Eddie Redmayne on the sexual boldness of ‘The Danish Girl’ (Exclusive Video)

Eddie Redmayne says he's surprised about his new film that explores the sexual sojourn of transgender pioneer Lili Elbe. "What I find astounding is that 80 years on, whilst there has been some progression, there's still so far to go," he tells Gold Derby founder Tom O'Neil (watch below).  

“I think what’s amazing is, in the past year, the discussion has become mainstream, and it’s about people educating themselves and learning to be allies in the trans community," adds the recent Oscar champ. "That’s the great education I’ve had in this film, because I was incredibly ignorant.”

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Redmayne says he admires Elba, who was the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery despite the life-and-death risk of the time: “I’d never really thought about gender previously, and I suppose I’d accepted the binary terms of masculine and feminine. That feels antiquated in this day and age. It feels to me that those terms are boxing things, and I’m one of the people who likes to box things. What I’ve learned is that there’s a spectrum, and we’re all on it in some ways between these two things, and there should be no judgment within that. We’ve only got one shot at life, and what it takes to be yourself is a huge amount."

Last year Redmayne won the Best Actor for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in “The Theory of Everything" over, among others, Michael Keaton in the Best Picture champ "Birdman." As he recalls, “When the buzz starts surrounding a film, particularly a little film like that, you have to do everything you can to try and make it reach an audience. But it seems so weird when you’re getting pitched against other people, particularly ‘Birdman,’ which I thought was utterly extraordinary, and Michael was utterly extraordinary.”

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Redmayne is currently ranked in third place to repeat as Best Actor again this year. He would be only the third back-to-back Best Actor champ following Spencer Tracy [“Captains Courageous” (1937) and “Boys Town” (1938)] and Tom Hanks [“Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994)].

Watch our full interview below for more on the making of “The Danish Girl.” Then make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Actor. You'll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations). Be sure to read our contest rules.

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Photo: Focus Features

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