Skip to content

Well, here’s that acid test then

Tom Hanks: Audiences no longer accept straight actors in gay roles
Hollywood star, who won an Academy Award for his performance in Philadelphia, says ‘inauthenticity’ makes such casting impossible today

Is it also true that gay actors should not take straight roles?

If not, why not?

26 thoughts on “Well, here’s that acid test then”

  1. Nothing to do with “authenticity”, and I doubt if Hanks has even thought about what the word means. It’s more to do with avoiding the social media pile-on which some gays would be happy to orchestrate, in defence of the specialness of their identity.

    It would probably be claimed that gays can convincingly portray straights because they are used to hiding who they are because of homophobia. But straights can’t imagine how special it is to mess with another blokes anus.

  2. What Sam Vara said. And Hanks isn’t dumb, he knows this.

    Maybe it’s time ‘acting’ was considered a skill again, rather than portraying what you are in roles on screen?

  3. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Did anyone find Tom Hanks portrayal in Philadelphia “inauthentic”?

    No, but it was a bit cheesy.

    Ba dum, tish!

  4. Well in that case, the logic implies that the only authentic acting role that Mr Hanks is suited for is a biopic about Tom Hanks. Absolutely everything else is outside his authentic experience.

  5. These new rules are, of course, entirely non-reciprocal; thus we can have Africans or Asians playing the Queen of England but it’s unleash the dogs of war if a European were to play Queen Zenobia…

  6. What is “authentic” about a gay? There’s a married gay couple live over the road from me if you didn’t know they were gay you wouldn’t know they were gay, if you know what I mean. Not all gays act like Mr Humphries.

  7. @ Arthur Dent Mr Hanks is suited for is a biopic about Tom Hanks

    Nope. He is too old for most of the material. In our perfect world you can’t have an a 65 year old actor playing a younger person: it’s just not authentic. That said a black trans actor would probably be deemed OK.

  8. KevinS,

    There were a couple of gay men living across the road from me. One was so immaculately turned out that I guessed, but I’d have never have guessed his partner was.

    You even have this with actors. Charles Hawtrey was obvious gay, but Neil Patrick Harris isn’t (and played a pussy hound for years in How I Met Your Mother).

  9. I don’t want to see any actor portray a homosexual character unless I know for a fact that he is into the Pet Shop Boys and/or chemsex manlove.

  10. Great actors have range. If anything audiences appreciate such roles add to the difficulty of the performance and its more impressive when they pull it off viz michael douglas as liberace.I’m pretty sure i only watched it to the end because i was having trouble believing it was basic instinct and fatal attraction guy.

  11. “But straights can’t imagine how special it is to mess with another blokes anus.”

    There’s a serious point here. I mean, who the fuck would want to, when instead you could play the role that gets the hot chick.

  12. Ben Kingsley played Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List. The real Stern’s wife even held his hand and walked with him in the last scene of the movie. That’s how ridiculous Tom’s statement is. And that was someone playing a real person who endured the Holocaust, not a fictional character.

    Maybe no one should make any movies about AIDS patients anymore, because it seldom progresses past HIV nowadays. Will be hard to find even an LGBTQ actor who can fit the criteria.

  13. Some other things Tom Hanks is not:

    – A 13-year-old boy who made a wish and temporarily became an adult

    – A bus driver about to get married

    – A retarded war hero/shrimp boat captain from Alabama

    – A dead WWII army captain

    – A Louisiana death row correctional officer in 1935

    – A FedEx employee who spent 4 years alone on an island

    – A foreigner stranded in an airport terminal

    – A CGI train conductor

    – Walt Disney

    – Mister Rogers

    It’s almost like…he was acting like all of those things this whole time. 😮

  14. BoM4

    Neil Partick Thistle is so obviously gay. The only reason I ever watched How I Met your Mother was for Colby Smulders and Allison, Buffy’s mate. Barney was the least credible character possible. I use to watch him and think “Come on mate at least put a bit of effort into it.”
    Same goes for Frasier’s brother.

  15. The character dies at the end.

    So, obviously there’ll be a certain amount of work coming up for dead actors, in terms of their lived authenticity.

    I’ve heard Alec Guinness is available.

  16. Bloke in The Wash

    @Hallowed Be, PF

    Clint might not have played Liberace, but he the wrote the score for Mystic River (which he also directed).

  17. Chcjfjfjf: you missed:

    – an assassin being chased by his mafia boss

    – an airline pilot losing both engines at low altitude

    – a Fed chasing a counterfeiter

    Just adds to his range doesn’t it

  18. – Women’s league baseball coach

    – Astronaut

    – Container ship captain/hostage

    – CGI cowboy doll

  19. Clint wrote the music for quite a few of his films and even sings in some of them (Honkytonk Man, we won’t talk about Paint Your Wagon).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *