Tag Archives: Eddie Redmayne

Despite The Strong Nominations, LGBT Films Lose Out At Oscars

Despite the hype, Carol – the critically acclaimed lesbian love story directed by Todd Haynes – failed to scoop any awards, despite both stars being nominated for awards.

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Cate Blanchett lost out to Brie Larson in the Best Actress category, while Alicia Vikander – who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Tom Hooper’s transgender drama The Danish Girl – beat co-star Rooney Mara.

Alicia Vikander

The Danish Girl – which focuses on the first ever recipient of gender reassignment surgery and the effect this has on their marriage – failed to pick up any other awards, including Best Actor for Eddie Redmayne, who lost out to serial nominee Leonardo DiCaprio.


The actor portrays the lead character, Lily Elbe, in the biopic – which also failed to pick up a BAFTA Award last week.

Carol also lost out at this year’s BAFTAs – despite a total of nine nominations.

Meanwhile, Sam Smith won the award for Best Soundtrack – dedicating his award to the global LGBT community, after wrongly suggesting he was the first gay man to win.

This year’s awards were seen to be one of the most controversial yet, after a number of stars announced their decision to boycott the ceremony due to a lack of diversity in nominees.

The Danish Girl’s Director On The Hardest Part Of Making The Film

The past few months have graced us with several new queer, mainstream films with one of these being The Danish Girl. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as trans woman Lili Elbe who, in real life, was one of the first (known) recipients of sex reassignment surgery.

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The Danish Girl follows Lili as she navigates the changing relationship with her wife Gerda (played by Alicia Vikander) as well as the love triangle they get into with Lili’s childhood friend Hans (played by Mattias Schoenaerts).

The Danish Girl has been garnering critical acclaim and some are even suggesting that Redmayne may even receive an Oscar nomination for his performance. And not only that but the film also seems to be doing (reasonably) well at the box office, earning $46,250 from four theatres in a limited box office run over the weekend.

But despite all of these accolades, it wasn’t actually very easy to get the film made, as The Danish Girl‘s director Tom Hooper explains to AfterEllen.

Hooper reveals that they struggled to get The Danish Girl financed and “it’s been a 15-year-journey for Gail Mutrux, the producer”, while  “it’s been a seven year journey” for the director. It “speaks to the sort of kind of extraordinary pace of change in the perception of trans issues”, says Hooper who also credits “a lot of good work by people moving this conversation forward” as well as shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent for creating this “big tipping point with the acceptance of trans stories in the mainstream culture”.

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Though, other than getting financing for the film, Hooper reveals that one of the hardest parts of making The Danish Girl was creative, regarding “the balance between pain and joy in Lili’s story”.

The director says that he “didn’t want the film to only focus on that and not get the sense of the joy and the promise of release when you discover your true self and kind of showing that”, but, if it was “too joyous”, Hooper asks “would it be dramatic, or would it be truthful to the 1920s?”

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Also worth noting are Hooper’s words on how involvement from trans consultants shaped the film. The Danish Girl has received some backlash from trans advocates for its decision to cast Eddie Redmayne, a cis actor, in the role of a trans woman, but Hooper does say that the film’s team had a “great group of people” helping them, with trans journalist and present Paris Lees on-board to answer questions that Hooper and Redmayne had, as well as having a “very inspiring conversation” with Redmayne during pre-production.

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Moreover, Hooper says that unlike in real life where Gerda and Hans ended up together, he decided to let Lili and Gerda stay together as they “didn’t want the film to play as heteronormative” and instead wanted to “honor the love between Gerda and Lili”. Some have criticised the director for not sticking to facts but given that so few films about women in love end with the women still in love, others have praised the director for his creative decision.

Eddie Redmayne Transforms Into Transgender Artist Lili Elbe In Trailer For Oscar-Hyped Drama ‘The Danish Girl’

The first trailer for The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne as famous transgender, has been released.

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The film, based on the book of the same name by David Ebershoff, focuses on

the true story of transgender pioneer Lili – born Einar Wegener – who became one of the first people to have gender reassignment surgery in the 1930s.

The trailer opens with the beautiful love story between Einar and his wife Gerda, who falls for the ‘charming and mysterious’ artist.

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When one of Gerda’s models fails to show for a painting session, she persuades her husband to pose for her in a dress, unaware of how meaningful the moment is for him.

The dress-up spirals into a joke as the pair create a new identity for him, the beautiful and enigmatic Lili, heading out for the evening to see whether they can fool others.

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But Gerda soon realises it is no longer a game for her partner, who experiences a revelation and admits to feeling more like her true self as Lili than she ever has, declaring, ‘This is not my body’.

With her wife’s support, Eddie’s character then embarks on the life-changing process of gender reassignment surgery.

