Watch Elle Fanning Take On A Trans Role In About Ray Trailer

Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
A new trailer is out for the forthcoming film About Ray, in which Elle Fanning plays the titular character, a transgender teen transitioning from female to male.

Though it appears from the trailer, which premiered on Vanity Fair, that Ray's mother (Naomi Watts) is on board with her child's transition, Ray's absent father (Tate Donovan), who has a new family, seems resistant. Ray's grandmother (Susan Sarandon) pops in with uneducated comments like, "Why can't she just be a lesbian?"

Current representations of transgender people in pop culture primarily focus on those who have already transitioned (like Sophia on Orange Is the New Black) or those approaching the process later in life (Maura on Transparent). About Ray tells the story of a teen's experience, as a sort of transgender coming of age. "Prolonging this doesn't keep me a girl any longer," Ray says in the trailer. "It just keeps me from being who I already am."

Fanning's talents have long been known, and we're eager to see her dig into this role. But with trans issues in the cultural spotlight, a movie like About Ray raises questions about non-trans actors, like Fanning, playing trans characters. After Fanning's casting was announced, The Atlantic ran a piece titled, "Is Elle Fanning Taking a Role From a Transgender Actor?" About Ray isn't the only fall movie that will tell a transgender person's story with a cisgender actor in the lead role. The highly anticipated film The Danish Girl, a period piece, stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, a transgender artist.

About Ray comes out in theaters September 18. Watch the trailer below.
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