It’s called acting love

However, it is not Bomer’s incontestable conventional attractiveness that is setting off alarm bells. It is his off-screen gender and the consistent issue of cis performers playing people of trans experience in film.

Recent years have seen both Jared Leto and Eddie Redmanye win Oscars for their respective trans-woman roles in “The Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Danish Girl”. Chloë Sevigny, Felicity Huffman, Elle Fanning and other notable cis-gender actors have taken on parts that show trans people either during or mid transition. Almost all of these actors have collected praise from the mainstream press for doing so.

Lauding cis actors for delving into trans experiences has long been a Hollywood tradition. The frequency of those plaudits has only more regular more and more films take up the trans narrative at different angles.

And yet, even as more trans stories surface across all media, actual trans actors are often shut out of telling stories that are — in many senses — theirs to tell. It’s a trend that’s been a regular source of criticism and genuine concern.

Sigh.

Someone really needs to get across the point that this is all just pretending in front of the cameras.

34 comments on “It’s called acting love

  1. They seem to think that a transvestite who is not an actor can play a transvestite better than a proper actor can. Which is bollocks, of course. Whenever you see a film where they’ve used a non-actor in a role he is usually appallingly bad, even when he’s playing at doing his day-job. There are some exceptions – R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket is one – but usually you’re better off having a bad actor than a non-actor.

  2. What really annoys me is the misuse of chemical bonding terminology. It is to do with stereoisomerism not gender in humans!

  3. Personally I would be happy to agree with her/him/it for trans roles to be played by trans actors only, provided by equivalent logic and equitable treatment the same trans actors are not cast in non-trans roles.

    He/she/it also needs to extend the prohibition and restriction to the right types or sub-groups of trans (I believe the number of these different groups is expanding almost monthly these days).

    So no actors whose lifestyle outside acting is mere cross dressing playing actual surgically-altered trans gender persons and vice versa for example.

    In any case I’m unlikely to pay to see a film whose main subject matter is the lifestyle of a fvcking trannie of any type. It’s very much a minority sport, even on the pornotubes.

  4. Fuck me, when I starred in Murder in the Cathedral they should have hired a medieval knight instead.

  5. OK, so someone born as a male can ‘identify’ as a female. But an actor can’t ‘identify’ as either, or both?

    I’m confused. Which ones are acting?

  6. > However, it is not Matt Bomer’s incontestable conventional attractiveness that is setting off alarm bells.

    His attractiveness should be setting off alarm bells. No real trans-* person is that good-looking.

    Insofar as Salon’s raison d’être is to make money from readers’ eyeballs, it’s doing a sterling job. This headline is pure clickbait for the SJWs.

  7. I thought gender was supposed to be a social construct. What happened to that?

    My mistake — I see that I am as yet ungoodthinkful.

  8. “There are some exceptions – R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket is one – but usually you’re better off having a bad actor than a non-actor.”

    Yup. One of the problems is that there’s very few people who can act well in the first place. Most people can’t act well enough for a leading role, so, the number in a disabled minority is even harder. Then they’ve got to be a certain age, look etc. Much easier to find an actor who looks the right way and have him learn how to act disabled.

    There’s a few cases of people jumping from “technical advisor” in movies to acting in them like Ermey. They know the stuff, offer themselves for a screen test and pass. The federal agent in Goodfellas was similar.

  9. You’ll be heartened to hear that my company has put in place a gender transition policy. Nice to know they’ve got their priorities right.

  10. Yup. One of the problems is that there’s very few people who can act well in the first place. Most people can’t act well enough for a leading role, so, the number in a disabled minority is even harder.

    Exactly.

    There’s a few cases of people jumping from “technical advisor” in movies to acting in them like Ermey. They know the stuff, offer themselves for a screen test and pass. The federal agent in Goodfellas was similar.

    I think Ermey worked because watching a USMC drill instructor at work was fascinating to most civilians (and still is, IMO). I’m not sure how much he deviated from what he would have said and done around real recruits, but I suspect not much, particularly with his one-liners.

