Gay-acting roles for straights?

  • chaotic1

    Posts: 93

    Feb 14, 2012 2:00 PM GMT
    So I recently got into watching the show Glee. It's a fun show, and I quickly develop a little bit of a crush on "Blaine" (actor Darren Criss).

    While I was online choosing china patterns for our wedding (okay, maybe "little crush" was a bit of an understatement), I discovered that the actor himself is straight.

    I'm all for gay friendly straight guys taking on gay roles. But I'm a little distressed by the fact they have an actual gay playing the role of the effiminate, stereotypical gay; while they had to hire a straight guy to play the non-stereotypical, masculine gay.

    It gets worse when you learn that the goodlooking, gay villain of the series (Sebastian) is in fact a straight actor as well.

    If you want camp gay, go with a gay; if you want good-looking, confident masculine gay, go with a straight?

    That's a pretty sad state of affairs in my mind.

    Your thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 2:16 PM GMT
    Umm, I like my actors cause they're able to act! You know Sean Hayes/Jack from "Will & Grace" never said if he was straight or gay during the duration of show?

    Here are some of his own quotes on from IMdb.com:

    "When I came out of my mom's womb, I had 'sitcom' stamped on my forehead."

    "Being an actor, the less people know about my personal life, the more open-minded they can be about each role I play."

    "When you see me play Jack, I want you to believe that that's a gay character. After "Will & Grace" (199icon_cool.gif is over, when I play a straight character, I want you to believe that, too." - Etcetera interview

    "If you see a movie and I'm in it, and the first thing you think of is who I'm sleeping with, then you're not watching the performance; you're watching the personality."

    "Really? You're gonna shoot the gay guy down? I never have had a problem saying who I am. I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never." [In The Advocate Magazine, responding to what he saw as negative prior coverage from The Advocate]


    If a straight person is comfortable playing a gay role, maybe they'll be comfortable supporting other gay issues; who knows? And what of gays, are all the gay men in Hollywood to stay closeted forever so they can play straight roles; cause it does the straight population some "righteous" justice to know they're being played by one of their own? That's a little short sighted and narrow. I'd much rather not even know the sexuality of my favorite actors; half the time. It doesn't affect the quality of their work any better or worse.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 2:16 PM GMT
    Seems about right. People keep calling me crazy when I say this, but I think society has developed this image as the "real" gay person as the femme type of gays and upon them placed the stereotype and the negative affirmations. The masculine gay, behaviorally (except for sex) similar to straight men is much easier to accept and a straight person can mimic that behavior much easier because of the way masculine gays tend to intentionally or unintentionally conform to the "straight acting" image.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 2:36 PM GMT
    "Gay" roles are the new "retarded" roles in acting.

    The thing a super serious actor does to get them recognition.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 2:44 PM GMT
    I was a bit conflicted about Will & Grace, especially the Jack role (Jack! 2000!). Will was fairly neutral sexually, but had this co-dependency thing going with Grace. But it was just a TV sitcom, a farce played bigger than life. After all, could a person like Karen really exist?

    Let's also not forget gay Leslie Jordan (whom I've met, charming man), who played Karen's bitchy, but sexually ambiguous nemesis. He was uber stereotypically gay, however, when he played Brother Boy in Sordid Lives.

    Getting back to W&G, how about when Hollywood Alpha Male Michael Douglas played the creepy gay detective? The one who did a laptop scam to try to hook up with Will? That was funny on several levels, precisely because the audience already identified Douglas with his many macho roles, here playing a closeted gay who resorted to deception to meet other men.

    So I dunno. Do you also have only Italians playing Italians, Germans Germans, and so forth? At the same time, I think of the awful 1950 US Westerns, when almost anybody tried to pretend to be a Native American, usually with comically disastrous results.

    I suppose the bottom line is does the actor make you believe they are who they are supposed to be. As far as I know, all 3 actors in the iconic movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert are straight, and I found it fairly convincing (especially Guy Pierce).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 3:42 PM GMT
    Larkin said"Gay" roles are the new "retarded" roles in acting.


