Benedict Cumberbatch weighs in on straight actors in gay roles ahead of ‘Power of the Dog’ release

Cumberbatch, who’s married to a lady, stated on the Telluride Movie Competition that his casting “wasn’t achieved with out thought,” as reported by IndieWire.

“One of many appeals of the job was the concept that on this world, with this particular character, there was rather a lot that was personal, hidden from view,” he stated on the competition, the place the movie screened.

Cumberbatch performs Phil within the movie, primarily based on the 1967 novel of the identical title. Within the novel, Phil’s sexuality is hinted at however by no means overtly confirmed by writer Thomas Savage; his character’s prickly, conniving nature is knowledgeable by a lifetime of repression.

Cumberbatch added that acclaimed New Zealand movie director Jane Campion “selected us as actors” to play their roles.

What TV and film get right about representation

“I additionally really feel barely like, is that this a factor the place our dance card must be public?” Cumberbatch stated. “Do we’ve got to clarify all our personal moments in our sexual historical past? I do not suppose so.”

Hollywood has for many years solid actors in heterosexual relationships in homosexual roles. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal performed lovers in “Brokeback Mountain.” Cate Blanchett fell in love with a shopgirl in “Carol.” Cumberbatch beforehand performed Alan Turing, a World Conflict II codebreaker who was convicted on “indecency” expenses for his relationship with a person and underwent chemical castration, in “The Imitation Sport.” All 4 actors had been nominated for Academy Awards for his or her performances.
A number of the creators concerned in these movies, like director Todd Haynes of “Carol” and Luca Guadagnino, who directed “Name Me By Your Title,” which additionally starred straight actors, are homosexual themselves. The movie “Moonlight,” which adopted a homosexual Black man in three phases of his life, was celebrated for sidestepping queer stereotypes, although it starred some straight actors.
Whereas casting cisgender actors in transgender roles has not too long ago fallen out of widespread observe — LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD says casting this manner “perpetuates this perception that trans folks aren’t actual” — there’s not the same consensus relating to actors taking part in homosexual characters. (The group did not instantly reply to CNN’s request for remark relating to straight actors portraying homosexual characters.)
Self-importance Honest critic Richard Lawson wrote in a review of the 2020 film “The Prom” that there is not any “exhausting and quick rule about who ought to play homosexual males on display.” Nuance, although, is important for any actor taking part in a homosexual character, he stated.
In "The Power of the Dog," Benedict Cumberbatch (left) plays a cowboy whose repressed sexuality informs his prickly personality.
That is a part of why James Corden’s casting in “The Promenade” as a flamboyant light Broadway star was broadly criticized: Corden, who’s married to a lady, performed into stereotypes of homosexual males, based on many critics, who stated his efficiency was “insulting” and known as him “offensively miscast.”

“Generally, sure, I want extra homosexual actors obtained the possibility to inform our tales, embody our folks, relatively than straight males getting accolades for being courageous — or cheers for being sassy,” Lawson wrote in his evaluate of the movie. “… However Corden, flitting and lisping round in essentially the most uninspired of caricatures, misses all potential for nuance, and thus by no means finds even a touch of fact within the function.”

Corden was nominated for a Golden Globe for the efficiency.
However the concept that taking part in a homosexual function is a “courageous” choice for a straight actor is changing into much less dominant, critic Man Lodge stated in an interview with the Guardian, evidenced by the dearth of buzz for movies corresponding to “Ammonite” and “Supernova,” which each targeted on queer love tales portrayed by straight actors.

“I believe the concept of being ‘courageous’ for enjoying homosexual goes away,” Lodge stated. “I believe that in itself is seen as pretty unremarkable now.”

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