Cate Blanchett Will “Fight For the Death” For Straight Actors to Play Gay Roles

Many believe queer actors playing queer characters would be progress.

Some don’t feel this way. Like two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett. She has some pretty strong opinions on the matter.

As reported by THR reporting from the Rome Film Festival, Blanchett says she strongly believes actors don’t need a shared experience to play a role, and that straight actors should be allowed to play LGBTQ+ characters forever without any bad blood.

She added:

“It also speaks to something that I’m quite passionate about in storytelling generally, but in film specifically, which is that film can be quite a literal medium.”

“And I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience.”

“I think reality television and all that that entails had an extraordinary impact, a profound impact on the way we view the creation of character. I think it provides a lot of opportunity, but the downside of it is that we now, particularly in America, I think, we expect and only expect people to make a profound connection to a character when it’s close to their experience.”

Blanchett was nominated for an Oscar for playing a repressed lesbian in (the great movie) Carol (2015). Her character in this year’s boring-except-when-AnneHathaway-was-onscreen Ocean’s 8 was heavily implied to be a lesbian, though this was never confirmed.

The way Blanchett presents her argument seems logical enough until you look at the numbers. Openly gay actors struggle to even get cast in movies or TV, and straight people win awards for playing LGBTQ+ people all the time.

Do you agree with Blanchett’s remarks about the suspension of disbelief, or do you think she’s completely out of touch? Let us know in the comments.

h/t: THR

6 thoughts on “Cate Blanchett Will “Fight For the Death” For Straight Actors to Play Gay Roles”

  1. Nobody has played gay

    Nobody has played gay characters better than straight men who were chosen just because they were the better actors : Chris Sarandon as Leon in "Dog Day Afternoon" ; Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo in "The Maltese Falcon" ;  Michel Serrault as Albin in "La Cage Aux Folles" ;  William Hurt as Luis Molina in "Kiss Of the Spider Woman" ;  Robert Walker as Bruno Antony in "Strangers On A Train" …

  2. My main concern about the

    My main concern about the "representation" argument is that it can be used (very easily) to deny many of our best gay and lesbian actors the opportunity to play hetero-roles. Be careful what you ask for…..

  3. I would agree generally that

    I would agree generally that the best actor for a role should play that role. That said, there is always going to be a power dynamic that will deny gay men and women from telling their own stories in their own ways.

    We rightly have backlash to Caucasian actors playing non-Caucasian roles or changing scripts to feature Caucasian actors in what should have been a racial minority role. Gay roles played by straight actors though are still considered "courageous" instead of appropriation, and a promotion of being an ally. But being an actor ally is as much giving up personal opportunities to minority actors as it is in making sure these stories get told by taking the opportunity yourself.

    Cate Blanchett had an opportunity to turn down doing to role in Carol and advocate for a gay woman to do it and then promote and celebrate it. She took an ally role that would be most personally advantageous to her though. And now continues to advocate for non-gay actors to continue to play gay characters.

    This presumption of a majority to appropriate a minority's culture and stories should always be questioned to know the motivation behind it. Cate Blanchett is a straight woman in her late 40s who played a lesbian character in her early 30s. Where's being an ally? She misrepresented the character. The orientation of her portrayal doesn't come from an authentic place. Yes, every actor should go beyond their experience to best portray a role. But she used this role as a vehicle for herself as a movie star, not as an ally to tell an authentic story for the gay community. Shame on you Cate.

  4. I agree with Cate.  Gay

    I agree with Cate.  Gay actors have been playing straight for thousands of years!  If gay actors weren't allowed to play straight characters, there would be many more gay actors out of business then if a straight actor gets to play gay once in a while. 

    Besides, we are talking about ACTING.  Should only young boys who can actually fly be able to play Peter Pan?  Should only monstrously ugly serial killers be able to play the villain in Holloween?  What about vampires?  We better find the real vampires out there to play in all the vampire movies, because just a human actor won't do.  Acting is all about playing at being someone or something you are not.  Please!!

  5. I think Ms. Blanchett is

    I think Ms. Blanchett is absolutely right! A role should be cast with the person who can best play the part. It is called ACTING. Should the part go to a LGBTQ+ person simply because they DON'T have to act that part of the character? Even if they completely suck at it? I've seen many gay themed movies over the years. Most often, they are so-so storylines with BAD actors. Is an astronaut hired to play an astronaut? An assassin to play an assassin? ACTING.

    • Well said. Actors portray

      Well said. Actors portray people other than themselves. If youre good enough, you can get any role. You may have to stay in closet, but many make that choice for work. Just because youre gay forsnt mean you lose your right to personal choice. 

       

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