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re: THE INHERITANCE - Straight Actors in Gay Roles
Posted by: AlanScott 09:01 pm EDT 10/07/19
In reply to: re: THE INHERITANCE - Straight Actors in Gay Roles - keikekaze 11:31 pm EDT 10/06/19

I would just add that some actors are more versatile than others, and being more versatile in and of itself does not necessarily make someone a better actor. And even very versatile actors who are also great actors cannot play every role convincingly. I have seen the kind of bad acting you speak of, yes, but sometimes it's not necessarily a matter of bad acting in a way that is so extreme it makes you cringe.

A very good actor might give an essentially proficient and well-crafted performance in a role and yet still not be altogether believable in the role. And I think we can see that sometimes with straight actors playing gay roles and vice versa. I hope no one thinks that it's a terrible thing to say this. I don't think it's all that different than saying, "I didn't believe that actor as a murderer" or "I didn't believe that actor as a great wit" or "I didn't believe he was lower class." Every actor has limitations.

I'll add that we can see two straight actors, female and male, playing characters who are supposed to be romantically and/or sexually involved, and we don't buy it. How often do we hear, "They had no chemistry. I didn't believe they were in love or that they were attracted to each other"? This may also be true of gay actors playing gay roles or straight actors playing gay roles and trans actors playing straight or gay or trans roles and . . . well, every permutation that's possible. We might sometimes say, "I didn't find that actor believable as gay" when it sometimes might be a matter of lack of chemistry with another actor. Other times it may be that the actor just cannot make us believe that he's attracted to people of the same sex under any circumstances.

So there are many variables. Straight actors certainly can play gay roles successfully, and we've seen it, but there's also nothing wrong with saying, "I couldn't buy him as gay" or "I didn't believe he was in love with or wanted to have sex with the person he was supposed to be involved with."
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