We’re big fans of Lee Pace, the film, TV and stage star who is part of the Broadway revival of Angels in America opening soon.
So it’s very nice to see that he’s taken a step out of the glass closet, telling W Magazine, “I’ve dated men. I’ve dated women.”
But it’s the full section of his W profile where you get the sense that Pace, who’s always been guarded about his personal life, won’t be grand marshall of any Pride parades this year.
Pace added that he feels it’s important for gay actors to play the gay roles in both plays, but stopped short of labeling himself. He seemed a bit flustered and surprised by the question. “I’ve dated men. I’ve dated women,” he explained. “I don’t know why anyone would care. I’m an actor and I play roles. To be honest, I don’t know what to say—I find your question intrusive.”
So let’s just take moment.
After discussing the importance of gay actors playing gay roles in the production of Tony Kushner’s masterpiece Angels in America, in which Pace plays closeted Mormon Joe Pitt, he found it intrusive that the interviewer would ask how he identifies.
Seems like a pretty above-board direction to take the interview, but regardless, we’re happy Pace felt comfortable answering at all.
Back in 2014, Pace’s Hobbit costar, the fellow out actor Ian McKellen, accidentally let slip that Pace is openly gay.
This is the first time the subject has come up again publicly.
The Broadway revival of Angels in America also stars Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield.
Pace recently starred in AMC’s vastly underappreciated Halt and Catch Fire, and has appeared in countless other projects including a re-staging of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.
Yeah, we already knew.
What was the question he was asked?
It was how important do you think it is for gay actors to play gay roles? This was clearly just teeing up the ball for “Are you a homo boy?”
This isn’t news.
“I don’t know how to answer your question”…well you said you dated men and you deleted women one in the answer be that you are bisexual?
Lol! I said to my iPhone DATED women and it texted DELETED women! Talk about a iPhone Freudian slip!!
Why should he even have to identify as bisexual? It’s an awkward, imprecise word as well.
Well, I’ve seen his phenomenal performance in Angels in America, on Broadway right now. He’s amazing. So, how is this unkind article helpful to any one in any way? (It’s not, is the answer, it’s reductive and beneath us, all of us.) Artists deserve respect. Queerty: I challenge you to up your game, next time. Aretha said it best: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
I am with you 100%
I agree why is queerty always so shady? and judgmental ;p So an actor doesn’t want to discuss his sex life? is this a crime somehow? not all actors are celebrities who crave the spot light, for some its an actual job and a passion, and is separate from their personal life. Im not sure how in one sentence you can say he is in the closet, and in another say his friend accidentally let it slip that hes openly gay? unless he is some weird paradox ;p
Joseph, he wasn’t asked about his sex life. He was asked about his sexual orientation.
I agree. People need time to figure themselves out and sometimes they never do. He felt intruded upon because he didn’t want to talk about it. So? Not everyone’s an activist. Some people just want to be. Let him be.
Queerty and like-minded ilk:
How dare he take offense to a personal question about his sexual-oriented life!
Just because its his and personal is no excuse!
This is disgusting.
The ONLY reason that question would be described as “Disrespectful” is by people defending the closet.
How interesting that any theater actor asked about their spouse, child etc… doesn’t take offense to it. The last two people I remember taking offense to this question was Kevin Spacey and Sean Hayes, and Hayes later apologized for being a giant D*ck when he came out.
The Anderson Cooper glass closet days are gone. If this guy doesn’t want to be asked the question, then stop doing gay plays and saying all the actors should be gay. HE said that…then acted offended when the follow up was asked.
A wonderful actor and I suspect a decent man. Have loved his work especaily in the wonderful films of THE FALL and INFAMOUS!!!
In the inimitable style of Gertrude Stein, an actor is an actor is an actor. Regardless of sexual orientation, performers are required to portray unique characters in a believable way, and all actors have portrayed challenging characters whose fictional lives don’t necessarily relate to their own whether straight, gay, transsexual, or depraved. Asking an actor’s sexual orientation based on a role he’s playing is indeed intrusive.
