In Quotes

Guy Pearce says it’s “dangerous” to demand Hollywood give queer roles to queer actors

Berlin, Germany - February 16, 2016 - Actor Guy Pearce attends the 'Genius' premiere during the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival

“I do think it’s dangerous, personally. I feel, like, in any of this sort of stuff you have to take each situation… We copped a bit of flak at the time [when I played a drag queen alongside fellow straight actors Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert], ‘Why are there three straight actors playing three gay roles?’ It’s a difficult subject to get into.

I think resilience is going out the window, which is a shame. People love to be offended, which is a really offensive thing to say. Somebody is going to be offended by me saying that.

Everybody has something in themselves they feel is fragile, delicate, misunderstood, not heard, and we want that part of ourselves to be heard. We’re not relating to each other, we’re just all going, ‘I need to be heard now and I’m going to be offended until I’m heard’.

And if you cast that person in that role, ‘I’m not heard, therefore I’m offended, therefore that’s wrong, end of conversation’.

What’s happening to us?

It’s like we’re all functioning in the world as if it’s road rage and these are our cars and we’re behind the safety glass of Twitter and all that stuff. There are a lot of people who are hideously offensive out there and that needs to be addressed, but there’s a whole gamut of stuff and [people jump] on bandwagons and it’s really hard for all of us to know what to say or do.”— Guy Pearce to The Guardian, discussing the casting backlash of cis, straight actors in queer roles — Scarlett Johansson as a transman and Jack Whitehall as a gay man.