Issues Buzzword, Takes Off

March 13, 2015 8:39 PM

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Issues Buzzword, Takes Off

Eddie Redmayne, fresh off his Oscar win for portraying Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” is busy transforming himself for his next role, as the artist Lili Elbe in “The Danish Girl.” In the early 1930s, Elbe became one of the first people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

The first photo of Mr. Redmayne as Elbe two weeks ago sparked a discussion online: Why must this transgender pioneer be portrayed by someone who is non-trans? Or, to use a term that has gained steam over the past few years, why must it be a “cisgender” actor?

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