Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winning director of The Danish Girl, a film about a man who transitions into a woman, told ABC that Hollywood needs to “do more to create a level playing field” for transgender actors.
Recently, Hollywood has touted Bruce Jenner’s transition, shows such as Transparent and Tangerine starring transgendered characters have been mainstreamed, the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black stars a real-life transgender actor, Laverne Cox, the 2014 film Dallas Buyer’s Club stars a transgender character, and of course there is the success of The Danish Girl. But Hooper still claims that more must be done for transgender actors in Hollywood.
Hooper told ABC, “[W]hat struck me is that I don’t think there is an equality of opportunity for trans actors compared to cisgender actors.”
“I do think the industry has more to do to create a level playing field,” he added.
“I hope that pace of change accelerates,” said Hooper, after acknowledging that there has been some change in Hollywood.
The Oscar-winning director also added that The Danish Girl depicted one of the greatest “love stories” of our generation and was puzzled that the real story of which the film was based on was not more popular; suspecting that “prejudices” may be the culprit.
“I couldn’t believe when I read the script that she wasn’t world famous. She was such an extraordinary, courageous pioneer, and the love story that she shared with her wife Gerda Wegener is, I think, one of the great 20th Century love stories,” stated Hooper.
“It set me thinking about why this story’s not better known. And it made me wonder whether history has a tendency to hard-bake in the prejudices of its own time in the way that history’s told,” he added. “So because of the decades of prejudice against trans people, maybe it’s no surprise that this story’s been marginalised.”
Ironically, Hooper caught much heat for casting a “cisgendered” man (a man who identifies as a man), Eddie Redmayne, to play the part of the transitioning man as opposed to a transgender person, which by his words, would have helped to “create a level playing field.”