Why Us?


Sign Dolls Are Happily Used by Retailers and Franchisees of These Fine Companies

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In business since 2004, Orisphere (our parent company) is a California based company with one goal: Helping businesses improve their business.
Our latest creation, the sign spinning mannequin, is a revolutionary new way to promote your business. Conceptualized by Tony Salomon, our lead product designer, the sign spinning mannequin has been proven to generate attention to businesses or events. A true “set it and forget it” advertising method that will pay for itself quickly, but continue to work for you for a long time to come. All without the hassles of paying a sign spinner a monthly Salary + Insurance + Taxes + Benefits, the sign spinning mannequin will literally save you over $3,000/month.


Is there a Warranty?

Of Course! All Premium Mannequins, and all mechanical parts including the motor, wiring and battery come with a limited 1 yr warranty

Does the mannequin have attached wheels for easy transportation?


How long does the battery last?

It can last up to 15 hours on a single charge, though we guarantee it for 10 hours. This will depend on usage.

Where is the sign doll made?

Your Sign Doll is proudly made in the USA! We are the only manufacturer and retailer of Sign Dolls.

Can the arms move along with the sign?

Yes! You can choose to use the stationary arms that come with the mannequin or follow our simple step-by-step instructions to have moving arms. It’s up to you!

How long will it take to put together/what tools are necessary?

The mannequin comes with minimal, one-time assembly required, and should only take about 10-15 minutes to put together! A link to step by step instructions is included, and we even have a video demonstrating each step. The only tools necessary are a screwdriver and a wrench. You only need to assemble the mannequin once, and then you can wheel it to its location as often as you’d like.

Can the mannequin be used outdoors/indoors?

Yes, and yes! You can use your mannequin both indoors and outdoors. We also have special order abstract mannequins without heads for high end indoor displays.

Does the price include a sign?

For a limited time only, we will be including your first sign in the price.

Can I have my own sign made for the mannequin?

Yes. Be sure to use our instructions on how to make and install your own sign. It will need to be made of coroplast (corrugated plastic) and within our recommended dimensions.

How much is Shipping and Handling?

$67 to anywhere within the continental US.

Does the mannequin's arms move?

If you want them to! You can choose to use the standard arms that come with the mannequin, or have movable arms to attach to the sign.

What kind of mannequin/base/wig/etc will I be getting?

We let you choose between a blonde or brunette wig. For a limited time we will also be including basic clothing–please confirm with us. You can always dress the mannequin yourself as you wish with your own clothes or have fun and buy them new clothing. People have dressed them in all types of clothing from casual to formal, and even in costumes such as Nurse outfits, Wonderwoman, Chicken Suits, and much more! It’s completely up to you! Because of variations in production and supply, there may also be slight variances in things like wig length/texture, spin speed of your sign, base model, etc. Rest assured, the overall Sign Doll product remains the same and is just as effective!

How does the Sign Doll hold up in the wind?

Sign Dollscome with a customized base made to support them in basic wind conditions. If you are in a high wind location, you are not alone! We have numerous clients in high wind locations, and we will help you to insure that your mannequin works great in all such conditions! There are numerous minor modifications we can make to insure you get the best performance from your mannequin at all times. Just let us know!

Additional Questions?

We’re available Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM PDT by calling 888-988-9327. Or you can click on the contact page above, and drop us a note. We’ll be happy to get back to you within one business day (but usually sooner!).

Videos & Pics

Please watch the videos below, or scroll down to view some of our pictures!

Click on a Picture Below to Enlarge.



Upgrade your Sign Doll with these Additional Products!


Note: If upgrading your plug-in Sign Doll to battery-operated, you will need to also purchase with Sign Dolls Battery Charger (above).

For unlisted replacement parts, please contact us here or call us at (888) 988-9327.

Questions about our warranty, returns, or international shipping rates? Click Below:

Click Here for International Orders

Sign Dolls are Shipping Across the Globe!

If you are an international shopper interested in a Sign Doll, see our price list below for our standard shipping rates per unit to select countries.

We use DHL Express Worldwide for our international shipments, which takes approximately three (3) business days to arrive in most countries.

