Taron Egerton addresses straight actors playing gay roles after appearing as Elton John
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Rocketman star Taron Egerton has weighed in on the thorny debate over whether gay roles in films and TV shows should exclusively go to gay actors.
The 33-year-old star scooped a Golden Globe for his role as Elton John in the 2019 biopic Rocketman, with his depiction earning him wide praise from critics and viewers alike. You can see him in action here:
In recent years there's been much debate in Hollywood about whether it's acceptable for straight stars to play gay characters, with some suggesting only someone who is LGBTQ+ could bring authenticity to the role.
The Kingsman actor has previously addressed the issue of being a straight man playing the gay singer/songwriter - admitting to GQ in 2019 that he felt nervous about taking on the role.
He revealed: "The thing I was nervous of... there’s a certain amount of trepidation around playing a gay character when you’re a heterosexual.
"Because you don’t want that community to feel you’re doing some sort of caricature or something. I didn’t want to camp it up, because Elton is not a camp man.
"I knew quite acutely that wasn’t what I wanted to do."
Now Egerton has weighed in on the debate of whether straight stars should stick to straight roles during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
He told the publication: "I grew up in a very liberal town, and a couple of my close friends are gay.
"I feel an affinity with that community. I don’t particularly feel that there should be a blanket rule about whether straight actors should play gay roles.
"That’s very easy for me to say as a straight man, but I think that’s possibly a precedent not worth setting.”
Openly gay actor Luke Evans has previously shared a similar opinion, albeit looking at it from a different angle.
Speaking in November last year, Evans said he ‘wouldn’t have a career’ if straight actors could only play straight roles, and vice versa.
Evans was asked his views during a recent interview with the Telegraph after Doctor Who showrunner Russel T Davies said he thought only gay actors should play gay characters.
When asked if he agreed, he said: “I’m not sure about that.
“Gay people have definitely missed out on gay roles, for sure. Russell spoke very powerfully, passionately, about this point. I get it, and I totally think that things do need to change.
“But from my perspective: firstly, I wouldn’t have had a career if gay people played gay roles and straight people played straight roles.
"I’d have played two roles out of the 36 projects I’ve worked on, or whatever [the number] is.”
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