(The Guardian) The film industry has a “problem” with transgender actors, with many unable to secure roles despite a “huge pool of talent”, according to film director Tom Hooper, whose latest film The Danish Girl – starring Eddie Redmayne as a pioneering recipient of gender-reassignment surgery – receives its world premiere at the Venice film festival.
Hooper said: “Access for trans actors to both trans and cisgender roles is utterly key. In the industry at the moment there is a problem: there is a huge pool of talent of trans actors, and access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry embraces trans actors. and celebrates trans film-makers.”Without explicitly acknowledging the controversy surrounding the casting of Redmayne, a non-trans actor, in the lead role of Einar Wegener – the real-life Danish painter who underwent a series of operations in the early 1930s to become Lili Elbe – Hooper said: “There’s something in Eddie that is drawn to the feminine; he’s played women before, most notably Viola in Twelfth Night. In our film, Lili is presented as a man for two-thirds of the movie, and her transition happens quite late on, so that played a part in coming to a decision.” Hooper also said that the production had reached out to the trans acting communities in the cities where they shot – London, Brussels and Copenhagen – and ended up casting “40 or 50 trans supporting artists”. He said: “I’m pleased we achieved what we did, but I’m sure there’s more to do.”