In a discussion at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, actor Matt Smith (Doctor Who/The Crown) defended his right to play gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the upcoming biopic.
“I think your sexual orientation, or your sex and your choices outside of work, shouldn’t influence — in either way, positive or negative — what happens. So, to me, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. That has no bearing on whether you should get the part,” said Smith.
“Where does it stop?” he added. “Like, do we then say, do we apply that logic to going, ‘OK, I’ve got a part, and it’s playing a brother, and he’s addicted to heroin.’ Do we then go to people that have only taken heroin?”
His co-star Eliza Dushku took a more measured approach, adding:
“It’s an important discussion,” Dushku said, and Smith agreed. “It’s good that it’s being had.”
You might recall earlier this year, heterosexual star Darren Criss — who played gay roles in Glee and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story — declared he will no longer take away a role that should be played by an openly gay actor.
So…. where do YOU fall in this discussion. Should gay actors have first dibs at gay roles? Or is it called ACTING for a reason? Meaning: should the best actor get cast for the role regardless of his or her personal sexual orientation?
(via ET Canada; photo: Avalon )