Annie Wallace has slammed the "lazy" casting of Scarlett Johansson as a transgender character in a new film.

Annie Wallace as Sally (right)

Annie Wallace as Sally (right)

The 'Hollyoaks' actress has hit out as Hollywood for missing out on a big opportunity to sign up one of the "brilliant" trans actors around, after it was revealed Scarlett is to take the role of massage parlour owner Dante 'Tex' Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill, in forthcoming movie 'Rub & Tug'.

Annie wrote on Twitter: "Dear Hollywood. I see you're STILL unable to cast a trans actor in a major trans role. Think how wonderfully progressive you'd be. You'd create a trans superstar. But instead, it's the same old "big star, big box office" routine #ScarlettJohansson

"That's not art, it's just lazy. There's a host of brilliant trans actors who are waiting for this kind of opportunity. Give it to them. Surround them with your box office candy and make them a star. It's not that hard. (sic)"

Annie became the first-ever transgender person to play a regular transgender character in a leading UK soap when she joined 'Hollyoaks' as Sally St. Claire in 2015, but beforehand she was a research assistant on 'Coronation Street' for trans character Hayley Patterson's storylines.

But the 53-year-old star recently admitted she initially feared 'Corrie' would do an "awful" job of introducing the trans character - who was played by Julie Hesmondhalgh - when she first heard about the plans.

She said: "They created Hayley Patterson, as her maiden name was. It was completely unknown to me that they were going to do it.

"My first reaction was, 'Oh, they're going to get it all wrong. It's going to be awful.'

"I just thought, because of the kind of stories that were around at that particular time in the late 90s, if they're going to do something about a fictional trans woman it's just going to be a nightmare.

"I just couldn't see how a cosy soap like 'Coronation Street' could possibly handle such a hot potato as transsexualism, as it was called at the time, and do it justice without sensationalising it.

"As one of the people who lived an ordinary life I thought, 'I don't want to see a sensationalist story. It would grate me a bit.'

"Anyway, they did it and it was exactly 20 years ago.

"Initially I didn't watch it. I thought, 'If I'm not going to like it I'm not going to watch it.' "

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