While it’s been well-publicized that the film The Danish Girl introduces film audiences to a transgender pioneer of the early 20th Century played by Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne, what is not widely known is that one of his costars is trans in real life.
Rebecca Root tells her story in a one-minute video featurette, talking about working with Redmayne, and the importance of telling the story of Lili Elbe. Root is also starring in the BBC-produced series Boy Meets Girl (watch the trailer here). In that sure-to-be-groundbreaking show, Root plays 40-year-old Judy, and actor Henry Hepple is 26-year-old Leo, and the pair are a new couple, exploring their relationship. Root says she was discovered through an open call for scripts seeking positive portrayals of trans people.
As Variety pointed out, The Danish Girl is one of the few motion pictures in the last decade to feature an LGBT main character since 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. And although Redmayne is one of many Hollywood actors to play a trans character, Root is among the first trans actresses cast to play a cisgender (non-transgender) role. As Root told Variety:
“I think this will probably be one of the last high-profile transgender roles going to a cisgender actor. As more of us come up through the ranks, the more likely it will be we’ll take these roles.”
Root plays the female nurse at the hospital where Redmayne’s character undergoes surgery, and in the video discusses the significance of her part. “It’s important for me, as well, because I think it’s an opportunity for one of the pioneers of our community, the trans community, for her story to be told.”
Watch the featurette below: