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Hollyoaks star: Writers have a ‘duty’ to cast trans actors

Nick Duffy July 17, 2017

Annie Wallace at the British Soap Awards red carpet (Photo by Joe Maher/WireImage)

Hollyoaks star Annie Wallace has said that TV execs have a ‘duty’ to cast more trans actors in trans roles.

Wallace was the  first transgender person to play a regular transgender character in British soap, appearing as Sally St. Claire on Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.

Speaking at a panel event organised by the Royal Television Society, the actress said she believes writers have a duty to start casting more transgender people in transgender roles.

She said: “I think if you are writing in a post-transition trans character, I think there is a duty now when casting people, to cast your net in a wider context.”

However, the actress conceded there is a “case” for non-trans actors to play some roles, however.

She said: “I think that there is a case for non-trans actors to play the story of transition – that’s valid, because if you were to ask a trans person to play their pre-transition self, that might be quite difficult and a bit odd.”

A group of trans actors recently filmed a video asking Hollywood studios to cast them as transgender people instead of big-name Hollywod stars.

Eddie Redmayne, Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Andrew Garfield have all been criticised for taking transgender roles in the past, while trans actors and actresses struggle to break through.

Last month the debate blew up again when a trailer was released starring Matt Bomer as a transgender sex worker.

Jamie Clayton, a trans actress who appears in Netflix series Sense8, was among those to criticise the film

Clayton tweeted: “I really hope you choose to do some actual good for the trans community one day.”

Avengers star Mark Ruffalo, who is an exec producer on the project, previously defended it from criticism.

He said: “To the Trans community. I hear you. It’s wrenching to you see you in this pain. I am glad we are having this conversation. It’s time.

“In all honesty, I suggested Matt for the role after the profound experience I had with him while making ‘The Normal Heart’.”

Michelle Rodriguez recently defended a critically-panned film that saw her play a contract killer who seeks revenge after being forced to undergo reassignment surgery.

Rodriguez rejected criticism of the film from trans people because she is bisexual.

She said: “What is transgender? Is it a psychological thing or is it an operation, and does the LGBTQ community own the operation? Do they have a branding right over a sex change?

“Are they mad that somebody decided to take their branded transgender operation and use it on heterosexual people?

“It’s a B-movie noir genre comic book take on something.

“I’m bisexual. I do guys. I do girls. You can’t really argue with me because I’m you.

“So if I do a movie, I’d never do a movie with the intention of offending anybody in the LGBT community because I’m a part of it.”

More: Gay, hollyoaks, LGBT, Soap, Television

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