Eddie Redmayne on a gentleman's journey to 'The Danish Girl'
Eddie Redmayne proved that he was an adept physical actor with his performance as Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything." With "The Danish Girl" he takes on a role in Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, that is physical to a certain extent, but feels more emotionally raw the part of Hawking required.
I was interested in the process that Redmayne embarks upon when taking on roles, particular those that are as challenging as Lili.
"It's so interesting whenever you're prepping for a role because there is no rule book. All I feel like I can do is immerse myself in as much of the world as much as possible," he said.
Redmayne talks about meeting with various members of the transgender community and listening to their stories.
"The need for cisgender to understand was strong," he said.
Redmayne took all of these stories and used them as a starting point to inform his performance.
"I started with contemporary people's stories and then tried to relate that back to Lili's story. "
As a cisgender (not transgender) person Redmayne knew he was setting himself up for a certain amount of scrutiny.
"I felt that ultimately as actors you should be able to play anything."
Redmayne explains that his first role was Viola in William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and that he had recently watched an all-female version of "Julius Caesar."
"I don't think one should be defined by anything as an actor."
However, Redmayne is very aware of the "great discrimination" towards transgender people. He often spoke with Rebecca Root, a transgender actress that plays a cisgender nurse in the film, about the need for opportunity for the transgender community. He hopes that the scrutiny will spark a conversation that will help people to understand the issues that the transgender community faces.
Follow Ryan on Twitter for entertainment and movie news: @ryanMpainter