Perhaps I is just Cis, eh?

The film industry has a “problem” with transgender actors, with many unable to secure roles despite a “huge pool of talent”, according to film director Tom Hooper, whose latest film The Danish Girl – starring Eddie Redmayne as a pioneering recipient of gender-reassignment surgery – receives its world premiere at the Venice film festival.

Hooper said: “Access for trans actors to both trans and cisgender roles is utterly key. In the industry at the moment there is a problem: there is a huge pool of talent of trans actors, and access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry embraces trans actors. and celebrates trans film-makers.”

To any reasonable approximation the percentage of trans people is zero. This does not mean none, of course it doesn’t, but the number who physically transition is some hundreds at most each year in the UK. That is statistically zero.

36 thoughts on “Perhaps I is just Cis, eh?”

  1. If you created a Venn diagram with show-offs in the left-hand circle and mentally ill people in the right-hand circle I think the overlap could be populated with quite a few actors and ‘trans people’.

    Not to say that everyone who wants his penis removing and a fake vagina installing is nuts, of course.

  2. “Not to say that everyone who wants his penis removing and a fake vagina installing is nuts, of course.”

    What a sexist point of view.

    You omitted to mention those who want their vagina removed and a fake penis installed.

  3. I’m sure there must be a specialist corner of the moving pictures industry with huge demand for trans people.

  4. “what is Cis”

    ‘Normal’ – as in identifying as the sex you were born with, as opposed to ‘trans’. Orthogonal to the ‘gay’/’straight’ spectrum of identification.

  5. Let’s see: it’s because no-one out there in multiplex land gives a crap about films made by trans people, and Hollywood would rather hire a non-trans actor who knows the ropes and can bring in a crowd who can do their research than some obscure trans person who maybe isn’t a very good actor and has no “brand”.

    And mostly, people go to the cinema to see the boy get the girl and for Thor to defeat evil. Always have, always will.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    The Stigler – “Let’s see: it’s because no-one out there in multiplex land gives a crap about films made by trans people”

    I like the Matrix. The first one. The first time I saw it. I liked Bound even more – a lesbian heist movie starring Jennifer Tilly doing her little girlie voice? What is not to like. I think some people give a crap about films made by the director formerly known as Larry Wachowski.

    “And mostly, people go to the cinema to see the boy get the girl and for Thor to defeat evil. Always have, always will.”

    Yeah but I did see The Crying Game I regret to say.

    Otherwise I agree with you.

  7. It’s utterly key that Lear is played by a trans-gender lesbian with mental health issues. Until that happens, ‘so called’ Britain will continue to be a virtual slave state where human rights do not exist.

  8. Kevin Spacey responded to speculation about his sexuality by explaining that he wasn’t going to come out either as gay or as straight because doing so gets in the way of acting. Once people know details about your sex life — or just too many details about your personal life in general — they find it too difficult to see the character on screen, instead seeing the actor. This used to be well understood in Hollywood: back in the day, before they all got weirdly obsessed with pretending to be real normal people, stars were taught how to maintain an image and persona at all times — never appearing in public without a ballgown, for instance (and that was just Rock Hudson).

    So I think there’s a place for a talented transgender actor who doesn’t go on about how transgender they are to play any roles — gay, straight, trans, whatever. I suspect there may already have been one or two, and we don’t know about them. But, in today’s climate, the moment a trans actor were to play a trans role, we’d see months of wall-to-wall coverage of that fact, which would render them unemployable in non-trans roles.

  9. The Thought Gang – top kek

    The article is pure luvvie duckspeak:

    The film industry has a “problem” with transgender actors

    Amazing how it has managed to survive all these years without them.

    with many unable to secure roles despite a “huge pool of talent”

    There are tons of transsexual Humphrina Bogarts and Claudette Rainses.

    I would champion any shift where the industry embraces trans actors. and celebrates trans film-makers.

    Like severed bollocks he would. This is just standard lefty shite-talk meant to signal virtue, not a statement of intent. He no more means to “champion” tranny films than idiots who tweet #IWuvWefugees mean to take 20-odd beardy Syrians into their house.

    There’s something in Eddie that is drawn to the feminine

    You’re supposed to take them out for drinks and then back to your place for sexytimes, Eddie. Not borrow their earrings.

