Brett Easton Ellis, Internet Trolls Don’t Think Matt Bomer Can Play Straight Lead In 50 Shades Of Grey

Almost as soon as America got its pudgy little fingers on E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, rumors started circling about who should play the book’s seductive male lead, Christian Grey, in the inevitable film adaptation.

One actor’s name has risen to the top of the short list: Matt Bomer, the co-star of the fan-generated faux trailer above and a fake Entertainment Weekly cover.

But now Internet gadflies are wondering if the Magic Mike actor can pull off the role—what with him being a gay and all. Even Brett Easton Ellis, who was rumored to be writing the screenplay, tweeted that casting Bomer in the movie, “is the equivalent [of] casting Jesse Tyler Ferguson.”

Gee, and you wonder why Ellis has a reputation for being a jerk.

With more and more actors living openly, questions about gays playing straight roles are inevitable—but they still feel insulting. No one took a poll to see if Heath Ledger could convincingly play gay or if Kevin McHale could convincingly play a disabled kid. International Business Times polled its readers about whether gay Matt could play straight Christian. (If you’re curious, 77% of respondents said it’s not an issue.)

Sure there are some gay actors who couldn’t pull off a heterosexual male lead, just like there are some straight male actors that couldn’t pull off the role of a brain surgeon or a college professor. (No offense, Channing.) But the question about Bomer isn’t so much about his acting ability or how flaming he is (not very). It’s about the audience’s ability to forget what they know about a performer’s personal life when they see them onscreen.

And that’s on us, not him.

“What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title—whether it’s ‘black actor,’ a ‘gay actor’ or ‘anything’ actor,” Bomer recently told E! online. “Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that’s not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are.”

True enough. Meanwhile, we’re still Team Skarsgard

Photo: USA Network

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  • Marcus

    We still care about Bretty’s opinion?

  • verybookish

    Haven’t read the books, but I thought the characters were supposed to be in their early 20s? Isn’t Bomer too old?
    More importantly, isn’t he too talented for something based on such crap?

  • Sozo

    GOd, shut up Brent. You used to be such a irreverent, fresh voice. Now you’re competing with Elton John for the Bitchiest Old Queen throne.

    Plus, you’re writing screenplays for someone else’s book? Sad.

  • Samson

    BEE is a self loathing homosexual with a has-been career. The history of his homophobic comments are legendary (see HIV pool comments). Matt plays sexy straight better than most straight actors. The great news is that he messed with the wrong guy here and got his tired ass removed from any potential involvement in this project that he was so desperate to be a part of. BEE can crawl back into his drug induced hole.

  • Laura

    If Gale Harold can play a very convincing gay manwhore Brian Kinney, then a gay man can play a overly sexual straight man.

  • Amy

    Bret sounds really bitter. How sad for a guy that was such a talented writer. I think 50 Shades is a crap book. Matt is far too talented to do that stupid movie. Matt is perfect in his TV show, Bret is just a has been that craves some attention.

  • UsualPlayers

    He’s already played convincing straight men

    That alone shows how idiotic this is

  • Jimmy Velvet

    Who cares what this 80’s relic has to say about ANYTHING???

  • iDavid

    It’s one thing to see a straight actor playing a gay role, it’s interesting to gays. But a sold gay actor w a hubby and kids playing a straight role? That might play well to hopeful women, but to a gay audience, for me that doesn’t really compute, at least not at this point in gay history. I do see private lives affecting the roles actors play, especially of it’s about sex and love. Niel Patrick is another that doesn’t compute in classic straight romantic roles. It’s a bit like men playing women in Shakespeare days, one really can tell the difference no matter how much makeup. However if I didn’t know Bomer’s background, then for me it would be attractive.

  • F.I

    wow, what a douche, he was playing a straight man very convincingly on White collar, this person needs to be slapped hard!!

  • samwise

    Just read on another website that BEE is no longer in the running to write the screenplay. Whew!

  • Sea Sure

    It’s hard enough to have a succuesful career in show business but what is so horrific about this discussion is that Bret is a gay man and started it. I know he is damaged goods that no one takes him seriously but it just brings out the homophobic crazies and casts doubt on all gay actors. Why would anyone want to come out when this crap happens? Matt comes out and this crap discussion is started by a gay man. WTF. The crazy thing is that some of the anti gay responses from women suggested other actors including closeted case gay actors like Ian S, etc. Ignorant and naive I guess.