Speaking previously about the movie, Eddie called the portrayal of transgender artist Lili Elbe ‘his most challenging role yet’.

Redmayne told GQ magazine:

I was actually offered The Danish Girl before Hawking… People go, “Oh are you doing this transformative thing?” It’s not a concerted choice. I think it will be a unique experience.”

Meanwhile, Academy Award-winner Hooper – who previously worked with Redmayne on Les Miserables – has revealed there was no other actor than the hugely talented Eddie for the role.

I was a great believer in him as an actor. I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him, that I found intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role. I felt that there was something in him that was drawn to the feminine. That was something that I felt he might be interested to explore further.”

The Danish Girl opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 27, and in additional cities in December.

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Amber Heard Discusses Why She Signed to do the New Eddie Redmayne Film ‘The Danish Girl’

Bisexual actress Amber Heard, now married to Johnny Depp has been discussing her reasons for joining Eddie Redmayne in the film The Danish Girl.

In the film, Redmayne plays an artist famous for getting one of the first known gender-reassignment surgeries. Heard plays his wife.


Talking to IndieWire, she said

It’s story about heart and love between two people and identity as well and it just so happens to be also an LGBT issue. Discrimination, identity, family relationships love, all these things within the context of a society. All of these things within a society that doesn’t accept that. Somebody undergoing a sex change to fully realize themselves is incredibly compelling for me.

I’m obviously a major advocate for equality and as a member of the LGBT community, I am honored to be able to be part of a story that represents a part of that struggle and that life.”

Heard has been a staunch advocate for the LGBTI community, which is one of the reasons why she wanted to star in the upcoming film. She came out as bisexual in 2010.

There’s always been gay people. That’s a fact. And I’m not trying to say that having ambiguous gender identity, I’m not saying that’s new. Look at the Greek culture, that’s fairly recent too in the span of human culture, but to actively be able to change it in this way…awesome.”

In the interview the Austin-born actress also discusses the limitations she faced being an actress.

you’re constantly asked to choose between one of two archetypes: sexy or not. And within the “not,” you perhaps can acquire for yourself a few different traits, but they’re going to be severely limited. The story’s not going to be about you. In the former, it’s completely unfulfilling work to undergo and it’s not fulfilling for an audience to watch. It’s incredible frustrating that a system is in place where you have to choose one or the other. I should not have to choose to be taken seriously or to be beautiful.”

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The Danish Girl will be released in December.

Transparent Awarded 5 Dorians by Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics, and Ava DuVernay Named Best Director

The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) has announced its winners for its annual Dorian Awards.

The organization is comprised of over 110 movie and TV critics nationwide. The awards are handed out to 25 different categories, which include both mainstream and LGBTQ-centric films and TV shows. Awards include everything from Rising Star to Music Video of the Year.

This year, the GALECA gave Selma‘s director Ava DuVernay the Film Director of the Year award, which is great news considering she was overlooked for an Oscar in this category.

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood was awarded the Film of the Year award.


Julianne Moore took Film Performance of the Year – Actress, for her performance in Still Alice, and Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen Hawking in the biopic The Theory of Everything, beat Benedict Cumberbatch, to take Film Performance of the Year — Actor award.

The British film Pride, was recognised as the Unsung Film of the Year and the LGBTQ Film of the Year

In TV categories, Transparent won five awards, including TV Comedy of the Year, and creator Jill Soloway was named Wilde Artist of the Year, which honors a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television.


Other TV Shows such as HBO’s Normal Heart, CW’s Jane the Virgin, and Lisa Kudrow’s Comeback were also recognized.

Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods won the Campy Flick of the Year and gay director Xavier Dolan’s Mommy was awarded for Foreign Language.


George Takei, who was also the subject of a documentary in 2014, was given the organization’s Timeless Award, which is presented to an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom, and wit.


GALECA’S 2014/15 Dorian Award Winners:

Film of the Year: Boyhood, director Richard Linklater

Film Performance of the Year – Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Film Performance of the Year – Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Film Director of the Year: Ava DuVernay, Selma

LGBTQ Film of the Year: Pride

Foreign Language Film of the Year: Mommy, director Xavier Dolan

Unsung Film of the Year: Pride

Documentary of the Year (theatrical release, TV airing, or DVD release): The Case Against 8 – HBO

Visually Striking Film of the Year (honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography): The Grand Budapest Hotel

Campy Flick of the Year: Into the Woods

TV Drama of the Year: The Normal Heart – HBO

TV Comedy of the Year: Transparent – Amazon

TV Director of the Year: Jill Soloway, Transparent

TV Performance of the Year – Actor: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

TV Performance of the Year – Actress: Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback

TV Musical Performance of the Year: Neil Patrick Harris, “Sugar Daddy,” The Tony Awards

LGBTQ TV Show of the Year: Transparent

Unsung TV Show of the Year: Getting On – HBO

TV Current Affairs Show of the Year: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Campy TV Show of the Year: Jane the Virgin

Music Video of the Year: Sia, “Chandelier”

The “We’re Wilde About You!” Rising Star Award: Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin

Wilde Wit of the Year (honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse): John Oliver

Wilde Artist of the Year (honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater, and/or television): Jill Soloway

Timeless Award: George Takei

Why Is Hollywood So Bad at Casting Trans Actors as Trans Characters?

