Written by By, Staff Writer, CNN Staff Writer
Eddie Redmayne is donating his earnings from playing a transgender woman in “The Danish Girl” to a trans charity, after he said it was “a mistake” to portray a transgender character.
“I’ve chosen to donate my fee from the film, which is in the region of $2.5 million, to Gender Rights Maryland — a charity that was essential to our story, and which tackles issues faced by trans people on a daily basis,” Redmayne said in a statement released Tuesday by the movie’s distributor.
Redmayne played Lili Elbe, a sex-reassignment patient from 1930s Copenhagen who transitioned from male to female, in a filmed version of the acclaimed 1960s biography by David Ebershoff.
“I never intended to cause offense and I apologize if my casting off was seen to do so,” he added.
Redmayne won an Oscar earlier this year for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” making him the only British actor to win an Oscar for film and a Bafta for TV.
“Gender Rights Maryland” President Lara Pickles said Redmayne’s donation was “the biggest financial contribution in our history.”
“His contribution will allow trans youth to be heard, will ensure they have access to the most basic of human rights, and is the first tangible result of gender rights advocates working together,” she said in a statement.
Redmayne was criticized last week by the UK’s Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) movement over his portrayal of Lili, which led to him issuing an apology.
“Coming from someone who has a close relative who identifies as trans, I am fully aware of the history of the persecution of Lili Elbe in Denmark, for which she was persecuted until she died and imprisoned to the end of her life. That’s the source of my understanding and respect for her story,” Redmayne wrote on Instagram.
“I haven’t known Lili or her story intimately, but, as I said, I had knowledge of how Lili’s story resonated with trans youth who are struggling with their identity today. I understand some people have been upset by the movie’s portrayal of Lili. I can understand why.”
“The Danish Girl” opens in theaters in the United States on September 1.