  • Evan Martin

    What a surprise Queerty isn’t bashing Matt Bomer like usual. ;) I remember articles here when Matt had came out and had been out for awhile how queerty claimed that he was still in the closet.

  • Evan Martin

    I agree with IDavid, I haven’t read 50 shades of grey but aren’t the main characters a lot younger than Matt Bomer is?

  • John s

    @ idave, @evan
    These are blatantly homophobic comments. You, along with BEE, are evidence that we are our own biggest obstacle to progress at times. I’m sure Matt wants nothing to do with this movie anyway.

  • Mangina

    Read the trilogy. It’s not all that! The book is poorly writtn and there is no plot. Plus, the author stole everything from other sources like the film Secretary and 9 1/2 Weeks. As for Matthew Bomer playing Christian Grey, he is an awesome actor but not right for playing some BDSM control freak with mommy issues. Pass on the film.


    fifty shades of FEY: and brett eastern ellis is on the darker, bitchier end of the spectrum.

  • Chris

    @Evan Martin: That’s too bad, because iDavid is obviously, well I can’t say what he is, because of Queerty’s commenting policies…but his wentire comment is drivel, idiotic and myopic. Of course, gay men can play straight roles, and have been for literally hundreds of years. Rock Hudson anyone?

    And why are so many people who haven’t read the book, complaining that Matt Bomer is too old? How would you know if you haven’t read the book? and since the screenplay isn’t written yet, Characters are often redrawn when a screenplay is written. I read the book, and I don’t necessarily think he is the right actor, his age isn’t a factor in the least.

  • Michael DeSelms

    @Laura: my thoughts exactly. Neil Patrick Harris is a great womanizer on How I Met Your Mother

  • tonic

    BEE is a low-life self-loathing tool who now constantly fights for attention by lobbing insults at/toward healthy, happy gay men.

    He’s a cockroach that, if not stepped on, is at least best to be ignored.

  • Kim

    I don’t think NPH would be accepted playing a straight guy in a dramatic role especially a sexually charged role. There is no sexual chemistry between NPH and his love interests but since its all for laughs it’s tolerable Bomer would be accepted because he is sex on wheels IMO. As for Rock Hudson the audience never saw him kissing or hugging his BF. As we have all seen NPH doing.JMHO


    maybe gay actors should be given a special dispensation to pull the bisexual card. for an interim period. rather that than being closeted, with same gender lovers not being represented at all. still, it’s fucking unfair. it’s acting people. ACTING. suspension of disbelief.

  • Blake

    Surely Matt’s rise in popularity could secure him better roles.
    50SoG is total filth and not the ‘good’ kind.

    At this point, the only reason I could bare him doing it, is to prove that most women will watch this movie with him as the star, even though they know he is married to a man and they have children.

    Ian S as the alternative, that is amusing.

    Give it to Alex S, I am not a big enough fan of his to care about the potential damage this does to his credibility.

  • mc

    Brett Easton Ellis went on a Twitter rant last night. Here are some quotes:

    “Okay I’ll say it. Matt Bomer isn’t right for Christian Grey because he is openly gay. He’s great for other roles but this is too big a game. ”

    “Fifty Shades of Grey: Matt Bomer: I don’t care how good an actor you are but being married to another man complicates things for playing CG. ”

    “I am NOT discriminating Matt Bomer because of his sexuality. Fifty Shades of Grey demands an actor that is genuinely into women. Get it?!? ”

    “I think Matt Bomer is incredibly handsome and a good actor but I think he comes off totally gay in White Collar. And that is why no to CG… ”

    This is just a few of them but all with the common theme–Matt Bomer is too GAY.

  • Jake

    where’s the sex in the trailer? :)

  • Scott Gatz

    @mc: what a tool he is. Watching white collar I know that he’s a gay man, but I think his love scenes with women are incredibly convincing. I don’t know the material but Matt is certainly not “too gay”.

