Star Wars actor Diego Luna playing a trans woman in Berlin, I Love You
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna is playing a transgender woman in upcoming film Berlin, I Love You, provoking instant criticism.
The actor, who has also appeared in LGBT+ films Y tu mamá también and Milk, was revealed to be playing a trans woman in a clip from the upcoming Emmanuel Benbihy romantic comedy film.
The clip, debuted on NewNowNext, shows Luna’s character speaking about sexuality and gender with a bicurious teen, played by Michelangelo Fortuzzi.
Clip reveals Diego Luna is playing transgender woman in Berlin, I Love You
In the clip, Fortuzzi’s character says: “I don’t know if I prefer to kiss men or women…. will you please kiss me? I want to know how it feels, to kiss a man.”
Luna’s character responds: “You know, what, baby, right now you’re in front of a woman. It’s just not going to work.”
When the teen retorts, “But, you are a man”, Luna’s character replies: “It’s a little more complicated than that.
The film, the latest in the Cities of Love series, boasts an all-star ensemble cast including Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Mickey Rourke.
However, the casting of the cisgender actor as a transgender woman is bound to reignite anger in the industry, as real-life transgender stars struggle to find parts.
Berlin, I Love You is latest film to cast a male Hollywood star as a trans woman
A string of Hollywood A-listers have previously played trans roles, including Jared Leto, Eddie Redmayne, Jeffrey Tambor and Benedict Cumberbatch.
However, the casting of cis actors in trans roles has become widely frowned upon in the industry over the past few years.
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In July 2018, Scarlett Johansson dropped out of previously-announced film Rub & Tug, after anger at her casting as a transgender man.
The film project was reportedly shelved after the star’s exit. No recasting was ever announced, despite calls for a talent search to find a new transgender star.
In August 2018, a string of major production companies and talent agencies signed a letter calling for a better approach to trans inclusion.
The TRANSform Hollywood guidebook that accompanied the letter cautioned against casting major cisgender stars as trans people in projects.
It warned: “The world is evolving, and today it is a mistake, especially if you are cross-sex casting (a cis man to play a trans woman, or a cis woman to play a trans man.) It simply isn’t cost effective to take this risk; recent projects which cast cis actors to play trans roles have felt the tide of public opinion turn against them and have taken a hit at the box office.