Nearly two decades after the release of the now-beloved comedy The Birdcage, actor Hank Azaria confesses that his breakout role as Agador, the Guatemalan houseboy to the gay couple portrayed by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, had him worried he’d be offending all gay people.
Azaria appeared on Larry King Now to promote his latest film The Smurfs 2 and admitted that he’s still most frequently recognized for his role in the Mike Nichols-directed adaptation of the 1978 French comedy La Cage aux Folles. King asked Azaria if he felt any hesitation taking on such a flamboyantly gay role early in his career.
The actor replied: “Hesitant’ is too mild of a word… not only could I be offending all gay people… but is the character going to work? Is it funny?”
He added that he’s never personally received any negative feedback about the performance in the film.
Watch a clip of Azaria in The Birdcage below and tell us if you think he’s perpetuating a stereotype or merely delivering an effective comedic performance.