at 6ft tall with a red wig and wearing 1920s gear, people just stared. But I learnt a lot about the trans world.”

The film has already earned him awards nominations, including a Golden Globe nod for Best Actor.

Eddie already has a host of awards including a win for Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Tony Awards – where he brought his mother along as his guest.

Eddie Redmayne accepting the Tony Award in 2010

Eddie Redmayne accepting the Tony Award in 2010 (Richard Drew/AP)


He said: “I took her as my date to the Tony Awards and I drummed into her, ‘They will point a camera at you so don’t be angry or upset if I don’t win’.

“So when I did win, I was so elated, but my mum was too terrified of what I had said to react at all and just sat there looking scared.”

You can see the full interview with Eddie on The Graham Norton Show, BBC1, Thursday, December 31, 10.45pm.