    Contrast this with a film I caught some time back, a military number played by real US Navy Seals. It was fucking awful, even though real soldiers loved it. Apparently it was very realistic, which I’m sure it was, but it made for awful viewing: it looked like a bunch of people who’d never acted before wandering around on a screen speaking woodenly to one another. Which it was, of course.

  11. What really annoys me is the misuse of chemical bonding terminology…

    I demand that the Cispadane and Cisalpine Republics retrospectively change their names.

  12. Someone really needs to get across the point that this is all just pretending in front of the cameras.

    This is about people without real careers writing articles about issues that don’t actually exist for the entertainment of people without real lives.

    Pointing out Hollywood and movies are all make-believe would be met with incomprehension.

  13. So only gimps can play Dick 3, hookers play prostitutes and actual murderers play serial killers? It’s a bit of a can of worms, isn’t it?

  14. …Bomer’s incontestable conventional attractiveness…

    WTF? “Conventional attractiveness”? The guy’s a walking wet dream.

  15. Correction:…

    However, it is not Bomer’s incontestable conventional attractiveness that is setting off alarm bells. It is his off-screen sexual orientation and the consistent issue of Gay performers playing people of heterosexual experience in film.

    That’s better.

  16. This shouldn’t just apply to sexual preferences; let’s have doctor and lawyer characters only played by actors with the appropriate professional qualification. And I want the role of the tax accountant if there’s another remake of the Producers.

  17. It’s a disappointing near-miss that they almost had a trannie played by a man called Boner.

  18. I’m a great believer in method acting. And in ripping the bollocks off of luvvies so they can more faithfully pursue their art, even more so. Doing so live on camera would be complete perfection.
    Problem sorted?

  19. In fairness, no T person is going to play James Bond or Heathcliffe anytime soon, no matter how good an actor they are.

  20. So only gimps can play Dick 3, hookers play prostitutes and actual murderers play serial killers? It’s a bit of a can of worms, isn’t it?

    There is a persistent rumour in Fortean type circles that the actor* who played the Vampire in Nosferatau was a real undead blood drinker. Certainly he seems to have been a bit mysterious.

    *Can’t remember the man’s name off hand.

  21. Actors have been portraying characters with other forms of hideously debilitating mental illness for ages without having to actually be mentally ill. Why is this any different?

  22. “There is a persistent rumour in Fortean type circles that the actor* who played the Vampire in Nosferatau was a real undead blood drinker. Certainly he seems to have been a bit mysterious.”

    There’s a pretty good vampire movie, Shadow of the Vampire, based on the idea that this is the case, with an excellent performance by Willem Dafoe.

  23. How long before enough people know that cis-gender means “normal,” and is therefore banned?

  24. Let’s do this – only transgender actors are allowed to play transgender roles.

    Insufficent competition for transgender roles will soon result in really bad transgender actors performing in really bad films.

    They will of course sweep the Oscars, for a “brave” portayal.

    But the entire viewing public (apart from committed virtue-signallers) will say “SHITE” and stay away.

    Bankrupting the transgender film industry.

    At which point we can go back to being sensible.

    Let’s get it over with.

    P.S – Women on boards? Same thing. Anyone using Yahoo yet?

  25. Richard: And I want the role of the tax accountant if there’s another remake of the Producers.

    Sorry, that role’s already been bagsied by Ely Comedies for their only star!

  26. “Contrast this with a film I caught some time back, a military number played by real US Navy Seals. It was fucking awful, even though real soldiers loved it. Apparently it was very realistic, which I’m sure it was, but it made for awful viewing:”

    Age of valor? If so you’re right, great miniguns, awful acting…

  27. @BICR

    I think all actors are mentally ill anyway. Pretending to be someone else all the time? Playing dress up for a living?

    All symptoms of personality disorders

  28. All it is is blokes putting on a frock and mincing about a bit in front of a camera.

    As James Caan said about precious actors, “we’re not curing cancer.”

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