Eddie Redmayne – a cisgender man who famously played the role of a transgender woman in 2015 – is standing up for author J.K. Rowling in the face of widespread criticism for her transphobic comments and tweets.
Redmayne told the Daily Mail that Rowling was receiving alarming “vitriol” on social media and he called it “absolutely disgusting.”
Redmayne, who stressed that he has “trans friends and colleagues,” knows Rowling through his work on two Fantastic Beasts films, which were based on books written by Rowling. He is currently working on a third Fantastic Beasts movie.
He also condemned those who harass transgender people on social media as “equally disgusting” as people who criticize Rowling.
“Similarly, there continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating,” he said.
Redmayne played transgender painter Lili Elbe in the movie The Danish Girl, even though he is neither a woman nor a transgender person. He was nominated for the Oscar for “Best Actor” for his work in the film.
“The Danish Girl‘s struggle to portray Lili Elbe’s story magnifies not only the most glaring weaknesses of both Redmayne and [director Tom] Hooper, but also the cisnormative gaze of the transgender community,” wrote Carol Grant in IndieWire at the time.
“You get this in Redmayne’s performance, of course, only instead of approximating a single individual, he’s approximating femininity itself, ratcheting his exaggerated, nervous physical ticks to 11 when playing” Lili both before and after her transition.
“As Lili, he performs womanhood by way of stereotype.”
He did not win the Oscar that year.