Nicole Kidman Goes Transsexual for 'The Danish Girl'

Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron will play man and wife for the upcoming adaptation.

Will a second Oscar have Nicole Kidman’s name on it? Kidman has signed on to star in The Danish Girl. She will star opposite Charlize Theron as Theron’s husband. Yes, you read that right. Kidman is playing the first post-operative transsexual Einar Wegener. Theron will play Greta, Einar’s artist wife.

Based on the novel “The Danish Girl” by David Ebershoff, it’s the true story of husband and wife artists who married in 1904. The marriage took an unexpected turn when Einar filled in for one of Greta’s models. Greta needed a pair of legs to complete a painting and Einar fit the stockings and the shoes. The result was so successful that Einar began to pose for his wife’s paintings in female clothing.

In 1913 it was discovered that the model for popular portraits of a beautiful young woman was a man. It wasn’t until 1930 that Einar began to make the physical transformation into the woman Lili Elbe. Sex reassignment surgery was being pioneered in Germany and Einar had his surgery during the early days of the procedure. One of the later procedures would eventually cost Elbe her life.

Of course it took more than a pair of shoes and stockings to drive Einar to become Lili. There’s information that suggests that Einar was intersex, looked very feminine and had both male and female physical characteristics. In other words, this isn’t going to be Kidman trying to look very masculine. It’s been said that Einar was often mistaken for a woman wearing man’s clothing.

It’s a compelling love story with great roles for both actresses. Theron is the wife who encourages her husband to take on a female persona, only to find it’s more deeply rooted than she imagined. Kidman plays the man who will face dangerous experimental surgery to transform himself into a woman.

Anand Tucker (Shopgirl, Hilary and Jackie) is going to direct from an adaptation by writer Lucinda Coxon (Wild Target) from Ebershoff’s novel. Kidman’s production company Blossom Films will produce along with Gail Mutrux (Kinsey), Anne Harrison (Two Family House), and Linda Reisman (Affliction). Blossom also has a Dusty Springfield biopic lined up for Kidman.