Except when a straight actor plays a gay role, they play it like the heavy guy on Modern Family.
I was trying to figure out how to say well shouldn’t a real “actor” be able to play gay & it is not a requirement gay men must play gay roles. Also straight men can play gay gay men have always played straight.Good job Mandrake
What an asshole. “I find your question intrusive?????” He’s a fucking actor and thrives on publicity and SHOULD BE out, proud and a role model for gays of all ages. Must be one of those Roy Cohn Syndrome self-hating assholes.
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There are people, who agree to be defined and labeled through their sexual orientation and others, who do not want to be reduced to a label, or even make an identity out of their sexual orientation (whatever their reasons). It is perfectly fine.
We have been re-appropriating labels (originally used by the medical world in particular, since the XIX century to stigmatize us and help them define what is normality) to ground and extend our rights for the past decades and if the process of acceptance finally ends up in some countries, we won’t need them anymore. They are just a tool to be more visible collectively and ground our rights. Then, they will not be useful anymore and the current balance usefulness/harmfulness will be more in favor of harmfulness.
Accepting societies will be less binary and therefore, mentalities and relationships, as well.
It’s not really about “identity” for me. In fact, clinging onto an “identity” sometimes does more harm than good and can sometimes be more of a defense mechanism or about socialogy or or about attention or about ego than anything else. For me the problem is people who desperately try to shield themselves or manipulate their public image or are unrelentingly evasive for many, many years. You see guys go on carpets with their significant others who are of the opposite cis gender all the time. If people assume they’re straight they’ll openly answer questions about the type of girl they’re into. If we want to act like it doesn’t matter then act like it doesn’t matter. The level of discomfort so many gay, gay-leaning/trans-leaning queer people show is the problem. Straight and straight-leaning actors don’t show this level of discomfort when talking about themselves, even the “I don’t want to discuss my private life” types of people. Some will even talk about same-sex experiences or being “open-minded” like it’s nothing. But for gay and gay-leaning people discussing those things becomes this grave event and they tend to talk in circles and cliches.
I get it. Some people don’t fully know themselves or what they want. Some are worried about their careers being hampered. Some have aspects and contradictions within themselves that would be very divisive if they reveal them. And some just want a “private life” despite being public figures. But come on, this is a dude that’s been dating dudes for many years now. He’s almost 40. He’s played plenty of queer characters. His career is what it is. Everyone’s known about him for quite a while. And he’s discussing gay actors in this interview. To still be showing this level of discomfort and evasiveness is disappointing. It hints towards internalized homophobia and gay shame, not the desire to be private or succumb to labels.
Donston, the fact is that being straight in this contemporary world is like a transparent, almost invisible characteristic, as it is so conveniently normalized. People assume you are straight, because of a socially conditioned binary way of thinking. We are put into small boxes. In the social constructivist approach of the sexual orientation (in particular), as shown by Michel Foucault in 1981 and others afterwards, we are conditioned, since childhood, to become exclusively heterosexuals or homosexuals. It means our initial pansexual (or bisexual) potential (with or without a natural tendency towards the same or the other sex, in various degrees) is reduced by powerful social and inner injunctions. What makes reality interesting is that many factors give some latitude to the impact of those social injunctions (such as the open-mindedness of the immediate environment, encounters, etc.).
I met a guy, who was brought up in such an immediate environment (like in a bubble) and though he was almost only attracted to other boys (and would use the word “gay” for himself and correct people about their assumptions), he never felt conflicted about it or questioned his normality. He felt alien to the collective mess around those questions.
So, this young man was not on the defensive on sexual orientation, just like most of straight guys, but contrary to them he did not block the possibility for him to have a straight relationship someday. He did not seem to put a lock on that.
