There’s been chatter for years whether straight actors can play gay roles with the discussion picking up steam recently when British comedian Jack Whitehall was cast in a gay role for Disney's Jungle Cruise.
In this midst of this gay role hysteria, in which even out actress Ruby Rose was attacked by “fans” thinking she wasn’t gay enough for the role, a few actors have weighed in with their thoughts.
British actor Idris Elba shared his feelings on the controversy late last month saying:
“Artistic license is artistic license. If an actor has the attributes to do something, they should be able to do it,” Elba told TimeOut London via Attitude magazine. “They’re acting. You don’t necessarily have to be gay to play a gay character. Though you do have to be black to play a black character.”
Now, openly gay actor Nathan Sussex, who is most known for his role in the British soap opera Hollyoaks, is shares his thoughts with Gay Star News.
“At first I was a bit disappointed. I thought, 'Why are they casting a straight character in a gay role?'" he told GSN.” But then I had to look at myself. I’m a gay man playing heterosexual [characters]. I thought, ‘hang on, I can’t really join in this debate.’”
“At the end of the day, when people were saying “he’s an actor playing a part”, that’s exactly it – it doesn’t matter about your sexuality. It doesn’t dictate the roles we should play. It would be nice as a representation that a gay man could’ve played that role. But then, possibly lots of gay actors auditioned for that role – I don’t know.”
Everyone does have an answer to this debatable topic. Is there a right or wrong? Should it matter?