These rates do not include any provincial taxes that may exist for shipment to your location. Sign Dolls are manufactured by us in the US, so are covered under NAFTA.

If your country is not listed, contact us for a free shipping quote.
Canada – $120 USD

Mexico – $200 USD

Puerto Rico – $200 USD

European countries* – $220 USD

Australia – $300 USD

*This rate is based on past shipping to the majority of countries on the European continent. Please confirm with us that this rate will be correct for your area.



Our 1 year warranty covers all manufacturer defects of all aspects of the mannequin. Here is how it works:

If anything goes wrong during normal usage of the mannequin within 30 days of purchase, we will ship you a replacement part and include a return label for you to ship us back the malfunctioning part. All shipping costs will be covered by us.

After 30 days but within a year of purchase, customer is responsible for shipping and handling costs for the part that is malfunctioning.

Customer is responsible for insuring safe and proper usage of the Sign Doll at all times. That includes, but is not limited to: insuring the Sign Doll never falls, insuring the Sign Doll is always used in safe weather conditions, the Sign Doll never incurs any strong force on any of its parts, and insuring the terms and conditions are always met.

The only parts not covered by the warranty are the battery charger and power adapter, as they are susceptible to power surges, misusage, and similar electrical occurrences which can damage them. Power adapter replacements are $25, and battery charger replacements are $35.

Warranty is subject to the following terms and conditions:
1. The Mannequin Form, Motor, Battery and Base have a 1 year warranty to be free from manufacturer defects from date of order, so long as the mannequin is used under normal and safe conditions and with the original equipment it was sent with.

2. Tampering or opening the back of the mannequin will result in a voiding of the warranty.

3. Transferring of the mannequin to a third party by sale or lease will result in a voiding of the warranty unless express written consent is granted by Orisphere.

4. You can replace the sign ONLY with a coroplast (corrugated plastic) sign with the following dimensions: 24″ tall by 36″ wide.

5. You are responsible for placing the mannequin in a safe and legal place, and under safe conditions. Orisphere and its representatives assume no liability for any citation, damage, harm or injury that may result from the usage of the mannequin.

6. Always place the mannequin on a flat, level surface.

7. Always make sure that the projection from the motor (attached to the belly of the mannequin) is free and clear of any loose articles, including, but not limited to, clothing.

By using the mannequin, you are in effect agreeing to the terms above.



We will always work with you to insure you have a positive experience with your sign doll. If anything is not working properly, please remember we have a full year warranty on all parts from manufacturer defects.

Unopened Sign Dolls can be returned within 10 days of receipt. Customer is responsible for initial shipping fees and proper and safe return shipping as well as a 19% or $145 restocking fee, whichever is greater. Sign Dolls will be inspected to insure they were unused. There are no exceptions to the restocking fee due to the extensive amount of work to get the return sign doll tested and inspected to insure the highest quality for our clients.

Used Sign Dolls can be returned within 30 days. Customer is responsible for paying the initial shipping fee, plus our standard rental fee of $420 for the Sign Doll. Customer is also responsible for proper and safe return shipping.

If a custom sign was made for the customer, there is an additional $35 charge for each sign. Customer can of course keep the sign without the mannequin to use as he or she wishes.

Sign Dolls must be returned in new condition, and with all parts functional and free of blemishes (some models have painted black poles–those poles are exempt from this condition as they are easily scratched). Additional charges may be applied if any part does not work to factory standards.

Credits will be applied to credit card used to purchase the Sign Doll within 7-10 business days after mannequin is returned to our facility.

After 30 days, Sign Dolls can no longer be returned.

You can return your Sign Doll to:
Sign Dolls
11733 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605

Additional Information

Grow Your Business With a Sign Doll Sign Waving Mannequin Today

Without All The Headaches of a Sign Spinner!

There’s no doubt that sign spinners are eye-catching. They can effectively attract more attention for your business and skyrocket sales, but there’s one glaring problem..

They’re EXPENSIVE and difficult to manage!

Our Sign Doll Sign Waving Mannequin will be your secret weapon for boosting sales while saving a TON of money.