    +1

    There are just no smartly developed gay characters in regular movies or series.
    And I didnt give it a thought until you brought it up that they need to hire a straight actor to play a hot gay staight acting guy.
    I think producers dont know about RJ, otherwise they would fill their cast with RJ members since 99.99% of the guys in here are hot, from that 99.99% 90% are really masculine gay guys and 55% of the guys of that 90% actually have some brains lol. icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 4:08 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidI was a bit conflicted about Will & Grace, especially the Jack role (Jack! 2000!). Will was fairly neutral sexually, but had this co-dependency thing going with Grace. But it was just a TV sitcom, a farce played bigger than life. After all, could a person like Karen really exist?


    i got a few friends i could introduce you too, one has such a high normal blood alcohol level that when she doesn't drink he gets sick
  • Circus_Kid

    Posts: 19

    Feb 14, 2012 4:58 PM GMT
    I thought that the actors in "Milk" all did a really good job! Many of those roles were played by straight actors. It's a bit different from a television series, I guess but James Franco and Emile Hirsch were awesome! If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    I didnt read the comments on this thread.

    I enjoy actors who can act. I do not care if an actor is straight or gay. Gay actors play straight roles all the time. Look at Niel Patrick Harris, he is a gay guy who plays a womanizer on a show.

    Yea, orientation doesnt make a difference for an actor.
  • ineedausernam...

    Posts: 118

    Feb 14, 2012 6:26 PM GMT
    Blaine's not exactly masculine himself. When you think "super macho straight guy" do you really think of a guy like Blaine walking around in suspenders and colorful, rolled up chinos?

    Kurt, while, yes, effeminate, has almost always been portrayed as a confident, bold character who never shies away from being his true self and while I don't always identify with him, a lot of gay men do so I don't think his role does the lgbt community a disservice.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Feb 14, 2012 8:37 PM GMT
    Yeah I think your observations are along the lines of what I was thinking too. Although to me it seems to be whenever the gay role is supposed to be sexually attractive, they cast a straight guy to play it. I find that to be a little offensive but I can't say it's surprising given how we idealize masculinity and "straight acting." I mean what could be more tantalizing than a REAL straight guy playing a gay one? icon_rolleyes.gif

    I think there's also a cheap marketing aspect to it too. Like the comment "playing gay is the new retard," having straight guys play gay just makes for more stupid teenage banter when you can ask some straight guy what it was like making out with a guy.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 14, 2012 9:13 PM GMT
    chaotic1 saidSo I recently got into watching the show Glee. It's a fun show, and I quickly develop a little bit of a crush on "Blaine" (actor Darren Criss).

    While I was online choosing china patterns for our wedding (okay, maybe "little crush" was a bit of an understatement), I discovered that the actor himself is straight.

    I'm all for gay friendly straight guys taking on gay roles. But I'm a little distressed by the fact they have an actual gay playing the role of the effiminate, stereotypical gay; while they had to hire a straight guy to play the non-stereotypical, masculine gay.

    It gets worse when you learn that the goodlooking, gay villain of the series (Sebastian) is in fact a straight actor as well.

    If you want camp gay, go with a gay; if you want good-looking, confident masculine gay, go with a straight?

    That's a pretty sad state of affairs in my mind.

    Your thoughts?


    I also don't think the Actor playing Kurt is stretching his acting chops too much... He's alot closer to that personality type than to a "macho" role.
  • chaotic1

    Posts: 93

    Feb 15, 2012 3:44 AM GMT
    I'm glad someone brought up the movie "Milk."

    I thought the acting in that was very good, and that was one of those times where having straight actors play gay roles came across as supportive of the LGBT community (even if it was just a good career move on the actor's part).

    I think the big difference between Milk and shows like Glee is that Glee is obviously trying to introduce not just gays, but gay sexuality; and actual gays aren't good enought to make the cut.

    It's a little insulting.

    Looking at recent pop culture, the theme repeats itself numerous times:

    Dawson's Creek had "Jack" (played by Kerr Smith - a good looking actor who in an interview said gays made him "uncomfortable")

    The Hard Times of RJ Berger had "Max" (played by hunky straight actor Jayson Blair)

    Queer as Folk had super-hyper sexualized "Brian" (played by straight actor Gale Harold).

    I'm sure there are numerous other examples, but these are the ones that readily spring to my mind.