Tag: Playing

Jim Parsons eloquently weighs in on straight actors playing gay

Jim Parsons was 'frightened' of Pride parades before coming out

Jim Parsons. (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Jim Parsons has gracefully waded into the long-simmering debate over whether straight, cisgender actors should play LGBT+ people in film and television.

Parsons, 47, reflected in an interview with the Los Angeles Times newspaper on his role in The Boys in the Band, the Netflix flick with an all-queer cast that centred on the lives of a group of gay men in pre-Stonewall-era New York City.

But how would the film have played out with a patchwork cast of non-LGBT+ and LGBT+ actors? Parsons offered a vastly pliable response to the issue of queer representation.

“There’s definitely this spectrum,” Jim Parsons, who plays Mart Crowley in the film, mused.

Jim Parsons: Filmmakers must ‘ensure that all parts are open to all actors’

“I think the fight, as it were, is not about having only gay people play the gay parts but to ensure that all parts are open to all actors.

“It’s important that gay characters are portrayed as well-rounded and completely human individuals.

“And there are plenty of straight actors who have played gay characters brilliantly.

“I think Brokeback Mountain is one of the most touching gay movies and love stories I have ever seen, and those two straight actors [Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal] were the best choices for those roles.”

The turbulent, decades-long trajectory of queer representation on the small screen has gone from flat one-episode secondary players to fully-fleshed characters central to storylines.

Indeed, the amount of queer characters on our screens has consistently hit new heights each year, according to annual reports by GLAAD.

James Corden The Prom
Jams Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and Meryl Streep in The Prom (MELINDA SUE GORDON/NETFLIX © 2020)

But Hollywood has remained hobbled by how it, year after year, casts straight, cisgender people in LGBT+ roles, with the sluggishness of the film industry to change that routinely fuelling disappointment among queer moviegoers and film critics.

Seemingly typifying the anger against filmmakers giving straight actors queer roles was the move to cast James Corden, a professional straight man, to play Barry Glickman, an ailing gay Broadway star in Ryan Murphy’s The Prom.

Murphy’s casting choices have long been ribbed by viewers for being white, tall, often square-jawed men, but critics had little patience for Corden’s performance, branding it “gross and offensive“.

His performance drew the frustrated ire of critics for his overblown, camp portrayal of a gay man, with Erik Anderson, founder of AwardsWatch, dubbing it “gayface”.

Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson Are Playing #TruthOrDare4Democracy

Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson Are Playing #TruthOrDare4Democracy

Hi there friends! Today is Election Day and I already burned the first thing I cooked. (don’t worry, there’s more things coming!! I definitely cook a lot when I’m stressed!)

Today’s news roundup is going to be a little different than most. Usually we have three sections to categorize links: “Queer as in F*ck You” for all our gay news; “Saw This, Thought of You” for the reading I did that was otherwise of our interests; and “Political Snacks” — which feels self-explanatory.

WELL! Since today the news is pretty much all politics and nothing else, we’re going to keep the “Political Snacks” and move them right to the top, followed by a bunch of news that I’m calling “election distractions” — just silly things to help keep us grounded throughout the day — in “Saw This, Thought of You.”

Don’t worry, no matter what happens today, I promise that we will be angry queers again on Thursday, and as such “Queer as in F*ck You” will be back in its regularly scheduled spot.

OK! Long talk! Here’s some links you can read!

Political Snacks

First up, this is a little bit of a cheat, in that it is technically political news, but it’s also just some fluffy ass celebrity news and fuck it! We sure can use that today!! Noted maybe once-upon-a-time girlfriends Janelle Monáe and Tessa Thompson reunited on Instagram Live this past Friday for the first time publicly since their maybe break up, and all in the name of… drumroll please!!.. D E M O C R A C Y

So first, my forever favorite queer couple talked about all the wild ass Truth-Or-Dare games that they used to play when they were *cough *cough dating best friends, including one craaaazy night when apparently they worried Tessa wouldn’t make it back to set! LOL. These kids.

But then Tessa got a little (I assume previously staged) glimmer in her eye, and she challenged her rockstar ex to duel: If One Hundred Million People voted early in this election… they would play Truth-Or-Dare on Live! FOR DEMOCRACY!

Hardee-har-har, so hilarious. But just you wait!

It actually happened!!!! The news came through just this morning! SO WE ARE GETTING EX-GIRLFRIEND TURTH OR DARE!! IT IS HAPPENING!! YAY DEMOCRACY!!

Janelle Monáe kisses Tessa Thompson on the forehead while the words: "Democracy. You Love To See It." flash above them in blue and red lettering.

Yes, I made this myself.

WHEW. And now on to much, much more serious news…

The Anxious Person’s Guide to the 2020 Election

The Small but Mighty Power of Black LGBTQ Voters

A Record Number of Black Southerners Could Be Elected to the Senate in 2020

Just 15 percent of LGBTQ+ people are Republicans, compared to 35 percent of the general population. (haha, duh!) For those that support President Trump, who are they, and what do they believe? These Gay Voters Are Backing Trump. Here’s Why. (I assume the answer is: They are racists and also that they hate themselves, but I didn’t actually read the link so you can go ahead and tell me if I guessed right)

Related: “There’s a simple question that needs to be asked if you really want to make sense of the upcoming American election. Are American white people ready to — really — reject fascism?”

And Still Related: The Long Shadow of Racial Fascism

Rivals in Landmark Marriage Equality Suit: We Are Both Voting for Biden. From both Obergefell and Hodges.

I’m 20. As a First-Time Voter, My Generation’s Trauma Is on the Ballot.

The Electoral College, Explained. (Just in case you still don’t quite get it, no problem! Also the short answer on this is: The Electoral College was Affirmative Action for slave holders, and we still have it because America’s still racist! Love u.)

More Millennials Are Working at the Polls This Year. Spend a Day With Two of Them. All these stories about Millenials becoming poll workers so the elders in our community who are at high risk for comorbidities tied to COVID can stay home and stay safe just warm my heart so much!! There is good in this world, we just have to look to see it!)

Saw This, Thought of You

Election Day Stress & Anxiety Activities

From The New York Times, Election Distractor (Ok I actually did this one myself, and it’s kinda fun?)

10 Ways to Stay Grounded on Election Day

If you want to deep dive into something that will take an hour of your life and mean absolutely nothing or cause any harm to anyone: Cara Delevingne’s Bisexuality: The Definitive Vapid Fluff Timeline from your friendly weird geniuses at Autostraddle

If you, like me, like to get lost in cooking projects: Distraction Cooking

And finally, a playlist: