Fresh off his Oscar win as best actor for his gripping turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, freckle-faced heartthrob Eddie Redmayne may have found a role that’s equally as challenging and ultimately rewarding. The 33-year-old thespian will soon be seen as Lile Elbe (right), the Danish painter born Einar Wegener who is considered one of the world’s first trans women and who underwent the first gender reassignment surgery in 1930. The complex role was once claimed by another Academy Award-winning performer, Nicole Kidman, who dropped out following a delay in the start of filming. Gorgeous Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who made a big splash earlier this year in Ex Machina and will soon be the envy of millions as the woman who comes between Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., will co-star as Gerda, Wegener’s wife.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis to give us a brief breakdown:
The Danish Girl is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Einar and Gerda Wegener (being portrayed, respectively, by Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander), whose marriage and work are cast into the unknown when Einar begins a groundbreaking journey to become one of the world’s first transgender women, Lili Elbe. The Danish Girl has been adapted into a screenplay by BAFTA Award nominee Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film’s cast also includes Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop), Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), and Amber Heard (The Rum Diary).
The film, directed by Tom Hooper, who won scores of awards for The King’s Speech in 2010, will be screened at film fests in Toronto and Venice this fall before it opens in theaters November 27. [Editor’s note: We’ve been advised that the posters for the film we published earlier are not official so they’ve been removed. See a photo of Redmayne in character below.]