Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: BBC/ITV/Markus Bidaux
James Dreyfus and Piers Morgan have questioned Russell T Davies' recent comments abut gay roles going to gay actors.
It's a Sin and Queer As Folk creator Davies made the assertion about his own casting choices in an interview with the Radio Times this week.
“I’m not being woke about this…" he explained. "But I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance."
"It's what acting is all about"
Responding on Twitter, Gimme Gimme Gimme star Dreyfus said of Davies: "His writing is always exemplary & I’m sure his upcoming drama will be fantastic. But I’m not completely convinced he understands what ‘acting’ actually involves...ie. ‘inhabiting a totally different character’.
Much respect for #RussellTDavies— James Dreyfus 🟥🍷🚬 (@DreyfusJames) January 12, 2021
His writing is always exemplary & I’m sure his upcoming drama will be fantastic.
But I’m not completely convinced he understands what ‘acting’ actually involves...ie. ‘inhabiting a totally different character’.#KeepIDPoliticsOutOfTheArts
Dreyfuss, who appears in the upcoming movie Supernova, a drama about a gay couple starring straight actors Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, said his co-stars are "totally convincing and brilliant" in the film.
"There have been some superlative performances by straight actors playing 'gay'" he said. "It’s what acting is all about."
"I just don't get it"
Meanwhile, TV host Piers Morgan said on Good Morning Britain yesterday: "Equality means equality or it doesn’t… I just don’t get it."
Screenwriter Russell T Davies said gay characters should only be played by gay actors. @Piersmorgan asks whether gay people think all gay roles should only be played by gay actors.— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 12, 2021
Let us know what you think👇 pic.twitter.com/R8PXf22K5q
The star continued: “Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, one of the all-time great acting roles, would he have played it more powerfully if he’d been a gay actor? I don’t think so.
“Did it shine a light on AIDS which was hugely beneficial to AIDS about that debate? Yes, because it was Tom Hanks.”
The Attitude 101 February issue featuring 101 LGBTQ trailblazers is out now.