I am not saying that it is necessarily why Lee Pace answered that way in the interview. You are probably (partly) right to say he does not want his public image to suffer from talking openly about his personal life (he may see it like walking on a tightrope), or that he might be still ashamed or confused about his complex inner world, etc. It is what I meant by the possibility for him to compartmentalize things as a defense mechanism. Personally, I think his response in this interview comes from a medley of all that (including the fact he does not want to limit himself with labels), IF the journalist reported everything correctly.
Whatever the reasons behind the apparent confusion in Lee Pace’s interview, the only valid question (to me) is: does it help the society and people, in better accepting alter sexualities? At first, I think most readers will understand he is attracted to both sexes and does not give it that much importance and prefers to remain suggestive (which can be frustrating for us). Admittedly, he could have said more clearly he was more inclined to MSM relationships, if it is the case. As you wrote, he could have been smarter, but I do not think it causes any harm to the awareness and assimilation process of queer actors. It is just quite discrete and all gay or gay-leaning people, bi, or whatever, do not have to conform to strict LGBT injunctions either.
I won’t judge people for that, as our personal story can make self-acceptance convoluted.
P.S.: btw, why did you put the word “identity” between brackets?
Frankly I’m more interested in the play than who is gay and who is not gay. It’s one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. I saw the original production in New York and a revival in Santa Fe and both times i knocked me out. Gorgeous language, incredible characters and so intense. Everyone should see it at least once.
I saw it in workshop in San Francisco, and in NYC. Definitely a great work of 20th century theater. It would be interesting to see it again now when things have changed so much.
Asking a celebrity about his personal love life is NOT intrusive.
It’s basic small talk that all adults get. If you don’t want people to know about some basic information- then don’t become an actor or a celebrity. His response is childish and not helping the LgBT community…
It boggles my mind that a gay or bisexual *stage* actor playing a gay role would feel the need to be closeted these days. I don’t see the need to maybe bring it up if not asked but to be deflective is a bit silly and maybe immature.
joseph_buscarino, declaring your sexuality isn’t exactly discussing your sex life. If you tell someone you’re gay, they know exactly as much about your sex life as if you tell them you’re straight.
PUH-leaze!! I’ve known since he was on “Wonderfalls” about 15 years ago (which also happens to be my all time favorite TV series!).
Woo hoo! He was hot af in “The Hobbit!” And I love a tall gay.
Pace made actors’ sexual orientations an issue when he said that gay actors should play the gay characters in the Angels of America plays, but, when the interviewer naturally asked about his orientation, he claimed to be perplexed by the question and unable to understand why anyone would care, when he had just made the argument himself!
Then, he goes a step further and says that he finds the question intrusive. Okay, fair enough. Then, don’t make blanket statements that open yourself up to questions about your sexuality, which you don’t feel comfortable answering. These kinds of games don’t fly; be open or don’t, but don’t flirt with it and then berate interviewers for being led where you take them.
Yes, as it is written it looks inconsistent and even nonsensical. So, either Brian Moylan, the journalist, did not get what Lee Pace said. After all, there is not quote backing up his statement. It is just written: “Pace added that he feels it’s important for gay actors to play the gay roles in both plays, […]”.
Or, Lee Pace used the word “gay” in that particular instance to talk about a broader spectrum of MSM-dominant sexuality and romance, as a shorter way to say it. Then, it would be consistent with his desire to not be labeled.
Or, he compartmentalize things a lot, as a defense mechanism.
Too bad, the journalist did not ask for more explicitness.
Original article: https://www.wmagazine.com/story/lee-pace-angels-in-america-broadway-revival
Even if someone does not want to be labelled, it is hard to not use labels to be understood, in a world that use them all the time. So, sometimes it can sound “schizo”.
Well, that is a possible explanation.
This is, a do what ever you can to sell tickets interview.