Are you ready to stand out from every other business on your block?

When you order a Sign Doll you’re basically hiring a full time sign spinner without having to pay them an arm and a leg. Here’s a small list of benefits when you order a Sign Doll today:

• Robotic Employee that is Ready to Work For You 24/7

• No Vacation Time or Breaks. Ever.

• No Complaining, Phone Calls, Texts or Slacking off

• 100% in Your Control

• No Insurance, Liability or Workers Compensation

• No Paying $2880 for a Full Time Sign Spinner (12 hrs a day, $8 per hour, 30 days)

• No Having to Deal With Lazy, Incompetent Sign Spinners

• Change Your Advertisement Whenever You Want

It’s Time To Grow Your Business Now, Faster and Cheaper Than Ever!

If you want more sales, increased foot traffic, and an easier way to advertise, the Sign Dolls Sign Waving Mannequin is your solution.

Grab your own Sign Doll and have a live, moving advertisement that generates more foot traffic and customers, 365 days a year.

Additional Sign Waving Mannequin Information

Whether you call it a sign waver, robotic sign spinner, sign waving robot, sign twirler, robotic waver, mechanical sign waver, or a sign-waving mannequin, it should all boil down to one thing: Does it get you noticed?

Our Sign Dolls will not only get you noticed by potential customers driving or walking by, but do so in an highly efficient, attractive, and cost-effective way.

Human sign spinner employees may start with the enthusiasm you would expect to be paying for, but the truth is that their energy level will only go down from there as the day wears on. Not everyone has the endurance to hold up a large sign for hours on end without getting tired. Why throw away your hard-earned dollars at an employee who will give anything less than 100% all the time?
Whether your sign waving needs involve a costume or not, the bottom line is that you want the final product to look good. Our Sign Dolls all come with the same beautiful face and will look good in any outfit you line up for them. Can you say the same of your current human sign spinner?

What does it cost for a beautiful girl to stand in front of your business for 10 hours a day waving your sign with the same level of enthusiasm as she had when you opened? The one time price of a Sign Doll!

Clients from all over the country have praised their Sign Doll as a game-changer for their business by dramatically boosting their foot-traffic and making them the most popular business on the block. Some have even become local celebrities with names!

Not only will your Sign Doll be the best employee you ever had, but it will also be the best decision you ever made for your wallet.

Say No to Sign Spinners, Yes to a Sign Waving Mannequin

Sign wavers obviously draw the eye of passersby with their high energy antics. But, let’s be honest. How often can you tell what they’re selling? Sure, tossing your sign up in the air 10 feet, swiftly catching it, then spinning it around your back 3 times will definitely bring some attention. Passersby may point and say something to the person next to them, and cars may honk their horns. They definitely draw attention. But no one is talking about the business they’re spinning for, and the advertisement gets lost.

Don’t let your message get eclipsed.

Sign Dolls Sign Waving Mannequins have been made to spin your sign at the perfect speed, so that your message remains readable, and they generate just as much attention as a sign waver, if not more. Signs are held on by screws for easy sign swapping, making your advertising needs a breeze.

Sign spinners, like all humans, can’t take the physicality involved in sign spinning for hours on end in the hot sun without a break. And they won’t go outside in a bit of rain or snow (at least, without a big fuss). But, what if you need them out there on a crucial day that happens to be exceptionally warm, or slightly damp, and you need them out there throughout business hours? When their theatrics come to an end, you’re paying for a lackluster spectacle that basically boils down to a person listening to music on their smartphone and scowling as they move your sign slowly. Enter the Sign Waving Mannequin.

How Sign Waving Mannequins Can Help

Sign Dolls are made to keep on spinning throughout your business hours, rain or shine. The wiring is waterproof, so your sign waving mannequin will be able to stand up to light rain without any trouble. In fact, she’s happy to give you 100% all the time without any breaks ever (So long as you remember to charge her!).

So why pay a sign spinner an arm and a leg for bursts of energy that take attention away from your business, followed by exhausted and reluctant sign teetering that brings the wrong kind of attention? Why tolerate all of that when you can purchase a Sign Doll for a fraction of the cost it takes to employ a sign spinner for a month, eliminate an extra financial burden, and receive more positive attention and foot-traffic than ever before?

