Neil Patrick Harris: Better to Hire the ‘Best Actor’ Than Someone Who Has Same Sexuality as Their Character

Actor Neil Patrick Harris arrives for WE Day California at the Forum in Inglewood, California on April 25, 2019. - WE Day is the worlds largest youth empowerment event combining the energy of a live concert with the inspiration of extraordinary stories of leadership and change. WE Day California will …
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Actor Neil Patrick Harris says that it is better to hire the “best actor” to play a role, rather than someone who shares the same sexuality as their character.

“I think there’s something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role, if they’re willing to invest a lot into it,” said Harris in an interview with The Times UK.  The actor added that he believes the “best actor” should be chosen for a role, despite their sexuality.

Harris, who stars in Russell T. Davies’ Aids Crisis drama It’s A Sin, has a showrunner who disagrees with him, though. In a recent interview with the Radio Times, Davies said that gay actors should play gay characters.

“You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair; you wouldn’t black someone. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places,” said Davies. Though that has happened, when Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as a wheelchair-bond boy suffering from cerebral palsy in My Left Foot. As Breitbart News reported, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ extensive new “diversity” standards would make a lot of previous Oscar for Best Picture winners ineligible.

Elsewhere, Harris said that while he doesn’t like to “jump on to labelling,” it is important for a gay actor to be “a visible option” for all types of roles.

“In our world that we live in you can’t really as a director demand that [an actor be gay or straight]. Who’s to determine how gay someone is?” said Harris.

Neil Patrick Harris,  the Doogie Howser, M.D. star, who is gay, has played a straight character that was nothing like him.

“I played a character for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor,” said Harris, referring to his role as Barney Stinson in the hit sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

Last month, straight actor James Corden was blasted by critics for his portrayal of a gay character in the Netflix movie The Prom. Critics called the actor’s flamboyant performance “offensive,” “the worst gay-face,” and “horrifically bad.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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