in + out

Is Brideshead Revisited Ben Whishaw Intentionally Confusing the Press About His Sexuality?

Whether actors like Glee‘s Chris Colfer or Ugly Betty‘s Michael Urie want to play coy about their sexuality is one thing. But what about an actor that, depending on which magazine you read, is sometimes straight and sometimes gay? Meet Brideshead Revisited‘s Ben Whishaw.

In a New York magazine piece titled “Dancy and Whishaw, Heterosexual British Actors, Sometimes Hug,” interviewer Mike Vilensky’s first question reads, “You’re both straight. Did you have any hesitations about taking explicit gay roles?” Whishaw doesn’t correct him, notes Michael Musto. (In the online version, the article is titled “Role Play: Dancy and Whishaw, stars of gay play The Pride, sometimes hug.” And the first question has been changed to “Did you have any hesitations about taking explicit gay roles?”)

But in Out magazine, editor Aaron Hicklin tells Musto the actor “essentially outs himself.” Well, that might be a stretch, but in that piece, Whishaw says, about taking gay roles, “It’s intriguing to me that these parts come along. Of course the choices you make express something about you to the world, and of course the work I do is all about me, but rather than me standing up and making statements about myself and things, I’d prefer to let the work do the speaking.”

Then again, Out‘s own online version of the article is subtitled, “The British actor may swing both ways in his latest show, The Pride, but he reveals that when it comes to his personal life, he is not a man of labels.”

Including the label “gay,” right?

BELOW: Whishaw in an interview about Brideshead:

(Photo: Whishaw in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)

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  • holla

    I just read the article in OUT yesterday and found it all confusing. Some of that was due to unclear writing. But they also seemed to make a big deal about this issue of his identity without really exploring it in any depth. I am still not sure what the fuck is going on, and why the article was written at all.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Ben should eat something! People will gossip…

  • Cam

    Ugh, that old line of “I don’t want to be labeled” should be retired along with glitter jumpsuits and bell bottoms.

  • terrwill

    Ben: You need to put SOMETHING in your mouth!! : P

  • Sam

    @No. 3: Those who prefer not to be labeled might say the same thing about your attitude.

  • schlukitz

    I watched the entire 11 Episodes of Brideshead Revisited aired on PBS and I think Ben Wishaw (and Alouicious) are cute. ;P

    There is, incidentally, a new British production (2008) of Brideshead Revisited which I have not yet seen.

  • B Damion

    Well gay or not..he did an oscar worthy job of queening out with this role on Brideshead.

  • Jay

    You left out the key quote from OUT:

    “Asked if he thinks it’s important for young gay people to have positive role models, his ambivalence vanishes. “I really agree with that, and I feel in my heart that it’s important, but I don’t quite know yet the way to go about that. Maybe that’s the transitional thing I feel I’m in the middle of at the moment. It’s something I think about, but it’s important for me to do it at the time that’s right for me. And I’m not there yet.”

  • MissGluteusMaximus

    Child, what’s wrong with his hair?

  • jason

    Maybe the problem is Michael Musto. I don’t like the way he writes on gay issues.

  • Toni

    He sounds really confused and probably a bit of a people pleaser in this case lets please the Gay people!…
    There is of course the pressure on a young actor to conform it would be rather odd to have two straight actors playing Gay/Bi roles in a play such as this (particularly in Greenwich Village) hence that’s probable why they retracted the original statement on the other article about both actors being straight not going to sell many tickets to New York Queens with that info….
    My guess is he is still young and confused he needs time he is probably Bi-sexual…

    What he needs is a real women probably older to get hold of of him and show him what good sex is…
    I bet if Madonna wanted him he’d suddenly be straight like most Gay men I know!!!…

  • alan brickman

    Of course he’s not “gay, he has a movie career to think about….

  • alan brickman

    Michael does think everybody should be gay…

  • onCloud9

    is he gay?

  • OhYeah

    cut or uncut?

  • HettyW

    @schlukitz: You mean Anthony Andrews. Ben Whishaw is in the 2008 film.

  • schlukitz

    No. 16 · HettyW

    Oops. You’re absolutely right. I got them reversed.

    Thanks for correcting me.

  • Whoddafunk?

    @MissGluteusMaximus: There’s nothing wrong with his hair!

  • Claude

    @schlukitz: Ben Whishaw was not in the original miniseries aired on PBS; Sebastian was played by Anthony Andrews. Whishaw was in the 2008 remake movie.

Comments are closed.