    Cadence said she would give anything and everything to live a life authentic

    This is the tragedy of the transsexual. Your body isn’t inauthentic. At least, not before you get some quack doctor to hack off your bits and graft a plastic fanny on.

    They rationalise themselves into painful, mutilating, irreversible surgery that they often come to regret. It very rarely makes them happy, because surgery doesn’t turn men into women, and because their problems are in the brain, not the groin.


    Hooper asserted the film is “about inclusion”. “It’s about inclusion made possible by love. In the same way that the refugee crisis on the shores of Europe is an appeal to our hearts, what happens to transgender people when they suffer persecution, is an appeal to out hearts. What I hope is that the film shows is that the only way possible to make inclusion happen is through compassion and love.”

    “Quack!”, he added.

  10. S2 – I love me some Spacey. He drips quality all over the screen.

    He should just have told the press “it’s none of your bloody business who I shag!”

    Once people know details about your sex life — or just too many details about your personal life in general — they find it too difficult to see the character on screen, instead seeing the actor.

    Depends. I believed Brad Pitt as a pikey in Snatch.

    Tom Cruise is magnificent in everything he’s in, and is perhaps the last true Movie Star. I don’t care that he’s a tiny Scientologist, he sold me on him being Jack Reacher.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Steve – “I love me some Spacey. He drips quality all over the screen.”

    I don’t know. I think Spacey over does it. Also I find his vaguely Gay vibe off putting. On the other hand he was brilliant in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.

    “Tom Cruise is magnificent in everything he’s in, and is perhaps the last true Movie Star. I don’t care that he’s a tiny Scientologist, he sold me on him being Jack Reacher.”

    It is a mark of Hollywood’s determination to die that they have shunned Cruise. Ever since he was too openly religious. Which is only acceptable if you are Jewish or maybe Buddhist. No one cares Spielberg is observant. They care Mel Gibson is. Cruise has been reduced to making his own films because no one else will work with him. Despite some of his best earning films coming after “the couch incident”.

    He coasted for too long doing an improved version of himself. If you didn’t know the film I bet it would be hard to tell him in Risky Business from him in A Few Good Men from him in Top Gun. But he was very impressive in Collateral.

  12. The film industry has a “problem” with transgender actors

    Somebody needs to go onto the internet and type “ts videos” into Google, and he/she will find he/she is quite wrong.

  13. Rob: “It’s utterly key that Lear is played by a trans-gender lesbian with mental health issues. “

    But if you suggest Shaft be a WASP, then Katie bar the door!

  14. SMFS – Also I find his vaguely Gay vibe off putting.

    He’s good at being vaguely off-putting though. Like in House of Cards, though he’s no Ian Richardson.

  15. SMFS,

    “I think some people give a crap about films made by the director formerly known as Larry Wachowski.”

    What I mean is that almost no-one cares about that fact that the director is transwhatever. It’s the work they want. I loved the score to the original Tron film. Discovering that Wendy Carlos was born Walter Carlos didn’t change my opinion of it.

  16. PJH

    “You omitted to mention those who want their vagina removed and a fake penis installed.”

    Isn’t that considered FGM??

  17. Steve,

    > I believed Brad Pitt as a pikey in Snatch.

    Me too; a fantastic performance. But it consistently tops British polls of Worst Movie Accent Ever, because the British firmly believe that all Irish people are supposed to sound like Bono.

    > Tom Cruise is magnificent in everything he’s in, and is perhaps the last true Movie Star.

    Him, Bruce Willis, Sandra Bullock, and, just lately, Emily Blunt, who appears to be completely incapable of anything less than mesmerising excellence on screen.

    > I don’t care that he’s a tiny Scientologist, he sold me on him being Jack Reacher.

    That was a seriously impressive film. Cruise does two things really well: his performances, and, as a producer, his choice and championing of directors.

    David Oyelowo was also incredible.

  18. @Steve:

    “Tom Cruise is magnificent in everything he’s in, and is perhaps the last true Movie Star. I don’t care that he’s a tiny Scientologist, he sold me on him being Jack Reacher.”

    I’d also add Tom Hanks to that. Both take their role as a Movie Star seriously: signing autographs, agreeing to be photographed with fans and being exceptionally entertaining interviewees.

