The gay casting debate continues as many actors and people in the industry weigh in on what actors should play what roles.
It’s a Sin creator Russell T Davies previously spoke about his belief in authentic casting.
“I’m not being woke about this,” he told Radio Times. “But I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance. It’s about authenticity, the taste of 2020.
“You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair,” he continued. “You wouldn’t Black someone up. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places.”
But Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans disagrees… kinda.
“I’m not sure about that. Gay people have definitely missed out on gay roles, for sure. Russell spoke very powerfully, passionately, about this point. I get it, and I totally think that things do need to change,” Evans said to The Telegraph.
“But from my perspective, firstly, I wouldn’t have had a career if gay people played gay roles and straight people played straight roles. I’d have played two roles out of the 36 projects I’ve worked on, or whatever [the number] is.
“Talent and ability, and a bit of luck and timing… That should be the reason why you get a job. It shouldn’t have anything to do with anything else.”
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The Debate Heats Up
Jim Parsons, another actor who joined the debate in 2021, spoke to the LA Times about choosing the best actor for the role. Period.
“I think the fight, as it were, is not about having only gay people play the gay parts but to ensure that all parts are open to all actors,” he said. “It’s important that gay characters are portrayed as well-rounded and completely human individuals.
“There are plenty of straight actors who have played gay characters brilliantly,” he continued. “I think Brokeback Mountain is one of the most touching gay movies and love stories I have ever seen, and those two straight actors [Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal] were the best choices for those roles.”