Tom Hanks Wouldn't Take His Role As Gay Man In Philadelphia If He Was Offered It Now
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Tom Hanks has revealed that he wouldn’t take his role as a gay man in the 1993 film Philadelphia if he was offered it now, saying he doesn’t think ‘people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy’ today.
The Hollywood heavyweight starred as Andrew Beckett in the legal drama, a young lawyer who is infected with AIDS and faces discrimination for his sexuality from his peers.
His performance earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 1994 Oscars, not to mention high praise from critics and audiences alike. You can watch the trailer below:
However, in an interview with The New York Times, Hanks admitted that he wouldn’t get the role today due to the inauthenticity of a straight man heading such an important narrative for the LGBTQ+ community.
This was highlighted during the interview by journalist David Marchese, who said: “There’s no way a straight actor would be cast in Philadelphia today and Forrest Gump would be dead in the water.”
In response, the 65-year-old actor said: “Let’s address ‘could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now?’ 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.
“It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity. Do I sound like I’m preaching? I don’t mean to.”
As for the statement about Forrest Gump, Hanks asked Marchese, “Gary Sinise would not have been able to play Lieutenant Dan because he has legs?”
The journalist responded, “Not that. I’m positive that its premise alone would mean that Forrest Gump would be mocked and picked apart on social media before anyone even had a chance to see it,” leading Hanks to say, “There’s nothing you can do about that,” before discussing Philadelphia.
Hanks is widely considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time, and despite reaching the winter years of his life he shows no signs of slowing down.
In one of his latest projects, he stars in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic Elvis as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s manager Colonel Tom Parker.
The film received a whopping 12-minute standing ovation at Cannes, and is set to be the blockbuster of the summer.
Then there’s the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s Pinocchio, which will see him portray Geppetto, the wood carver and father figure to the titular puppet.
Elvis will be in cinemas on 24 June, while Pinocchio is currently set to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus on 8 September.
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