Straight 4 Pay

Ben Whishaw wants gay actors to go straight…for money

Hot off his Golden Globe win for A Very English Scandal, actor Ben Whishaw has a whish (see what we did there?) for showbusiness: that gay actors get hired to play straight roles.

Whishaw, who also earned rave reviews for his performance as the (straight) dad in Mary Poppins Returns, told reporters that gay actors shouldn’t be required to play gay characters. They should have an “even playing field” with heterosexual actors to play characters of any orientation.

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“I think there needs to be greater equality,” Whishaw said. “I would like to see more gay actors playing straight roles. It needs to be an even playing field for everybody, that would be my ideal. I don’t know how far we’re away from that.”

Whishaw, who has played both gay and straight characters throughout his career, echoes a number of actors–perhaps most notably, Rupert Everett–who claim that Hollywood will only cast gay actors in gay roles after they come out publicly. Other Hollywood figures, including Matt Damon, have stoked controversy for telling gay actors to stay in the closet, lest they damage their careers.