‘The Fleabag’ Actor Andrew Scott Talks The Dangers Of “Identity Casting”

Andrew Scott in the BBC’s 2018 "Hamlet" TV Special / Image via The BBC

Another actor is sharing his thoughts on the whole sexuality and acting conversation.

Andrew Scott, who’s most known for his work on British tv shows like Sherlock, the BBC sitcom The Fleabag, and the BBC Hamlet special, says that he wants to see more gay characters playing straight roles.

Scott made this statement while talking to the Huffington Post. To Scott, “identity casting” such as Marvel Studios announcing that it wants a gay male actor to lead an upcoming film, is the wrong way to go about things.

“People respond to good work, that’s what they want,” Andrew says. “They want an authorial voice, whether that’s a man or a woman who’s gay or straight or black or white or whatever it is, they just want someone to be authentic.

He also adds, “I think it’s dangerous territory to go down. Sometimes to think that we’re only allowed to play our own–not just our own sexuality, but our own nationality or identity–that we’re only allowed to… represent things that are within our experience. That’s not what audiences go to see.”

He then repeats what many actors have said before him, that the act of acting makes sexuality a moot point.

“When you go to see a play you’re thrilled that somebody is pretending to be somebody else, that’s the magic of it. Otherwise it’s just a form of well-shot reality television,” he stated.

He then added, “I think it’s very important we don’t talk in absolutes when it comes to casting. I think we have to look at every individual situation and make sure everyone gets the chance to play all the different parts.”

But it’s important to note that there’s a flaw in this mentality. While sexuality should be considered a moot point when it comes to acting, it very much isn’t. This is a reality that Scott acknowledges.

“There hasn’t been a particularly level playing field with regards to who gets to play what,” he says.

The real problem is that straight actors are allowed to play LGBTQ characters. Some, like Rami Malek, are even awarded for these roles. Meanwhile, LGBTQ actors are often told to stay hidden or risk hurting their careers. Many openly queer actors such as Ellen Page, Ezra Miller, Matt Dallas, and more have shared stories just like this.

The real issues is that one kind of actor is being shunned while the other is being celebrated for acting in an otherwise taboo existence.

While yes, more gay actors should be playing straight roles, that’s not the reality. So as Andrew Scott puts it, we need to level the “playing field with regards to who gets to play what.”

h/t: Huffington Post

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