I had no idea who he was but I vaguely remember associating the name with gayishness. I looked up his bio and I now know why. He played the transsexual Calpernia Addams, in the bio pic, Soldiers Girl. The based-on-a-true-story television movie was about a soldier was murdered after fellow soldiers discovered that he was dating a transsexual. I don’t know if it was ever established that he was gay. I remember thinking how attractive Calpernia (Lee Pace) was.
Lee Pace’s Fever dance as Calpernia
Here’s a video of Pace’s transformation in 2007. Gaydar?
A tribute video to Calpernia and Barry (hunky Troy Garrity)
Ian McKellan accidentally outed him a few years ago but he’s also been seen spending a lot of time with Richard Armitage who has also been speculated about. That doesn’t really mean anything, I know, but they sure would make a handsome couple.
Really……I mean really!
He’s right. It is intrusive. Straight actors never get asked “Are you straight?”. People already knew about Lee anyway. He’s an excellent actor. I’ve loved everything Ive seen him in, especially Halt and Catch Fire.
Of course they are not. Heterosexual is the default assumption. What an odd statement to make!
RE: Straight actors never get asked “Are you straight?”
Yes, those questions are common. Straight people are asked, Are you single, Are you dating anyone, How is your wife, Do you want children, etc. Magazines gossiped about Jennifer Aniston for like 20 years! Sexual orientation is a common topic of discussion – from engagement rings and weddings, to family and vacations. It’s woven into normal conversation every day, but we just don’t notice it when it’s about straight people.
Loved him on Pushing Daisies. With all the revivals and reboots these days, can we please get more Pushing Daisies?!
The problem is Anna Friel’s character is supposed to be undead and un-aged. Though the rules on that were always sketchy. So, maybe they could bypass it with some silly one-liner. But yes, I loved me some Pushing Daisies. It was sometimes just too overwhelming in its quirk and whimsy. Yet, it’s still one of the last truly great shows on Broadcast television.
He seems like someone who wants his cake and eat it too. He believes legit queers actors should play queer roles. But he doesn’t want to be tied to it. This type of perspective isn’t anything new. People are always talking about being yourself but then will quickly talk about not wanting to be limited or “weighed down” and not wanting to reveal too much of themselves. It’s especially typical for actors.
You don’t have to come out. You don’t have to “identify” as anything. In fact, that’s not the modern nor smart route to go. But if you’re gay or gay-leaning at a certain point you’re just too grown, you have too much self-understanding, you hopefully have too much self-respect and have been living in a glass closet for too long that still trying to manipulate your public image or trying to desperately to be evasive should seem silly to you. You could at least be smarter in your responses, especially since in the interview you were talking about gay actors. So, it wasn’t as if the person’s question came out of no where. Is it really worth it at 40+ years old? At a certain point it does just come off as gay shame and internalized homophobia.
But I know what’s up in the entertainment industry. All the endless messiness. And I’ve learned to just not care for the most part.
Looking towards the entertainment industry for any real insight and definitive statements on anything is always a mistake. The industry is driven by manipulation and personas both inside of it and towards the general public. While most people apart of it are driven primarily by money and status. Many have very damaged and convoluted egos, terrible childhoods and are just aren’t willing to face the ramifications of being completely authentic and face the type of criticism they’d receive from every side if they were so. It all is what it is.
And even many of the famous, semi-famous, kinda-famous people who are out still focus on cultivating a certain image and narrative. Public figures are in the public for a reason. It’s best not to care about that too much.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
I suspect he may have very briefly popped his head into Queerties Awards 2018 event before making this statement. .
I am so pleased that Lee Pace does not subscribe to GLBT identity politics and its rules.
He actually talks about “gay actors” in the interview. So, he’s cool with “identity politics” so long as he’s not discussing himself.
Also, I just realized that this particular moniker of yours is inspired by a porn performer’s name. Haven’t you deemed and dismissed porn as filthy prostitution multiple times in the past? And it’s of course a porn performer who does gay porn but says he has no interest in dating dudes or even having sex with guys outside of porn or sex work.
