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.”