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How Lana Wachowski Helped Eddie Redmayne Prepare For The Danish Girl

Playing a transgender character must certainly be one of the greater challenges for an actor. After all, it's an experience to which few of us can entirely relate, while also something that should be portrayed authentically in a performance. Eddie Redmayne faced these very issues after signing on to star in Tom Hooper's new drama The Danish Girl, but fortunately the Academy Award-winning actor had a great resource in his corner in the form of Lana Wachowski - who helped steer Redmayne into some key research areas.

In promotion of the upcoming Oscar-hopeful film, Eddie Redmayne recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an extensive interview, and it was during the course of their conversation that they began to talk about Lana Wachowki's influence. The line of questioning began because the trade noticed that the Matrix co-director was given a "Thank You" credit at the end of The Danish Girl, and Redmayne explained that she pointed him in the direction of some key books that would help him better understand his character. Said the British star,

She pointed me to where to start reading: Jan Morris' book "Conundrum," Kate Bornstein's "Gender Outlaw" and Niels Hoyer's book about Lili, "Man Into Woman." I absolutely adore Lana. She's such a generous human being.

Of course, Eddie Redmayne didn't just bump into Lana Wachowski on the street and ask her for advice. The actor and director first had the chance to collaborate on the sci-fi action-adventure Jupiter Ascending - which had Redmayne featured as the central villain. It's not hard to imagine that the two stayed in touch after production on the movie, and clearly that meant good things for The Danish Girl. Based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, and adapted by Lucinda Coxon, The Danish Girl is inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wedener (Alicia Vikander), and the story follows their relationship as Lili becomes a pioneer for transgender people everywhere. The film has played to critical acclaim at both the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and will make its way to theaters here in the United States on November 27th.

Even though it was only a few months ago that Eddie Redmayne took home an Academy Award for his performance in The Theory of Everything, it's predicted that he will very much be in contention once again in this year's Best Actor race. We'll surely be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months - as we get deeper and deeper into Oscar season - so stay tuned not only for updates about the competition as well as our review of The Danish Girl.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.