    I hate chat shows, but will watch if Hanks or Cruise are on as I know they will be funny, gracious and polite. I don’t expect them to come out with the usual tormented actor bullshit.

  19. On the subject of Tom Cruise, have you seen Valkyrie? Excellent film.

    Interesting thing about Valkyrie: When it came out, the reaction of the British chattering classes was consistently “They’ve got this amazing cast of proper British actors, but WHY OH WHY did they have to spoil it with that silly American Tom Cruise fellow?” If you watch the extras on the DVD, you see interviews with those proper British actors, in which they all say how thrilled they were to be working with Cruise, who they apparently regard as one of the greats. In fact, they go further, and say that they weren’t sure whether the film was going to be any good when they first signed up, but then, when Cruise came on board, knew they were involved in something special.

    There’s an interesting disconnect there.

  20. “I don’t know. I think Spacey over does it. Also I find his vaguely Gay vibe off putting. On the other hand he was brilliant in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.”

    I thought the Usual Suspects was brilliant but hated American Beauty with a passion, although Spacey was good in it.

    Spacey was also brilliant in Seven, Glengarry Glen Ross and Margin Call.

  21. Glen,

    Have you seen the thing online where Tom Hanks was in a bar and a guy who was apparently a huge fan of his had passed out? He posed for photos with the guy without waking him up, getting his friends to take loads of photos to show him the next day.

    Although nothing beats Arnold dressing up as the Terminator and standing incredibly still in Madame Tussaud’s.

  22. @SQ2 – thanks, hadn’t seen it before: that is tremendous.

    I also love how he talks about his childhood (divorced parents, moved around the country) without going all “woe is me”. He said it was great as he got to see new places and meet new people.

    I watched “Big” again a
    few months ago, I hadn’t seen it for years. He is amazing in it – I’d forgotten how good it is.

    Ok, he makes some turkeys and can be prone to over-sentimentality sometimes but he’s assembled as good as body of work as anyone.

    And he was in Catch Me If You Can, which I think is one of my favourite films. I can watch that repeatedly. I wish they would make more like it.

  23. I loved the score to the original Tron film. Discovering that Wendy Carlos was born Walter Carlos didn’t change my opinion of it.

    You disgusting neoliberal trans-ist wretch. Report to the Diversity Coordinator for re-indoctrination.

  24. “there is a huge pool of talent of trans actors, and access to parts is limited”: the ‘trans’ is redundant there.

  25. Ugly actors need their crack at whip first if we are talking about representativeness in the hyperreal world of cinema.

    Then we can move on to rare examples of people to fill up screen time don’t you think.

    Or leave it as the fantasy and unrepresentative world it really is (and shows us) and with time a couple of trans actors will come through naturally.

    But then again reading the comments there is market demand for these niche non-issues

  26. “He’s good at being vaguely off-putting though. Like in House of Cards, though he’s no Ian Richardson.”

    Ian Richardson – that was probably the greatest TV performance for God knows how long. Just incredible.

  27. So Much For Subtlety

    The Stigler – “Discovering that Wendy Carlos was born Walter Carlos didn’t change my opinion of it.”

    So that is two. Almost by definition that means they are over-represented in Hollywood.

    GlenDorran – “I’d also add Tom Hanks to that. Both take their role as a Movie Star seriously: signing autographs, agreeing to be photographed with fans and being exceptionally entertaining interviewees.”

    There is a difference between being a Movie Star on screen and being a Movie Star in real life. Tom Hanks seems to suffer from not being liked as a child. So he continues to seek approval. At the same time he does not seem to take what he does as Art – he is not trying to be a tortured soul. He just remembers who pays his bills.

    It seems to be working for him. Two Oscars. As many as Spencer Tracey. The record is three – held, strangely, by Daniel Day-Lewis. I doubt that he will win another one because how can you justify giving him more than Lawrence Olivier? But his sensible approach means that people pay to see his films and his peers do like to give him awards. That is what Hollywood should be doing. Not taking itself so seriously.

    Or maybe it is just they have a thing for men called Tom?

  28. There’s a huge pool of talent among actors in general. And–guess what?–the vast majority of them have a problem with being unable to secure movie roles, because there are vastly more actors than there are movie roles for them.

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