In terms of numbers, movies and TV shows are improving when it comes to LGBT characters. But while there are plenty more LGBT characters on our screens (both big and small) there are some glaring issues with their portrayal that stick out like a sore, offensive thumb.

Namely, there’s the fact that the majority of the LGBT characters we see are white, bisexuals either don’t exist or are promiscuous harlots and transgender characters are commonly robbed of their own storylines in favour of being on the end of some unfortunate transphobic jokes.

And, when trans characters do get their own stories, it’s rarely done right. There’s also the fact that time and time again, we are seeing what few trans characters we have be portrayed by cisgendered actors and actresses, which is disrespectful to the identities that they are portraying and disrespectful to the many trans actors who’ve been denied a chance of fame.

In this vein, the films that come to mind are ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ (Hilary Swank played a trans man), ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ (Jared Leto played a trans woman), ‘TransAmerica’ (Felicity Huffman played a trans woman) and upcoming films ‘The Danish Girl’ (Eddie Redmayne plays a trans woman) and ‘Three Generations’ (Elle Fanning plays a trans man). The fact that these films are just the tip of the iceberg – is absolutely shocking.

Worse still is that not only are these opportunities for the visibility of trans actors essentially being gifted into the hands of cisgendered actors, the movies themselves often have serious issues. For example, both Huffman and Leto received high praise for their roles (Leto even won an Oscar) but these are movies where little to no respect is giving to the trans characters.

The official synopsis for TransAmerica literally calls Huffman’s character “transsexual” whilst Leto’s character Rayon is constantly misgendered and disrespected throughout the film and at one point the lead character even suggests using a gun to give Rayon a sex change.

Arguably, cisgendered actors are not the only piece of the problematic puzzle but they are an example of Hollywood’s failures.

Much in the same way that you wouldn’t expect a white person to understand what it’s like to face all of hardships and micro-aggressions of a racist society, you shouldn’t expect cisgendered actors, directors and producers to be completely clued in on how to portray trans characters. This is not necessarily their fault(s) but it can and should be rectified by working with trans actors, filmmakers and consultants.

A good example of this is Transparent. Transparent airs on Amazon Instant (and therefore isn’t included in the statistic that .001% of the 796 broadcast series regulars are transgender) but it features cisgendered male actor Jeffrey Tambor in the lead role.

However, not only is Tambor’s character Maura supported by best friend Davina (who is a trans woman played by trans actor Alexandra Billings), but it features trans man Dale (also played by a trans actor) as a potential love interest for Maura’s daughter too. And, the show itself was made by creator Jill Soloway because of her own experience of having a trans parent and Soloway also made the decision to hire trans staffers for behind the camera work too.

So if Transparent can get it right (along with Orange is the New Black, which features TWOC inmate Sophia Burset) why can’t others? The main reason for this is clear – using trans stories for dramatic effect is bold and gains awards but hiring trans actors to actually play those roles is considerably risky.

Many point out that unlike with same sex relationships, there is little voyeuristic quality to displaying trans lives and characters. Questioning your gender or dealing with body dysphoria does not – for straight, cisgendered audiences at least – have the same pull as ‘two girls fall in love and make out a whole bunch in the process’. But shouldn’t we be asking for these stories to be presented for the sake of awareness and not whatever cishets think?

Absolutely. It could be pushed that the huge success of OITNB and Transparent can be attributed to the fact that they are good shows and gain from having trans characters rather than including them at their detriment. Looking at the roster of trans-related media out there: The T Word, Laverne Cox’s documentary on trans youth, ex-Navy SEAL Kristen Beck’s memoir about her transition (which became a best seller) and Tyra Banks is also putting together a trans docu of her own, it’s apparent that there is an appetite for hearing these stories. For their actual value and not for creepy, intrusive reasons either.

Could we see more trans characters – and with them, trans actors – in the future?

Demand determines everything in Hollywood and as executives look at what’s selling (queer stories) there’s good chance that they will ‘buck the trend’ and produce some good results in the process. That might seem a little optimistic but as traditional and TV movies look to compete with the inclusive shows on Netflix and Amazon Instant, it’s more than a little bit possible.

Cross your fingers and watch this space.