  • Dumb Azz

    BEE wrote: “I am NOT discriminating Matt Bomer because of his sexuality. Fifty Shades of Grey demands an actor that is genuinely into women. Get it?!? ” What a fvcking idiot! That like saying a movie that has a role where someone is a murderer demands an actor that is genuinely into killing – it’s called ACTING for a reason you dumb fvck! Ugh, people are so stupid!

  • SteveC

    No 12: Sea Sure says: “It’s hard enough to have a succuesful career in show business but what is so horrific about this discussion is that Bret is a gay man and started it. ”

    That is biphobia and bi-erasure.

    Bret Easton Ellis is bisexual.

    A homophobic bisexual.

  • CJ

    @iDavid: You know, it is called ACTING for a reason. The whole idea is that if a film is done well, the audience will immerse itself in that world for however long the movie lasts. You see the CHARACTER, not the actor.

    Personally, I agree with those who think Matt is too classy to take on a role that will probably be almost totally based on the BDSM elements. There certainly wasn’t much real drama in the portion of the book I forced myself to get through. (How does “writing” like that get published?!?!?!?) In any event, he has 2 film projects signed for this fall, a rumored return to Glee, followed, hopefully, by a 5th season of White Collar. He’s busy.

    BTW, great to see a non-bashing Matt Bomer article here!

  • Adam

    Doesn’t Matt already play a heterosexual convincingly? Brett, gurl, bye.

  • David Ehrenstein

    @Sozo: Bret took FOREVER to come out. He didn’t do so until after his over (of many years) bought the farm.

    Now he’s just a Bitter Old Queen.

  • Evan Martin

    John S. Get over yourself. Nothing I wrote is remotely homophobic. I don’t think that Bomber should play Christian Grey since he’s too old, not because he’s gay.

  • Ellen

    Actually David E. Bret Easton Ellis has been out as being bisexual since the 80s.

    Matt Bomer is an overrated actor and 50 shades of grey sucks. I’ve never read the book but friends of mine have and told me about it and I am never going to read it.

  • Bryan

    I don’t think he could pull it off either, but not because he’s straight

    And thanks to Brett Easton Ellis for making sure another in the closet actor reading this would definitely want to come out now *rollseyes*

  • Michael

    Perhaps I have a terrible gaydar, but Matt never pinged mine. I was somewhat surprised to hear the rumors when they started. If Marcus Bachmann can play a straight man, matt bomer will have no problem whatsoever.

  • mc

    @Ellen: Per Wikipedia: “In a 1999 interview, the author puts forward that his reluctance to definitively label his sexuality (in his own words, he is “very coy and weird about it”) is for “artistic reasons”, because “if people knew that I was straight, they’d read [my books] in a different way. If they knew I was gay, ‘Psycho’ would be read as a different book.”

    That’s not the words of a man out as a bisexual since the 80’s.

    In 2011 he says: “… answers to questions about his sexuality have varied from interviewer to interviewer, citing an example where his reluctance to refuse the label “bi” had him labelled as such by a Details interviewer. “I think the last time I slept with a woman was five or six years ago, so the bi thing can only be played out so long,” he clarifies. “But I still use it, I still say it.”

    Then this: “When asked an interview in 2002 whether or not he was gay, Ellis explained that he does not identify himself as gay or straight. He explained that he is comfortable to be thought of as gay, bisexual or heterosexual and that he enjoys playing with his persona, identifying variously as gay, straight and bi to different people over the years”

    He sounds like a man with issues about his sexuality. Maybe he resents Bomer for being out of the closet.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    “What we really have to do is stop the adjective before the job title—whether it’s ‘black actor,’ a ‘gay actor’ or ‘anything’ actor,” Bomer recently told E! online. “Everybody thinks that equality comes from identifying people, and that’s not where equality comes from. Equality comes from treating everybody the same regardless of who they are.”

    “True enough. Meanwhile, we’re still Team Skarsgard.”

    Is that “true enough” Queerty? Odd, since Adam Lambert has been taking a daily browbeating for saying the same thing, while being a high profile LGBT entertainer doing his part for the community for years.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @Sea Sure:

    “It’s hard enough to have a succuesful career in show business but what is so horrific about this discussion is that Bret is a gay man and started it.”

    No surprise whatsoever.

