Ben Whishaw Let You Think He Was Straight. He Also Let You Think He Was Gay. Winner: Ben Whishaw

How did actor Ben Whishaw, of Brideshead Revisted and, currently, the play The Pride (where he plays straight), get ID’d as a heterosexual in New York magazine and a homosexual in Out? Because this is how famous persons play the press. And how the folks in charge of the press — editors — play their readers.

“Once I swear to God Josh Duhamel, who I have no doubt is straight, caressed my hand during an interview,” writes Chris Rovzar, the gay New York senior editor, in an IM chat with Mike Vilensky (also gay, and who conducted the magazine’s interview with Whishaw). “It’s a thing they do. If a male star is talking to J-13, he’ll talk about how he loves kissing, but not on the first date. Or if he’s talking to Maxim he’ll talk about how he is an ass man. Or if he’s talking to, say, Out, he’ll studiously answer romantic queries with vague, double entendres, so that the editors like Aaron Hicklin can tantalize their readers with the thought that one of their most favorite hot actors might actually be available to them. Gay magazine editors can get a whole lot of mileage out of an actor not denying that he’s gay.”

So true! And Rovzar’s statement also applies to gay websites. Do you know how much mileage we get out of not-so-subtly implying an actor is a homo? Exhibit A here.

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  • JonathanHasHasIt

    It’s all about the money. Of course, straight and gay, they all go through the casting couch. Ben “Wimpy” Whishaw sure knows how to play the game. And “Out” and “New York” fell for it. Shame on them both, to promote another self-loathing, cowardly, queen who wants to play all the angles. Ben, you’re not getting my hard-earned cash at the movies.

  • Cam

    I completely over these bullshit ambiguous actors. Sean Hayes and that ilk can play as coy as they want, I’m going to go see them in anything.

  • Cam

    Sorry, NOT going to go see them in anything. I’m distracted by that really annoying ad for St. Lucia that keeps popping up in the window every time I navigate pages here.

  • Don

    What’s with all the vehemence towards Ben and his personal life? Why can’t he just be an artist and do his job and tell stories? It seems like there’s already too much venom in the world to heap so much on him. It’s his storytelling that we should be paying attention to, his storytelling is doing important work for us. He’s not asking to be a celebrity, he’s asking to be an actor.

  • TheInsider

    Wrong Don. There are thousands of actors who go unnoticed, who don’t do the red carpet, who don’t pose for magazines. They’re not in Hollywood. Once you get there, then you become a celebrity. And the game changes.

  • PreacherMan

    His nothing but a slut…

  • Jay

    Where’d you get the tidbit that Whishaw plays “straight” in The Pride. All the male characters are gay in that play.

    As for people bitching about Whishaw, have you read the OUT interview? His comments are far too revealing to be described as coy. If he were claiming to be straight, he wouldn’t talk about how he’s struggling with the idea of being a role model for gay youth.

  • HettyW

    The angle of your article is totally wrong. If you read the Out article you can can be in no doubt that Ben has effectively outed himself. This is anything but cowardly. The New York magazine headline which identified Ben as a straight actor was their mistake not an attempt to deceive on Ben’s part.

  • HettyW

    Further to the New York magazine article: The reporter assumed that both actors were straight. Ben said nothing to suggest that he was straight. He simply avoided answering the question. Unwise, yes. But he had no way of knowing the angle New York magazine was going to take: “Dancy & Whishaw, Heterosexual British Actors, Sometimes Hug.” The thing that got him into trouble was his reticence. Anyone who knows anything about Ben Whishaw will say in unison: surprise, surprise! There was no intention to deceive and no hidden agenda.

    Ben Whishaw is a gentle, sensitive, talented man. Instead of trying to tear him down, the people on this board should give him the sort of support that he would undoubtedly give them. If you doubt me, read the article in Out magazine.

