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Gay roles for gay actors

Apocryphal maybe, but Olivier's apparent view on the general subject of acting vs the 'lived experience'

As legend has it, Olivier (a classically trained stage actor) and Hoffman had the following exchange during the shoot of Marathon Man.

“How did your week go, dear boy,” Olivier said.

Hoffman told him that he had filmed a scene in which his character was supposed to have been up for three days straight.

“So what did you do?” Olivier asked.

“Well, I stayed up for three days and three nights.”

Laurence Olivier then uttered this famous line, “Why don’t you just try acting?”

Did Hoffman reply by enquiring about acting and asking "Is it safe?"


Book Reviewer
You make the point using Jon very well. In this day & age your average bod really don't give a flying fcuk at a rolling dohnut which way you swing. I have worked with many straight & gay people over my police career & there were good cops & utter tubes amongst them all.

I would as that the majority of gay people I know just want to get on with their lives & have naff all interest in gay pride or who plays what character on TV.

Like most all they want is what the Aussies call a "fair go"
Two friends mine are fully immersed in theatre land - one was responsible for bringing Kinky Boots to the Astoria, the other is quite a famous script-writer.

In some people's eyes, they probably fulfil every stereotype. Yet in many respects they're among the most conventional of couples I know (and certainly among the better-balanced); just two people in a committed long-term relationship, missing each other like hell because of lockdown because they don't cohabit and so on.

So, stereotypes be damned.

Identity politics really is about the most ugly thing I can think of.
Is this going to stop gay actors/actresses playing straight roles, then? That's going to be very difficult for some - and not just those who remain in the closet (can I say that in 2021?).



Donkey's years back Maureen Lipman did a series of plays each episode she played a different main character. Some of the reviews praised her for making each one so convincing.

Either she or one of her fellow thespians pointed out that that was what acting was all about. In fact it's how she makes a living.
The next LOTR project is going to be tricky WTF are we going to get real Elves, Hobbits, Dwarves and Goblins...
Extend that to Dr Who; Daleks, Cybermen etc. What about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends.

All very well saying 'use a voice actor’ but presumably the voice actors would have to be drawn from out of work daleks or tank engines etc for real authenticity...


Russell T Davies came to fame as director of 'Queer as Folk' for Channel 4 in 1999.

The three main protagonists in the show are all straight...

E2A The actors who play the three main protagonists. The protagonists in the show are absolute benders...
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It's the only way to ensure authenticity, apparently.

Is this going to stop gay actors/actresses playing straight roles, then? That's going to be very difficult for some - and not just those who remain in the closet (can I say that in 2021?).

I mean, I wouldn't want to suggest prejudice from minority elements; such as the fall-off in audience support for Will and Grace when it was revealed that Eric McCormack, a straight, was playing Will. Equally, I was appalled when people turned their backs on Ellen DeGeneres's chat show when it was revealed that she is - who'd have guessed - a lesbian.

(We won't mention the zone of silence which descended chez Cold_Collation when he suggested to his partner that her new short hair was a little Clare Balding... I digress.)

Ultimately, the only person allowed to play anyone in a film which is based on factual events is going to be the person themselves. That would have knackered Robert Hardy for his many portrayals of Churchill (and Gary Oldman, for that matter).

We'd better start digging up some bones and applying some very high voltages.

Or is this all - gasp - just nonsense?

Capital idea.

I propose writing jobs be given to writers who are good at their craft, and not to ones whose motto appears to be "mediocrity in everything".


So, if gay actors don't land gay roles, they're being discriminated against, and if they do get them, they're being stereotyped because of their sexuality.:rolleyes:

Now you've got it!

The victim culture is a win-win, every time. Where white is white, black is black, white is black and black is white - all simultaneously but only displayed one at a time. And as soon as the oppressor starts moving in towards that direction - switch! Keeps them from getting complacent. Remember - they are forever tainted with whatever original sin we accuse them of, so they can never ever get satisfaction for achieving the ephemeral objective we hint at.

Even better if there is some money in it as well . . .
I haven't watched EastEnders for decades. But, I remember serial womanizer, David Wicks. Played by gay actor Michael French. I don't know if he is still in or not. But if the character returns, shouldn't a straight actor take over the part.

His on-screen mother, Pat, was also with different men at different times. Played by lesbian Pam St Clement.


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