Eddie Redmayne Transforms Into Transgender Artist For ‘The Danish Girl’ [Photo]

Eddie Redmayne is on a high from his massive success after scooping up the Best Actor Oscar for The Theory of Everything. Now his increasing number of fans can take a look at the first photo from The Danish Girl.

In his new film, Redmayne transforms into transgender Danish artist Lili Elbe, an early 20th-century painter born a man and believed to be one of the first to undergo a sex change operation. Elbe was born in Denmark as Einar Mogens Wegener in 1882 and had a successful career as an artist, but later on experienced an awakening while posing for portraits wearing women’s clothing.

Eddie Redmayne spoke to the Telegraph in January, calling the film “an extraordinary love story” and adding that he’d spent time with several people in the transgender community as part of his research to play Elbe.

“There’s extraordinary bravery and brilliant people that I’ve met, so I’m hoping it will be an interesting experience,” Redmayne said at the time and his transformation is astonishing.

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Eddie Redmayne also told the Daily Mail (via Coming Soon) that he has been working with movement director Alexandra Reynolds since January, “observing the minutiae of feminine physicality” to make his portrayal of Elbe as accurate as possible. Knowing what we know of the 33-year-old Brit, we have no doubt it will be magnificent.

“We’re looking at everything from a feminine perspective,” Redmayne said of his new role, which focuses on the beginnings of the operation in the 1920s. “I think it’s the most sensitive role I have played. The danger of surgery was so extreme then. It’s such a brave thing that Einar did.”

The Danish Girl is an adaptation of the 2001 David Ebershoff novel. The newly crowned Best Actor will reunite with another Oscar winner, director James Hopper (The King’s Speech) for the movie, which is slated to open in 2016.

This is the synopsis for Ebershoff’s novel from his website.

“Loosely inspired by a true story, and a New York Times Notable Book, this tender portrait of marriage and transformation asks ‘What do you do when the person you love has to change?’ Set against the glitz and decadence of 1920s Copenhagen, Dresden, and Paris, The Danish Girl eloquently portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the nearly forgotten story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman who would sacrifice anything to save her marriage.”

Eddie Redmayne is joined by Alicia Vikander, who plays his wife, Gerda Wegener, and Amber Heard, who will co-star as Oola.

[Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images]