Richard Madden is weighing in on the debate over straight actors should play gay roles.
The Scottish actor, who may or may not (probably not) be dating Sam Smith‘s ex, was recently asked by Weekend magazine about the controversy surrounding straight actor Taron Egerton playing Elton John in the upcoming Rocketman biopic.
Related: Suddenly Sam Smith’s thirsty selfies make sense amid rumors his ex is dating a famous straight guy
“It’s a really terrible route to go down if we start restricting people’s casting based on their personal lives,” 32-year-old Madden said, adding that he believes Hollywood still has work to do when it comes to representation.
“We have to focus more on diversity and having everyone represented,” Madden, who plays Elton John’s music manager John Reid in the film, added, “but also I’m a firm believer in the best actor for the role.”
Related: Richard Madden talks dropping trou and baring all on camera
Egerton, who identifies as straight, faced backlash when it was first announced he would play the legendary musician, who came out as bisexual in 1976 and gay in 1988, in the film.
In response to the initial criticism, the actor said, “I’ve approached it wholeheartedly and I hope that for that reason people accept me [as Elton].”
“The LGBTQ community has always been about inclusiveness, hasn’t it?” he added. “Not about, ‘We’re here. You’re there.’ In fact, if you want to come in, come on in.”
Rocketman will be released in U.S. theaters on May 31.
It’s pretty simple, and I say this as a gay man. If gay roles are off-limits to straight actors, then the reverse has to be the same: a gay actor can’t play a straight role.
Can’t you see that’s the problem!? The last is already true, then so should be the first. Gay actors are never offered straight roles, so they should get the “gay ones”. It’s only fair!
That’s not how correcting oppression. works. You don’t see black, or Asian, or Latino actors restricted from playing roles written for white characters, but there ARE restrictions on white actors playing roles written for people of color. That’s what representation is all about. The fact that people – especially gay people – can’t easily apply the same logic to roles for gay actors only goes to prove that sexual identity still isn’t regarded with the respect it merits by society at large.
“You don’t see black, or Asian, or Latino actors restricted from playing roles written for white characters”… Alton, what kind of shows are you watching!?!? I don’t see back or latino (which, by the way, isn’t a skin color), playing roles written for white characters. The same way we don’t see gay actors playing straight roles… There are maybe 2 gay actors playing straight right now, but that’s only because they were already famous or were already playing the role before publicly coming out.
Straight actors are offered and can play both, while gay actors are never offered the straight roles and the gay ones are being taken by self-centered straight actors who use this BS excuse.
It’s not an ideal solution, but while the old bigots of the industry don’t retire or die of age, it’s the best we can do.
Here it is, the same article Queerty runs once a month so we can have the exact same discussion we had last time.
I posted my comment right before I read this. Exactly!
Queerty has run this article about 6 times before.
Here’s a thought, wait until a straight actor ACTUALLY LOSES A ROLE because they’re straight before re-running the hollywood P.R. cut and pastes.
Thats what’s irritating. You think anyone should be able to play any role? That’s fine. But you don’t want to talk about the industry’s homophobia, internalized homophobia, straight/hetero-leaning worship and pressures to stay closeted. All these actors keep repeating the same basic, pc crap. It’s getting old.
What next? Only serial killers can play serial killers? It is stupid. Acting is pretending to be someone you’re not, and only the best actors carry it off regularly. Anyone saying Rock Hudson shouldn’t have had the career he had, or Anthony Hopkins didn’t deserve his Oscar as he’s not a cannibal in real life? I’m with Mr Madden, best actor for the job gets it.
I’ve rarely seen someone say that non gay actors shouldn’t play gay. The biggest complaints seem to be that openly gay actors never get cast in the few high profile gay film roles that come along every year, that they can’t get consistent work playing straight, that Hollywood has a decent amount of homophobia and internalized homophobia, and that there’s a lot of general pressure on homosexual/homo-leaning/homoromantic/non hetero-leaning actors to stay closeted. It’s quite a bit more of a complex issue than most of these non gay actors are willing to talk about. And most of these actors keep simplifying the complaints so they can give these very placating answers.
There was an independent play, I can’t remember the name of it, but one of the characters was a “Charles Nelson Reilly” type. There was a straight man who did a much better job of it than I did, and he got the part. I wasn’t upset. I was quite impressed. Everyone ended up loving the show. It’s called: acting!
Some actors are being denied roles as serial killers or rapist because they haven’t murdered anybody in real life. I know an actor denied a role as a doctor and he doesn’t know which end of a scalpel to hold.
We should push for diversity and equality eliminating the need for this sort of thing, but it already happens to LGBTQ people which is why it’s a problem. I am getting really tired of people have Straight actors weigh in on a issue that clearly doesn’t affect them. They certainly don’t have problems winning awards for it. It’s always been that way. They need to be quiet and people need to stop asking them this question.
It’s like asking white people, Do you think the negro should have the same rights as you? WTF would you being asking them?
Rather than whether gay man get gay roles and so on, I am much more interested in diversity of assumptions. By that I mean:
1.if a character’s race or sexuality or demeanor is not specified in a script, the default is almost always straight white. Or:
2. If they are antagonists they are almost always defined by race, gender, orientation (the crazed gay or trans serial killer, the black or Muslim thug and so on.
With heroes, how often does a person of color get the role unless it is specifically indicated? How often, when a character’s sexuality is not indicated does a person “play it gay,” (as a decent actor can indicate sexuality without playing to stereotype).
That is more indicative of the assumptions of Hollywood. It is changing, but slowly.
Hi, Taron! You’re absolutely welcome to come on in. Just as long as you’re willing to take on all the baggage that comes with being gay – the insults, the threats, the constant questioning of what behavior is “safe” in every given circumstance, the reality that you have no real protection from workplace harassment or housing discrimination under U.S. law, the myriad ways society lets you know on a daily basis that you’re not “normal” – while you’re accepting your OSCAR for your “bravery” in playing an out gay man. Or, you can keep your mouth shut, stay in the closet, and stop taking roles away from TRULY brave, out gay actors.
You’re assuming that Mr. Egerton hasn’t already received insults, threats, etc. by accepting the role of Elton John. You also assume Egerton is gay. A lot of assuming/judging going on. He is an actor who makes his living impersonating real/unreal people. If Egerton is as good an actor in this role as many people have said, he may deserve an Oscar. It’s an award given to the best performance of a role in a movie. Actors, gay and straight, play roles.
one more thing
Nice photo of Mr. Sexy eyes!
Gay or straight, who cares if there good actors
Hollywood, which is why they don’t cast LGBT actors.
Comments are closed.