Eddie Redmayne To Play First Transgender Woman In New Role

Photo: BEImages/Matt Baron.
Eddie Redmayne hasn't even won his first Oscar, but he's already got his sights set on a second. The 32-year-old Brit has been earning raves for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (in theaters November 7), and will likely be the Best Actor favorite come Oscar night.
While his transformation into the renowned A.L.S.-stricken physicist is uncanny, it will likely pale in comparison to what Redmayne does next. The actor is set to star in The Danish Girl, in which he'll play Einar Wegener, a Danish painter who became Lili Elbe after undergoing the world's first ever gender reassignment surgery in 1931.
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"There are many people who have written Ph.D's on Lili's story," Redmayne told E! recently. "Even though it is period and under completely different circumstances than today, I'm meeting many women from the trans community and hearing their experiences."
But, that's not all Redmayne did to prepare for the role.
"I have put on dresses and wigs and makeup," Redmayne added. "I'm beginning to embark on that and trying to find out who she is."
The film is based on the award-winning novel by David Ebershoff, which has been described as a fictional account of Wegener's life. Nicole Kidman was originally tapped to play Wegener, with Gwyneth Paltrow as her wife Greta. Marion Cotillard, Uma Thurman, and Rachel Weisz were all attached to the long-gestating drama, but dropped out for various reasons. After nearly half a decade in development hell, the film will finally get off the ground, thanks in large part to Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech) who has signed on to direct. Having Hollywood's newest golden boy as the lead can't hurt, either.
The Danish Girl is set to start shooting in January. (E! News)
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