There is ongoing debate and discussion within the entertainment industry and LGBTQ+ community about whether only gay actors should play gay characters. While some people argue that only actors who identify as LGBTQ+ should be cast in LGBTQ+ roles, others believe that an actor’s sexual orientation should not be a determining factor in casting decisions.
Ultimately, the decision about who to cast in a particular role is up to the director and producers of a project. However, it’s important to consider the impact that casting decisions can have on representation and visibility for LGBTQ+ people in the entertainment industry. If LGBTQ+ actors are consistently passed over for LGBTQ+ roles, it can perpetuate the idea that LGBTQ+ people are not capable of playing a wide range of characters or that their experiences are not valuable.
Which straight actors have played gay parts?
There are many straight actors who have played LGBTQ+ characters in films, television shows, and theatre productions. Here are some examples:
- Tom Hanks – “Philadelphia” (1993)
- Heath Ledger – “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
- Jake Gyllenhaal – “Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
- Sean Penn – “Milk” (2008)
- Colin Firth – “A Single Man” (2009)
- James Franco – “Howl” (2010)
- Eddie Redmayne – “The Danish Girl” (2015)
- Andrew Garfield – “Angels in America” (2017)
- Timothee Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name” (2017)
- Lucas Hedges – “Boy Erased” (2018)
It is worth noting that the casting of straight actors to play gay characters has been a topic of debate in recent years, with some arguing that it is important to provide more opportunities for LGBTQ actors to tell their own stories.
Have your say…
Ultimately, the goal should be to create more opportunities for LGBTQ+ actors to play a diverse range of characters, including LGBTQ+ characters, while also ensuring that LGBTQ+ representation is portrayed in a respectful and accurate way.