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PLAYING BI

Hunger Games’ Lenny Kravitz Didn’t Want To Play Too Gay In Flamboyant Fashion-Designer Role

I’ll be quite frank with you—I didn’t know about Hunger Games—so when I’m telling kids and they say, ‘Who are you playing?’ and I say Cinna, they go, ‘Oh you’re playing the gay guy.’ That was an actual answer.

I’ve never brought that up yet. That’s how they perceived it. So I thought about it, and I read the book and I don’t see that he is or isn’t [gay]. He’s a designer, he’s a stylist, he has gold eyeliner—that doesn’t mean anything either way.

The question was how far do we go with him. The idea was to pull it back and create a character that’s more like a Tom Ford or an Yves Saint Laurent so he wouldn’t be too outrageous. He’s classic, he’s got his gold. I kind of played him in the middle…

I actually have a friend who is a dancer who is bisexual, and he was a lot of inspiration for my speech pattern and my rhythm, and kind of the way I sauntered in and out a little bit.”

Musician-turned-actor Lenny Kravitz talks to Celebuzz about playing “bisexual” as Cinna, the flamboyant fashion designer who styles Katniss Everdeen for The Hunger Games

photo by: brianpobuda
By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Mar 20, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,
  • 22 Comments
    • Steven M.
      Steven M.

      From what I can see so far, he’s hitting the character perfectly. I read the novels and never once though of him as flamboyant. Can’t wait to see him on screen. Just wish he was in all three movies.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LLM
      LLM

      Agreed. His characterization seems dead on from the book. And given that his bisexual friend served as a model, I don’t read a reference to bisexuality as any sort of attempt to distance himself from gay perception. I think kids still deal with a lot of broad stereotypes so the character “must” be “the gay guy,” but I think it is important that adult actors don’t fall back on cliches for humor, especially, or in place of legitimate characterization and acting. Gay men and the rare flamboyant straight man are all still individuals. I like Kravtiz’s approach. Audiences can still see as much gay as they want, as nothing appears to be toned down or bunched up…just presented straightforwardly.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aric
      Aric

      Wow, he might actually make me go see this movie.

      So well said.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eldred
      Eldred

      Why is it that Queerty sometimes seems to be self hating, or anti-gay? Who writes these things?

      Mar 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      and I read the book and I don’t see that he is or isn’t [gay]. He’s a designer, he’s a stylist, he has gold eyeliner—that doesn’t mean anything either way.

      I’ve read a lot of stupid statements from het celebs playing gay, but that one tops the list. The character is gay, no matter what this douchebag thinks.

      I said it before, and I’ll say it again, On September 11, 2001, if Al Qaeda had flown those planes into the Hollywood sign, rather than the WTC towers, America would be a better place today.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trent
      Trent

      @Eldred:

      Queerty only cited the stuff.I don’t believe a citation can be anti or pro gay.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      I never thought of Cinna as gay when reading the books. He never did or said anything that seemed to hint or reveal that he was gay, and everyone in the Capitol is so outrageous with what they wear I don’t see how he stands out…not to mention that he is actually one of least “done-up” of all the character Katniss encounters.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dorian
      dorian

      @mej oh please dont even train and ride that train, Lenny has always been a huge friend to the gay community ! and name calling isnt going to change the fact that he has an opinion.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @dorian:

      Lenny has always been a huge friend to the gay community

      Yeah, as long as we’re not, “too outrageous”.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      @MEJ: but the character of Cinna isn’t “outrageous” at all. It sounds like he played him well. If Cinna is supposed to be gay, his character is certainly not a stereotype.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Face it – there is nothing in Hunger Games for gay people. It’s another load of Hollywood tripe that’s aimed at breeders.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • soakman
      soakman

      Cinna was actually MORE reserved than the rest of the capitol. That’s why he was so good at what he did. He knew how to wait for his moments.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      @jason: Ugh.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @Benny:

      Turns out Cinna is straight, according to some “Tributes” (as fans call themselves). In one of the books, Cinna marries a woman. So I guess this is just another case of Hollyweird, and straight actors, exploiting homosexuality for profit.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      @MEJ: I don’t remember anything about him getting married.