Your hypocrisy, hetero worship and gay shame are always on full display. Keep up the good work.
Queerty, you forgot to credit him for being in one of the biggest movies of the decade, Guardians Of The Galaxy. He was unrecognizable in all that make up playing the villain, Ronan.
I highly recommend watching Soldier’s Girl.
Full movie: https://youtu.be/cLhOqgNtAMo
I’ll leave my final remark. And it has almost nothing to do with Mr. Pace himself.
It’s not about “identities” or over-sharing. Everyone should want some of their lives to be private even if they’re public figures. Not wanting that usually means you’re just a narcissist and attention whore. However, when it comes to public and non-public people you have plenty of straight, straight-leaning and close to 50/50 bi and pan people talking about their love lives and the types they’re into, and sometimes about how “open-minded” and “free” they are. On the other hand, you have plenty of gay, gay-leaning/trans-leaning queer people being evasive and talking about how their private lives are private and speaking about their orientation in the most obtuse and self-embarrassing of ways. They’ll be dating someone of the same gender for two or three years yet still be scared of being seen holding hands with them. While homosexual behavior and images are still being used by straight, straight-leaning and 50-50 bi and pan people as a way to promote themselves or to come off as subversive. Those kind of contradictions breeds internalized homophobia, hetero-worship, homophobia, trans-phobia and inferiority complexes. And it seems a lot of these folks just don’t get that.
What is expected from celebrities is to talk about their private life, so it is easier to suggest you are straight or bi, than gay, because it crosses the border with what is considered normal and safe (you still have a foot in their “normal” world). Unfortunately, it is no news. Yes, there should be more people talking openly about their dominant homosexuality; and this would be so ideal, but people do what they can and they deal with their own reality. Not all of them are heroes of a cause. I mean that is not that easy to judge those people…
It is changing step by step…
The clutching the pears crew is out, hyperventilating because somebody is ashamed of their sexuality and doesn’t want to be asked about it.
Wait. I already knew he was gay. What’s the big deal?
Actually tired of coming out stories.
Well, coming out isn’t about you. It’s about the individual. And honestly, when was the last time a legitimately famous person legitimately came out? But the point here is that despite everybody knowing he’s still showing a supreme amount of shame and evasiveness.
The interview was quite confusing, maybe translating his own inner perception. I do not know if he is that ashamed though, but if it is the case, I do not see why we should shame people, who feel ashamed…
I am not versed in celebrities, but if everyone knew he has had boyfriends, why should it be necessary to tell people he is “gay” or whatever?
get back in the closet Lee Pace, it’s not like your some kind of famous actor or anything. Never hear of you until my Queerty notification
While this may have been the actual words spoken, I feel that there is something being missed or stated out of context. There may have been something else said earlier by the interviewer that put him on the defense. Just seeing that one chunk of the interview is not enough to get what he means. As a performer, I can understand how its irritating when they know you are gay to then say, “wow you were so believable since you are gay”, or being passed over thinking you cant pull off a straight relationship. He doesnt want his personal life to be taken in to consideration on how good he is performing. That’s understandable.
Please. It is no wonder actors keep their sexual orientation to themselves, as the press (and even more so the gay community) make such a big deal out of it, and leave even lesser-known actors no privacy – criticizing them if they are closeted or punishing them by denying them “straight” roles if they are out..
Even now, the industry is not kind to the queer community and only a very select few who are “out” actually have commercially viable careers. There is more homophobia in Hollywood than anywhere else, and I do not blame anyone for trying to protect his career from an industry and an audience that is all too eager to judge them based on who they sleep with.
Face it, had a straight-seeming actor like Tom Cruise came out even ten years into his career, the studios would have dropped him instantly because they now couldn’t see him playing “straight” roles, yet a straight man playing a homosexual will get nominated for an Oscar because of his “bravery” and willingness to “stretch” as an actor. The hypocrisy is mind blowing.
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