  • John

    Lets remember just what a pig Mr Ellis is ,so much so that several publishers refused to print the shite he was putting out. He has the maturity of a 12 year old boy why any one would hire him to write ANYTHING is beyond me.

  • Jay

    once again gay men are their own worst enemies. thanks BEE, for not much here: you don’t help. it’s called ACTING, after all, as has been pointed out in earlier remarks. a great actor lets you suspend reality and believe in the character he (or she) is playing. If Matt Bomer can do that, the better his acting chops adn great for him, whatever the role. Doesn’t matter who he takes to bed. Get over it people: if we continue to catfight amongst ourselves on stuff like this, why on earth would we expect to be taken seriously on stuff that really matters?

  • Felix

    He could definitely pull if off, and I’d love to see him get a chance in a major leading role. He’s got the looks, the charisma, and the acting chops to do anything. Easton is just an old grumpy and weird queen (not gay apparently thank god).

  • Michelle

    I think Matt Bomer would be great as CG. He’s handsome and charming, with lots of sex appeal. Anybody who doesn’t think an openly gay man can play a straight character convincingly is homophobic.

  • Andrew

    I think Brett Easton Ellis has forgotten that Matt is an ACTOR, he’ll act! After reading a few BEE comments over the years the guy seems to have internal homophobia.

  • Daez

    Bomer’s biggest issue has nothing to do with him being gay. It has to do with him being absolutely overly forgettable in the parts that he does play. He took all his clothes off in Magic Mike and he was still easily the most forgettable actor. He is simply not leading man material. He fails to pop on screen at all. He needs to stick to non-watched USA network programming.

  • Felix

    @Daez: Jealous much?

  • Allen

    Ellen I also remember how BEE came out as bisexual in the mid 80s and by the 90s in interviews he was fully out as bisexual.

  • Dax

    @Daez: are you the pr slack of an actor like ian somerhalder that wishes every day he had matt’s looks, talent, inteligence, and class? likely so! the trolls are so obvious.

  • Chaboy

    He can’t play straight very well. Just watch MAGIC MIKE. He is also a bit too long in the tooth to play the role. Christian is 28 years old. Bomer will also have to hit the gym hard because even though he has a nice build it isn’t the one that Christian is described as having.

  • Kyle412

    Have you people read the book? I read a couple weeks ago on vacation. It is terribly written and a sad statement on women who bother to buy the 2nd or 3rd book. I do agree with Ellis though, Bomer isn’t right for Christian Gray. I have followed Bomer’s career since he was on GUIDING LIGHT over a decade ago. He doesn’t have the depth and sadly he is now too old for the role. Matthew is more in the 35 – 40 category and not able to play a character in his 20s and that is what CG is.

  • JohnnyBoy

    It doesn’t help that gay people make such a big deal out of it. Sometimes I think that if gay people didn’t make such a big deal of who’s gay and being gay then others might not either.

  • samwise

    @JohnnyBoy: Johnny, you know cares about who’s gay and who’s not: religious bigots. They don’t want ANYONE to be gay. Think about this.

  • Felix

    Gays hating on other gays. How unusual.

  • Patsy Stoned

    Oh look, has-been loser Bret Easton Ellis has gotten people to talk about him again…by being an utter douche. I guess that’s the only reason anyone brings up his name.

  • UsualPlayers

    While I do think Bomer is a good actor for TV, I will say that he doesn’t have that “it” factor (and its not because he’s not straight since most actors gay or straight don’t have the “it”) for film. I think he’s mainly a great tv actor. Like NPH is perhaps better on TV. I love Bomer in White Collar,but I don’t see him making that transition. However, he may surprise, which is always nice with an actor. That being said, there have been some gay actors have had the “it” factor who we later found out were gay or are gay , but have never come out. In BEE is full of POO.

  • Al

    Bret is a has-been, thus he’s acting out.

  • Cinesnatch

    BEE also wrote The Canyons and probably opened his mouth wide because any press is good press.

  • Royce Earnest

    Have you seen Magic Mike?

