The film Three Generations is an indie drama exploring the story of a young trans man. The production has already been getting flak for failing to cast any actual trans* actors. Instead, Elle Fanning has been cast to play the lead role of Ray, a teen who was born and assigned the female gender, but who is now transitioning to male. Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon also star in the film as Ray's mother and grandmother, respectively.
Yesterday, we got our first look at the film's Brooklyn set. Indeed, the 16-year-old Fanning is nearly unrecognizable as Ray. The young star was photographed wearing baggy clothes, a short red wig, and carrying a skateboard — a far cry from her last role as Princess Aurora in Maleficent.
Fanning's not the only cisgender star to strike controversy by taking on a trans* role. Eddie Redmayne's recent casting as the first trans woman to have sexual reassignment surgery has also sparked debate over whether or not these stories should be told by trans* actors.
The trans man experience has been long overdue for the spotlight. It's encouraging to see this story being told, but it would have been even more so to see a trans* actor cast here — and that's not just a problem with this film, but with Hollywood in general.
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