Playing Gay

I was so happy that Sean Penn called on his audience last night to stop the hate against gay people.  When gay and lesbian actors can play straight characters the way straight actors play teh gays, we’ll know that Hollywood heard the message.

As in this article about how an actor I love, Rupert Everett, seems to have blown his chances of playing a male romantic lead in a straight relationship by coming out.  From NYT:

rupert-everett1Everett knows what he likes and what he doesn’t, and he never hesitates to say so. He is best known to American moviegoers as Julia Roberts’s gay best friend in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (1997), beloved by women for his Cary Grant charm, sage advice and diehard loyalty, not to mention his moves on the dance floor. Off screen, when he came out as gay in 1989, he essentially ruined his chances for leading-man stardom in Hollywood. (He has written that he was turned down to play opposite Sharon Stone in the sequel to “Basic Instinct” after an MGM executive told his agent that “to all intents and purposes, a homosexual was a pervert in the eyes of America.”) You might think times have changed in Hollywood, based on Sean Penn’s recent acceptance speech at the SAG Awards for playing the gay activist Harvey Milk. “As actors we don’t play gay, straight . . . , we play human beings,” he said. That may be true if you’ve been married to Madonna in real life. But if you were Madonna’s gay best friend in real life (and on screen in “The Next Best Thing”), you don’t play “human beings.” You play gay.   [more]

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