  • HettyW

    Your article suggests that Ben plays a straight character in “The Pride.” Wrong again! In fact Ben plays two gay characters, both named Oliver. The play is set in two time periods, 1958 and 2008, and compares the gay experience for two different generations. This is the second gay part that Ben has played in the last few months. In December he completed a season of a play called “Cock” at the Royal Court Theatre in London, in which he played a gay character. Does this sound like the CV of a man who’s trying to hide from his sexuality. I think not.

    If any of you are in New York at the moment, you can see Ben performing with the MCC Theatre in “The Pride.” Previews commenced at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on January 27. I suggest you go along and support this talented young man, who is doing his best to express on the stage something of the essence of what it is to be a gay man.

  • Jenny

    I don’t remember him playing a Gay man in the play Cock I do however remember a bi-sexual character who likes both men and women equally if one is to define Ben from his choice of roles one might say that sometimes he might be straight and sometimes he might be Gay finding both sexes attractive….
    Perhaps on that score he was having a straight day when interviewed by the New York rag, and a some what gay one whilst being interviewed by OUt magazine this is why he says he doesn’t like labels because he likes it all when the fancy takes him and why not sometimes you might just want a pudding …
    Why is it that the Gay community in Greenwich village always feels they have to claim and own a (potentially) “gay man” without giving them time to breath or even suss out for themselves there true leanings they have this need to molest tamper and out them and convert as soon as possible…
    Wouldn’t it be funny if all the straight women started to claim their straight men or start converting Gays back to straight in the press after all God did create Cocks to make children and not stick up backsides!!!…

  • HettyW

    The point I was trying to make above (obviously unsuccessfully) is that a gay actor (or even a bisexual one) who was trying to hide his sexuality would not be playing a succession of gay/bisexual roles.

    Could I ask you Jenny, do you agree with the cynical tone of the article above? Do you believe that it accurately reflects Ben Whishaw’s motives and behavior in this matter? I don’t.

    As for the last part of your contribution, it sounds remarkably fundamentalist (in every sense of the word). I’m beginning to suspect that you might like a bit of that ol’ time religion.

  • Jenny

    Fundamentalist yes but very truthful creation does not rely on the Gay community or humanity would be extinct, but that aside no one has a problem with Gay Straight or Bi to each there own you are missing my point (which was not directed at you) but at the comments in general it’s just peoples attitude lets all have him batting for our team when the poor guy just wants to choose what team to be in I would not say that he outed himself fully in that article at all I know about journalists and how things are twisted… He is entitled to privacy it is no ones business really he doesn’t like labels he doesn’t want to tell you all if you could end up in bed with him ….
    He would like to choose someone and say there is a chemical attraction here be it male of female depending on the person it’s up to him…
    But if he had any sense he would be standing with his back firmly to the wall right now in Greenwich village Gay play or no Gay play!..
    And by the way when he plays a murderer in his next movie that means he will have played two murderers do you think he will out himself in murderers weekly as a psycho killer?….He is a wonderful actor just let his sexuality be his business and enjoy his work…

  • Jenny

    @Don: here here!..

  • jason

    Queerty makes a good point about how we are manipulated by the media, including our very own.

    Aren’t we just the most gullible group of people in the world? I mean, you only need someone to say “I’m pro-gay” and we’re all suddenly worshipping at their feet.

    We are too easily taken in, I’m afraid.

  • HettyW

    I have to concede, Jenny, that you certainly know how to win friends and influence people on a gay site. Did you have any particular wall in mind? I have so many favorites. And I’d be only too happy to make some recommendations to Mr. Whishaw while he’s in town.

  • Jenny

    @HettyW: I think he has already come to the realization that half of greenwich Village wants his behind and managed to find his own wall! …
    But now you mention it perhaps a wall near a quaint lesbian establishment would be rather nice!…
    It doesn’t matter gay bi or straight go see the play and enjoy it I cannot believe how some people won’t go and see a quality actor perform because he won’t tell people his sexuality i find this a total joke…
    I do have alot of gay friends believe it or not but I am just being devils advocate on this site for even they tell me that the some Greenwich Village gays are full on and don’t take Bi for and answer, anyway I’m off to boogie to YMCA!!!….

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