Tom Hooper, director of the upcoming biopic The Danish Girl, said in an interview with the Guardian that the film industry has a “problem” with transgender actors:

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“Access for trans actors to both trans and cisgender roles is utterly key. In the industry at the moment there is a problem: there is a huge pool of talent of trans actors, and access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry embraces trans actors. and celebrates trans film-makers .”

Hooper made the comments without directly addressing the criticism that The Danish Girl has received. The film tells the story of Lili Elbe, a trans painter who worked in 1930s Denmark, and has been roundly criticized for casting Eddie Redmayne as Elbe. Hooper also explained/defended his decision to cast Redmayne:

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“There’s something in Eddie that is drawn to the feminine; he’s played women before, most notably Viola in Twelfth Night. In our film, Lili is presented as a man for two-thirds of the movie, and her transition happens quite late on, so that played a part in coming to a decision.”

The director noted that he did cast “40 or 50 trans supporting artists,” but added “I’m sure there’s more to do.”

Image via AP.