Businesses across the country love their Sign Doll. Some say they’re the best employee they’ve ever had. Others are rotating their Sign Doll’s wardrobe constantly from all the positive feedback from loyal customers and onlookers who are always checking out what’s new with their sign waving mannequin. Others mention people constantly stopping to say hi, and snap a picture or two with their local celebrity. Others have even designed a social media page for their Sign Doll!
Are you ready to be the most popular business on the block? Don’t wait. Get your Sign Doll Today!

(888) 988-9327


Questions or Concerns? Call us! We’re here to help you grow your business!

Phone: (888) 988-9327

Shipping is $67 per mannequin across Continental United States.

Contact us or click here for international shipping rates.





Eddie Redmayne on The Danish Girl and Finding the Freedom in Transition

In Tom Hooper’s highly anticipated The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne stars opposite Alicia Vikander as the artist turned transgender pioneer Lili Elbe. The transformation starts with changes in the skin tone, soft pink on the upper cheeks, lipstick. The nose is a small challenge, but the peachy coloring is helpful, and the freckles are, too. Casual observers might see overpainting, or illusionism, or embellishment. To both the artist and the subject, though, the work is more akin to sculpture by relief: a technique of wearing away the well-known features of the male face to reveal the contours of a female countenance beneath. It’s early Tuesday afternoon at London’s Elstree Studios, and, in a little dressing room just off the soundstage, Jan Sewell, a makeup artist with a chic white bob, is putting the final touches on Eddie Redmayne’s face. Redmayne and Sewell have worked together closely over the past few years—she exacted the slow, progressive changes that advanced Stephen Hawking’s ALS in The Theory of Everything, which earned Redmayne his first Academy, BAFTA, SAG, and Golden Globe awards this year—and they’ve developed what she calls “a complete shorthand.” Is the person who emerges from that wig too self-aware? Does this color distract from a delicate expression? The goal is to create a body that, working between the actual and the imagined, joins the actor’s form to a physique the character would know to be her own. A few days earlier, in London,pre bonded hair Redmayne finished shooting his last scenes for The Danish Girl, based on the 2000 historical novel by David Ebershoff. The movie was directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King’s Speech), and it follows the real-life transition of Lili Elbe, born as Einar Wegener in late–nineteenth century Denmark, as she undergoes some of the very first sex-reassignment surgeries. The stages of Lili’s transformation, though, were more than a performance alone could convey, so Sewell helped define them, with a light touch. “If I put a lot of makeup on, he would look like a man with makeup,” she says. “I reshaped his mouth by taking away the corners and giving him more of a feminine pout.” Now, in the makeup room, Sewell is brushing out a bold red wig. Many transgender women have said they experienced a period of hyperfeminization when they first appeared publicly as female—“It’s your first moment to express yourself,” Redmayne says—and Sewell decided that Lili would wear the loud wig at first. (Later, as the character settles into womanhood, Redmayne’s wigs grow more naturalistic.) Now he wears a tomato-red lip, though that, too, will be subdued as Lili finds herself. “Can I drink, Jan? Can I have a coffee?” Redmayne asks, staring at his reflection. He looks vacant and empty: This body-between-bodies is not his, and he has not yet entered into character. “Yes, I’ll redo the lips, don’t worry—we can’t have you fainting.” She smiles wryly, then steps back for a moment, as if scrutinizing a canvas. Fussily, she works over the edges of the wig. “Just a little powder, and then you’re good.” Taking a Stand

