LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "The Danish Girl" star Eddie Redmayne says the drama delves into a unique love story and brings to light challenges faced by the transgender community in the 1920s and now.
In the film, which is inspired by a real story from the 1920s, Redmayne plays Danish artist Einar Wegener, whose wife, Gerda, played by actress Alicia Vikander, is also an artist.
"The love story at the center of this film was for me, and I'm incredibly biased, but it felt like one of the great love stories of the 20th century in some ways, and I couldn't believe I didn't know about Lili," Redmayne said.
Lili is who Redmayne's character becomes, trying to navigate what it means to be transgendered at a time when there was no vocabulary for it.
Redmayne did as much research as he could on this real-life person and to further understand Lili, he met with several trans women to hear their stories.
"It's been almost a hundred years since their story, and yet some of the things that Lili had to deal with - the discrimination, the violence - speaking to trans women now, it's staggering how little progress there's been in many ways," he said.
Director Tom Hooper handed Redmayne "The Danish Girl" script four years ago when they were making "Les Miserables."
Redmayne knew, instinctively, he needed to take on the role.
"I was moved unlike anything I've ever read. It was a deeply unique love story and about the fact that love is not defined by gender or by bodies - but it's really souls," Redmayne said.
For his work in "The Danish Girl," Redmayne is back in the awards arena, nominated for several acting honors.
"This film has taken 15 years to get made and if any sort of buzz or that sort of thing encourages people to go see it, then that's a wonderful thing," he said.
"The Danish Girl" is in theaters now.
Eddie Redmayne calls 'Danish Girl' unique love story