entertainment

Jared Leto will play queer icon Andy Warhol in upcoming biopic

The casting is likely to reignite debate about straight stars being the first port of call for LGBTQ roles.

2020-08-11

Jared Leto has announced that he will portray queer icon Andy Warhol in an upcoming biopic.

The Hollywood star, 48, who has long been rumoured to be taking on the role of the late artist, confirmed the news on Instagram on Friday (7 August).

"Yes it’s true I will be playing Andy Warhol in an upcoming film", Leto wrote. "And so grateful and excited about the opportunity."

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Yes it’s true I will be playing Andy Warhol in an upcoming film. And so grateful and excited about the opportunity. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™ Happy belated birthday Andy ๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿ–ค We miss you and your genius

A post shared by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

He added: "Happy belated birthday Andy. We miss you and your genius."

While Leto gave no further details about the production, the Suicide Squad star was previously rumoured to be involved with an Andy Warhol biopic being written by Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire).

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

“Can you even see what you’re fighting for...times are changing” What do you wish you were doing this weekend?

A post shared by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on

That was way back in 2016, however, so it remains unclear whether this is the same production, or a new one entirely. 

Andy Warhol was a leading figure in the 'pop art' movement of 1960s, which began to explore the relationship between art, commercialism and celebrity culture.

Best known for works including Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the Pittsburgh-born creator was a rare public example of an openly gay man in the pre-Stonewall US.

Leto's portrayal of the artist, who died in 1987 aged 58 following complications from surgery, is likely to reignited the debate about straight, A-list stars playing some of history's most iconic gay figures.

Recent example have included Rami Malek, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in 2018's Bohemian Rhapsody, and Taron Egerton, who won a Golden Globe fter taking on the role of Sir Elton John in last year's Rocketman.

Meanwhile, Leto himself won an Oscar for his protrayal of a trans woman living with Aids with 2014 drama Dalla Buyer's Club.

American Horror Story star Billy Eichner, who is gay, recently expressed his frustration that gay actors - long sidelined in Hollywood - aren't afforded the opportunity to play their own heroes.

“Harvey Milk, Freddie Mercury, Elton John. Where are the gay actors? And it’s not to take anything away from those performances, which were all excellent. But why don’t we get to tell our own stories?," the actor told Deadline last month.

He went on: "When it really comes to some big project about a gay icon, the one everyone’s throwing awards at… we love the spectacle of rewarding a straight actor, for quote unquote, 'transforming' himself into a gay person."

The Billy On the Street star added: "I don’t think there needs to be a rule, like straight actors can never play gay, but it is so lopsided. It never works in the other direction. And we’re not even allowed to play our own heroes."