“Lili did something profoundly courageous, and yet history had mostly forgotten her,” says David Ebershoff, on whose novel the movie is based. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, October 2015 Ebershoff’s novel concerns art as much as gender: Both Einar and his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), were accomplished painters. He had found early success with his haunting, refined landscapes, and she, a portraitist, had studied under him at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Near the start of the movie, we see them working in their studio, she on her big, vivacious canvases and he on his small, controlled ones. Hurrying to finish a portrait of a young woman, Gerda asks Einar to pose as her female subject. “Will you try on the stockings and shoes?” “You will not tell anyone about this.”remy hair extensions The experience is, for Einar, more than a bizarre artistic task. He begins dressing as a woman often: first apparently in the spirit of creative support (Gerda’s portraits of Lili are her first great commercial success, allowing the couple to move to Paris) and later for self-realization. “What I read was an incredibly passionate love story about two artists,” Redmayne says; Vikander describes the film as “a love story about learning to love yourself.” There’s a certain gender fluidity to Eddie,” says Tom Hooper. “He has this extraordinary translucency, this way his emotion can come through In France, Gerda is celebrated as a fashionable Art Nouveau painter. (In real life, she contributed work to early issues of Vogue.) Lili, now living as herself, abandons painting. In the film, she begins chastely courting a young man (played by Ben Whishaw); Gerda, for her part, grows close to one of Einar’s friends (Matthias Schoenaerts). Trying to realize her female body, Lili undergoes risky constructive surgeries without antibiotics. “She talks about her transition in terms of these two versions of herself—she needed to find a language at the time to say what it felt like,” Hooper says. In real life, Lili died, in her late 40s, of complications from her final operation. Ebershoff, the author of two other acclaimed historical novels, is vice president and executive editor at Random House; he stumbled on Lili’s story while paging through a book on gender theory. “I remember thinking, Wait a minute—Lili Elbe is a pioneer, but I’ve never heard of her,” he says. “She was a woman who did something profoundly courageous and important, and yet when I first encountered her name, history had mostly forgotten her.” Fine Portrait

“I reshaped Eddie’s mouth by taking away the corners and giving him more of a feminine pout,” says the film’s makeup artist, Jan Sewell.perruques cheveux naturels Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, October 2015 The movie arrives in theaters this November, and the timing couldn’t be better. At a moment when the trans experience has its own powerful voices—Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Transparent, Tangerine, About Ray—the movie begins the long project of historicizing trans life, tracing the roots of its cultural heritage and celebrating its complexities. “I think it’s wonderful that, through her, there’s been a spotlight on a civil rights movement,” Redmayne says of Jenner. “But her story is a very specific one, and there are many trans women, particularly women of color, who have seen other extremes.” Rising from the makeup chair now, Redmayne heads into the studio, where he is to be photographed as Lili. The hardest moment in the course of shooting The Danish Girl, he says, was stepping onto the set in female form and sensing the eyes of gaffers and electricians gauging the persuasiveness of his appearance. “It was a feeling that, apparently, women are substantially more used to,” he says. “That was incredibly nerve-racking, and yet it must be nothing like what it’s like for a trans woman the first time she goes out.” On the soundstage, someone has put on a recording of Chopin to set the haute bohème mood. Big, umbrellaed photography lamps are sounding their two-tone report—bang-squeak! bang-squeak!—and the soundstage flashes with each crack. Hooper is standing by, an observer in jeans and a tidy oxford shirt; Redmayne is costumed in a lush green-velvet dress.

Tea for Two The couple moves to Paris, where Gerda’s paintings of Lili bring her further acclaim.perruques cheveux Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, October 2015 “For the character of Einar, we had to make an Edwardian, very austere and severe, person trapped in his body,” Paco Delgado, the film’s costume designer, explains. “Then, when Lili was coming to life, we had to start opening up the palette—it became warmer. We were very lucky because the twenties offered a very good shape if you had an androgynous body.” Using period fabrics, Delgado, the designer for Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, created some loose, questingly epicene suits to help define the phases of Lili’s transition. Redmayne is tall, but as a woman in heels, he is even taller. For a moment, with the lights on him and the lens gaping, he looks uncertain. Sewell rushes forward and makes a small adjustment: She lets loose a couple of curls of the wig, so they descend onto his face. As she darts back out of view, Redmayne alights on the edge of the couch, brings a hand up to his ear, and gazes searchingly toward the camera. He is no longer recognizable as a 33-year-old man; suddenly, the flash strikes his face and the transformation is complete. What I read was an incredibly passionate story about two artists