      SPOILER:

      He dies in the 2nd book and there is no mention of a woman and marriage before that.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      @MEJ: Also, how exactly is this “exploiting homosexuality” ?? You apparently didn’t read the books because you basically said you had to research if he was straight or not, yet you posted “This character is gay, no matter what this douchebag thinks,” even though all you know about the character is what you’ve seen in the trailers and possibly interviews.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MEJ
      MEJ

      @Benny:

      All I know about the character is what I’ve read about him on fansites. On fansites it’s stated he is gay. On the Mockingjay fansite, it says he marries a woman. Who’s wrong? I’ve no idea–I’m not a fanboy.

      And this is exploiting homosexuality because every story that comes up in a Google search relates to the characters sexuality.

      All this is, is another situation where a het performer is presenting effeminate gay men as something bad, that needs to be downplayed.

      Mar 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @MEJ: But he isn’t downplaying it because it is something bad, have you not read the other comments on here? He is downplaying it because if the character is actually gay he is not really all that effeminante or flamboyant at all. Not to mention I don’t see a problem with that if it were explicitly stated that he is supposed to be gay. Do you really want every gay character in film and TV to be outrageously effeminate or flamboyant? Isn’t it a good thing a “gay” character isn’t being played as a stereotype, but rather as a real person? Also, “every story” that comes up is about this is because the quote from the interview of him discussing the sexuality of the character was just released yesterday. “Every story” is literally this same brief interview snipped that is posted on this Queerty page…it’s not 10 different news stories with 10 different interviews all about how Cinna’s sexuality. If you scroll down on the first google results page there are other links to articles and interviews discussing other aspects of the character. You really sound like a heterophobe just on the attack and defensive against the “breeders” all the time, much like how homophobes act.

      Mar 21, 2012 at 3:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric
      Eric

      All of your questions would be answered if you just read the books. Nowhere is it implied that Cinna is gay, and he most certainly does not get married.

      Mar 21, 2012 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xixax
      xixax

      @MEJ you haven’t read the books so i say respectfully, SHUT THE FUCK UP. You are an ignorant asshole. Read the books before you open your mouth regarding anything to do with The Hunger Games.

      Mar 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Final Word
      Final Word

      Just for posterity’s sake, I’m here to say a) Cinna’s sexual orietation is not relevant to the story and that b) you can’t actually tell a person’s sexuality simply by their mannerisms or modes of speech.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • smartalek
      smartalek

      @MEJ:
      “if Al Qaeda had flown those planes into the Hollywood sign, rather than the WTC towers, America would be a better place today”

      I humbly & respectfully (no snark) disagree with you on this (with the obvious exceptions of the value of NOT having killed several thousand people, not having given GWB an excuse to nearly destroy our country and one or two others, etcetc).
      I suspect I’m a tad older than you — and tho that says less than nothing about my intelligence or wisdom (I claim little of either), it does give me lived experience.
      We could argue forever about the relative impact of Hollywood on American attitudes in general, and toward LGBTQ people in particular.
      But I would need to a see a lot of evidence to un-convince me that it’s been overwhelmingly (tho obviously not only) favorable.
      If you had suggested to any random American in 1982, or any other year in the age of Ronaldus Magnus, that there’d be a single city, let alone a state, let alone 7-8 of them, in the USA in which same-sex couples would be able to marry, and have their marriages recognized by the civil authorities, within the next 30 years, they’d consider calling the shrinks, or the cops, fearing your madness a threat to yourself or others.
      Now, of Americans under 30, the overwhelming majority (even among Republicans!) believe in full legal/civil equality.
      And tho much of the credit for that goes to the brave individuals who outed themselves to family and friends over the last two generations, there’s no doubt in my mind that the impact was both magnified and greatly eased by the “norm”ing (right along with the exploitation) of GLBTQ people that Hollywood has provided.

      Sep 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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