There’s a long history of “transgender” roles in cinema. The great Danish star Asta Nielsen actually made a silent version of Hamlet in which the punchline was that the troubled prince was actually a woman raised as a man. Cary Grant in I was a Male War and of course Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot crossed over to great comic effect. Nowadays, with the great success of shows such as Transparent, sliding across genders has become another notch in contemporary actors’ performance beltsn
In the 1982 comedy Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman achieved one of his greatest career triumphs in a role that was very much uncharted territory for actors at the time—playing a woman. The film was an enormous box office success and was honored with ten Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
This week’s question: What is your favorite film that deals with a “trans” theme?
For Richard Peña, “Boys Don’t Cry, with a sensational performance by Hillary Swank, created an extraordinarily high bar for other films both in terms of sensibility and emotional impact; you should also check out a wonderful Belgian film, Ma vie en rose, that beautifully depicts the life of a trans adolescent.”