Redmayne, who first saw the script when he was filming Les Misérables Three weeks into shooting for The Danish Girl, Redmayne flew to L.A. from London. lace front wigsThe next evening, around 5:00 a.m. British time, he clambered onto the stage of the Dolby Theater in a midnight-blue Alexander McQueen tuxedo to accept the Oscar for Best Actor from Cate Blanchett. “I will promise you I will look after him!” he said of the trophy in a breathless baritone, half Alec Guinness, half Bob Cratchit. On Monday, he touched down back in London and went directly from the airport to the studio. “We had some decorations on his trailer,” Vikander says. “He went straight to the set and just did this killer scene. I was so amazed about how he was able to close everything off and get tunnel vision and go right back to his part in the way he did. He’s all about the work, that guy.” Given the accolades that flowed from Redmayne’s metamorphosis as Stephen Hawking, it’s tempting to see Lili as a role seeking to follow on that success. And yet his involvement in The Danish Girl long predated his Hawking performance. Hooper had thought of Redmayne from the start—“There’s a certain gender fluidity about Eddie,” he says; “he has this extraordinary translucency, this way his emotion can come through”—and passed him the screenplay when they worked together on Les Misérables. “I read it while I was busy singing Marius, trying to get a note out of my poky vocal cords,” Redmayne explains over coffee one morning. We are sitting at a table by the window in Terry’s Cafe, a small, old-style luncheonette—red-checkered oilcloth, Cumberland sausage and eggs—in London’s Southwark district, where Redmayne has lived for nine years. He’s a loyal customer, friendly with Terry’s son, Austin, who has quietly upscaled his father’s menu to keep pace with the area’s development. Even in person, Redmayne is boyish. His chestnut hair is tousled upward, and he’s dressed in a black denim jacket, ecru T-shirt, slip-on sneakers. He speaks not in a stream of thought but in braids, dropping one idea mid-sentence to begin another, twisting that around a third, then taking up the first strand once more. Lili is not the first woman Redmayne has played. He went from female roles at Eton to his big break on the professional London stage, as Viola in Twelfth Night, in 2002: “a cis­gender male playing a cis­gender female playing a cis­gender male!” But he found playing a trans woman in transition “completely different” than the cross-dressing of a Shakespeare comedy. “I was sort of astounded by my own ignorance,” he says. He undertook, along with the rest of the cast, a careful course of reading, starting from Man into Woman, a 1933 account of Lili’s life drawn from her papers (though it’s thought that Niels Hoyer, the editor, touched up the material). They read Jan Morris’s landmark memoir of transitioning, Conundrum (“a brilliant piece of writing—to my mind, it should be part of the established canon of great literature,” Hooper says), and works on gender theory. Redmayne made a special point of seeking the experiences of living trans people, too. “Across the board, all of the people from the trans community I’ve met have been so open with the idea that any question is a good one,” he says. “That sense of education is also what’s going on in the world at this moment.” The research filtered up onto the screen. The changing chemistry between Lili and Gerda is the main delight of Hooper’s film, as Redmayne manages to go from an awkward, goose-necked man to a swanlike woman who is, at last, comfortable in her skin: “Tom allowed me freedom, so I could work out what angles worked, what angles didn’t. You’re not shooting chronologically. It’s a delicate thing.” Vikander, in perhaps her most astonishingly frank and intimate performance, makes Gerda as arresting a figure as Lili, and as brave a character, too. “I was sort of worried about finding someone who could match Eddie,” Hooper says. “Alicia was that person.” After ordering our second coffees in paper cups (“Austin, can I borrow a spoon, mate?”), Redmayne and I set out along the gentle bend of Great Suffolk Street. “What I like about this neighborhood is that it’s so central—I can cycle into the West End when I’m doing theater—while at the same time it’s this extraordinary Dickensian part of London that had a lot of serious hits in the Blitz,” Redmayne says. “It has this strange mixture of old and new.” Up Toulmin Street, he pauses to point out a brick primary school that’s in fact named after Charles Dickens. Nearby is the apartment where Redmayne was based throughout the early years of his career—a precocious stage ascent that carried him from The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, in 2004, to Richard II, even as he earned attention on the international screen for My Week with Marilyn. Today, Redmayne is near the front of a bevy of young British leading men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Sturridge, Ben Whishaw, and on) captivating Hollywood and shining onstage. Redmayne is currently preparing to play “a magic zoologist” in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a screenplay by J. K. Rowling set in New York in the twenties—“I can’t really say anything about it,” he says archly as we round a corner—but he’s had a welcome respite since The Danish Girl wrapped, and time to spend with his wife, Hannah Bagshawe. It’s his first real experience of married home life since their wedding last December. “She’s amazing, Hannah, and has this wonderful mind,” he says. “She reads a lot of the work I’m doing and has a lot of insight into it.” When he’s not savoring nuptial bliss, he paints, a hobby that recalls his time at Cambridge, where he read the history of art, writing his thesis on Yves Klein. “As you get older, you assume you get better, even though you don’t do it anymore,” he says. “So maybe twice a year, when I’m on holiday, I’ll sit and paint, and I think, I’ve definitely got better! When, in fact, no, I’ve got substantially worse.”

