10 Cisgender Actors Who Played Transgender Roles

There have been many movies made about being transgender, but not many actors are acting from experience. Many are “cisgender” which is a person who identifies as the gender they were born with. Also known as the opposite of transgender. This can be controversial since there are probably more awesome transgender actors like Laverne Cox that would also kill it in these roles and more. So which cis actors portrayed transgender characters? These ten actors are some that have brought these experiences to the screen.

1. Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

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The actor played Rayon, who is a transgender woman who is HIV positive. She meets Ron Woodroof played by Matthew Mconaughey and helps him with his business of importing and selling drugs to help HIV positive patients. She also wins over the once homophobic Ron. Leto received Best Supporting Actor for the role at the Oscars.

2. Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent

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The actor plays a father transitioning into a woman. The show made headlines for its story and for being one of the first shows that Amazon produced. Tambor received the Best Actor in a Television Series award for the role from the Golden Globes.

3. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

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Hilary Swank played a transgender man named Brandon Teena. This was a real person who was raped and murdered by two people who found out that he was transgender. Swank won Best Actress for the role at the Academy Awards.

4. John Lithgow in The World According to Garp

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The actor portrayed Roberta Muldoon, a former football player and transgender woman. She lives in a house for abused women run by Garp’s mother. Lithgow was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for the character.

5. Tom Wilkinson in Normal

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The actor plays a husband named Roy who is about to transition into a woman and is married to a woman named Irma (Jessica Lange) who is struggling with the change. He was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role.

6. Felicity Huffman in TransAmerica

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The actress plays a character who is in the process of transitioning into a woman. During that process she finds out that she has a son she never knew about that is a runaway. They then end up traveling together. Huffman was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards.

7. Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

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The upcoming movie will hit theaters in November and follows a marriage that experiences one of the spouses transitioning from male to female. Redmayne’s character becomes Lili who gets the first ever male to female sex reassignment surgery during the 1920s.

8. Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game

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At the time, the fact that the character Dil was transgender was kept under wraps in order to surprise the audience. The movie follows a British soldier who searches for the girlfriend of an IRA member that he befriended. The role led to Davidson’s stardom and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards.

9. Jordan Todosey in Degrassi

bustinrainbows: Adam from Degrassi: The Next GenerationTumblr/Epitome Pictures

The actress played the transgender teenage boy for many seasons. During that the character endured bullying, navigated things like dating, and more.

10. John Cameron Mitchell in Hedwig and the Angry Inch

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The actor plays Hedwig, a punk rock star that had a botched genital surgery. She goes on tour and tells her life story through song. The actor was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes.

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