TIFF: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hooper Explain Why They Kept the Controversial Language in 'Danish Girl'

"If that was the way the real Lili made sense of it, who are we to say that that is no longer the way someone would talk about it now, and that we should go back into history and change that language?"

Eddie Redmayne focused on the history behind his character when preparing for The Danish Girl, in which he portrays Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who lived in Copenhagen in the early 1920s. After Elbe died, a book entitled Man Into Woman was published consisting of her manuscripts and letters.

"One of the things that’s interesting in Man Into Woman, is that Lili talks about herself in the third person sometimes," said Redmayne to The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto Film Festival. The actor was afraid that this type of language today would "pathologize" and make it seem like Lili was suffering from bipolarity.

Concerned about the appropriateness, director Tom Hooper debated keeping it in the script. "In the end, I kept feeling that if that was the way the real Lili made sense of it, who are we to say that that is no longer the way someone would talk about it now, and that we should go back into history and change that language?" he explained.

Hooper added that a radical moment in the film is when the Gerda Wegener (played by Alicia Vikander) character, accepts her husband’s transition: "I think it’s yet another example of how kind of extraordinarily modern Gerda is in her brilliant understanding of the journey."

The Danish Girl opens in select theaters on Nov 27. Watch THR’s chat with the cast above.

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