Yet visual art has never drifted far from his actor’s work. One of his favorite stage experiences, he says, was playing Mark Rothko’s assistant in Red, the 2009 play by John Logan for which Redmayne won a Tony. Lili and Gerda’s artistic relationship, in turn, accounted for a large part of his interest in The Danish Girl; the work of one of Redmayne’s favorite painters, the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, was hugely influential on Ebershoff as he was writing and, later, on Hooper and his production designer, Eve Stewart, as they worked out the austere blue-gray aesthetic of Einar and Gerda’s Danish apartment. But it was a photographic clue that unlocked the character. “The work of Lili when she was living as Einar was not particularly groundbreaking,” Redmayne says. “There’s this amazing photo of Einar wearing this really high starched collar. That was a sort of key for me. It was this exoskeleton.” We’re wandering now through the Southwark streets, lined with brick flats and sleek office buildings. “Everything is under construction and looking so shit!” he says, sounding not entirely displeased. “What I love about this area is that it’s not an area that presents itself. It doesn’t thrust out of a facade. You sort of find it, slowly.” Lili’s efforts to find herself carried her to consultations with the health professionals of the day, who diagnosed her as, variously, homosexual, schizophrenic, and confused. Today, as trans has become its own proud identity, we like to think that we were always so enlightened, but progress is new. When Ebershoff’s novel appeared, fifteen years ago, it was shelved, in one place, in the “erotica” section: A carefully researched account of one woman’s transition by an esteemed editor was thought too deviant for the literary-fiction shelves. “One of the things that’s helping change the culture are stories. Caitlyn Jenner’s story, Jennifer Finney Boylan’s story, Laverne Cox’s story, Renée Richards’s story, Chaz Bono’s story . . . the list grows almost every day,” Ebershoff says. “We cannot fully comprehend the positive influence of these stories. They land in the minds of people we will never know and touch them in ways we can never be made aware of.” “People talk as if The Danish Girl is now an obvious film to make, which makes me laugh,” Hooper says. The screenplay, by Lucinda Coxon, circulated for years. (At various points, the adaptation was to star Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Charlize Theron.) In the early stages of Hooper’s involvement, studios were so squeamish about the movie that it was hard to secure any funding. “It began as a small passion project,” he says. For him, though, as for his cast, the changing climate hasn’t meant the end of a cause. In the U.S., you can be fired in 31 states for being trans, Redmayne points out. “Through this film—through one life learned, and through this position of privilege in being able to talk to all these people—I hope I can be an advocate for trans issues, and an ally, in some way.” The Danish Girl is not a work of activism. But he hopes that it will offer a window onto the complex trans experience. “In acting you have very little control or capacity for choice,” Redmayne says. “The only choice that I have had in this past couple of years—and really, it’s just happened—is ‘Is this a story that you’d like to be a part of?’ ” He pauses for a moment and then smiles. “Yeah.” In this story:cosplay wigs Hair and makeup: Jan Sewell Photographed at Elstree Studios; Production Design: Eve Stewart

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