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Stanley Tucci defends straight actors playing gay roles

Stanley Tucci defends straight actors playing gay roles

Stanley Tucci famously played Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada

Stanley Tucci has spoken out in defense of straight actors playing gay roles.

Over recent times, questions have been raised over whether it's right or acceptable for a straight actor to take on the part of a homosexual character.

Increasingly, there are discussions of authenticity when it comes to specific roles, whether that's to do with gender, sexuality, or race.

And with Hollywood boasting a chequered past in terms of how it's dealt with these issues in the past, a number of actors have since weighed in on the debate - many of them straight who've taken gay parts during their careers.

The latest is Tucci, who famously played Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada and Tusker in gut-wrenching drama Supernova.

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth played a gay couple in Supernova.
BBC Films/BFI

Speaking about the matter on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs series, the 62-year-old said: "Obviously, I believe that’s fine.

"I am always very flattered when gay men come up to me and talk to me about The Devil Wears Prada or they talk about Supernova, and they say that, 'It was just so beautiful,' you know, 'You did it the right way'. Because often, it’s not done the right way.”

He went on: "I really do believe an actor is an actor is an actor. You're supposed to play different people. You just are. That's the whole point of it."

This comes after Sir Ian McKellen, who is gay, also came out and said that he believes straight actors should be able to play gay roles.

At the time, he was speaking to BBC 2 about Dame Helen Mirren being cast in the role of Israel's first female leader, Golda Meir despite the fact she is not Jewish herself.

He said: "There are two things – is the argument that a gentile cannot play a Jew, and is the argument therefore that a Jew cannot play a gentile?"

Sir Ian McKellen previously spoke about straight actors playing gay roles.
Andrew H Walker/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

McKellen went on: "Is the argument that a straight man cannot play a gay part, and if so, does that mean I can't play straight parts and I'm not allowed to explore the fascinating subject of heterosexuality in Macbeth? Surely not. We're acting. We're pretending."

One star who doesn't agree, though, is Tom Hanks.

Hanks previously won an Oscar for his portrayal of a gay man in Philadelphia. And he said last year that we were simply 'beyond' the idea that an audience will believe a straight actor playing these kinds of roles.

"Let’s address ‘Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now?'" the actor said.

"No, and rightly so. The whole point of Philadelphia was don’t be afraid. One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man.

"We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.”

Featured Image Credit: Karwai Tang / WireImage / 20th Century Studios

Topics: US News, UK News, Film and TV, Tom Hanks, LGBTQ