'The Danish Girl' director Tom Hooper thinks there's something about Eddie Redmayne that's "drawn to the feminine".
The Oscar-winning actor plays the part of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, and the film's director has defended the decision to cast him in the role.
He shared: "The thing which was interesting was that the reaction was probably two or three years after I cast him, so there was a slight feeling of, 'I'm not sure what I can do about that'.
"I'd thought about casting Eddie very early on back in 2008."
And Tom said the 33-year-old lends himself to appearing in the role of a woman.
Tom told Collider: "There's something about Eddie that's drawn to the feminine. He had played girls' parts at school - he had played Viola in the Twelfth Night by Mark Rylance - so that interested me. I had a film where the transition happens late. It happens late in the story so for the majority Lili is living as Einar.
"But then Eddie also has this gift of emotional transparency - he takes you with him on a journey. I didn't want Lili to be othered by the movie or made to feel strange. I wanted an actor who would open up people's hearts to this character's journey and I think he has that gift."