  • Erick

    I agree with BEE. Sorry, but I can’t take Bomer seriously playing any straight role; and that goes for his White Collar character too. I eventually stopped watching the show after it became more and more obvious in the public eye that Bomer was gay. Couldn’t take his character seriously after that. Gay actors playing straight roles is like a kid wearing a Batman suit on Halloween. It’s fraudulent and I don’t buy it.

  • Rockery

    Guess this is why gay male stars stay closeted, it can really hurt their pocketbook

  • LeoMarius

    Apparently he’s never heard of Rock Hudson.

  • Cam

    Brett Easton Ellis has been ashamed of his sexuality for years.

    As for Bomer, I think the fact that he is out would mean that he can FINALLY actually play a romantic lead.

    Closeted actors sometimes don’t give a sexual vibe because they’re so worried about keeping a tight rein on things. Now that he doesn’t have to worry about that I’m betting he can handle the part just fine.

    The screenwriter should worry more about an author who wrote one trendy book in the 80’s and has never been able to match that success. As for his fears about Bomer, he is a professional and should be able to keep a dick out of his mouth while the camera is rolling. (Eye Roll)

  • Rooney

    None of the women I know think Matt is too gay to figure in their fantasies. The only thing that can salvage a complete piece of crap like 50 Shades of Filth is the involvement of an actor everyone would like to get spanked by, and Matt is that. BEE? Tired old irrelevant bitchy queen, going the way of the Elton Johns.

  • jim2008

    That tired old queen needs to sit down, and shut up. She couldn’t be in the same room with Matt Bomer without wetting her panties and passing out.

  • Kirk R

    @Cam: Very well said Cam!

  • Patsy Stoned

    Who are these idiots who can’t watch a gay actor play straight? Do you have no imagination whatsoever? In real life actors are usually nothing like the role he or she plays. Can you watch Christian Bale play someone without a hair-trigger temper? Glenn Close play a woman? Julia Roberts play someone nice?

  • M


    In Magic Mike, Matt was essentially a bright eyed, morally corrupt KEN DOLL. Why? Because that was his character, so I can see you reading GAY GAY GAY into that, but consider watching White Collar or some of his older work. He’s more than convincing.

    He’s extremely pretty, though.

  • Biting Truth

    I don’t think an OUT gay actor can convincingly play straight either. If I didn’t know know MB was gay, then maybe…but knowing that he is is too much of a suspension of disbelief when I see him opposite a female love interest. He should stick to roles that are either gay or a-sexual.

  • Wentworth

    @Biting Truth: Then you have never seen White Collar, Chuck, or Tru Calling where he plays straight better than straight actors. It’s ironic that the worlds hottest man is gay but kind of nice right. But you sound kind of stupid if you can’t seperate reality from fiction. Hell, most actors are bi or gay anyway right.


    I bet that allllll these queens saying that they can’t buy Bomer in a straight role are the same ones that believe the guys of Sean Cody and such are actually straight! bwahahahah

  • Brian Smart

    Even if Mat Bomer does get the part of Christian Grey I’m not going to see the movie. I find his acting to be boring and one dimensional.

  • William

    Few actors today have the talent and class that Matt has. He lives his life on his own terms and as usual he just kind of rides above noise like this. No doubt long career in his future!

  • SG

    I guess this article isn’t as vile as most Queerty articles that mention Bomer, but I still take exception to this: “But now Internet gadflies are wondering if the Magic Mike actor can pull off the role—what with him being a gay and all. Even Brett Easton Ellis, who was rumored to be writing the screenplay, tweeted…”

    This makes it sound as if this discussion was already going on before Ellis started tweeting his crap. It wasn’t. BEE attempted to start a shit storm in order to satisfy his attention-whoring needs, and the internet media picked up on it because discussing shit being talked about a gay actor is just So Fucking Interesting – Of course, the idiotic homophobes who’d wanted to say “Ew! I can’t buy a gay actor in a straight role!” all along then started crawling out of the slime they usually live in and jumped on BEEs bandwagon.

    It would be nice if Queerty could have made that clear, but then I suppose it wouldn’t be a Bomer article on Queerty without some attempt to slip in some snide.

    Also, saying “Even Brett [sic] Easton Ellis…” appears to give this asshole some legitimacy he is not entitled to, as if his opinion actually carries some worth. It would seem clear to anyone with a working brain it does not.

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