entertainment

Matt Smith defends playing gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in new biopic

Mapplethorpe was best known for his controversial work is that of the homoerotic BDSM subculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s

2019-02-18

Words: Steve Brown

Matt Smith has defended playing gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the upcoming biopic.

Directed by Ondi Timoner, the biopic titled Mapplethorpe stars Smith as the prolific photographer alongside Marianne Rendon as Patti Smith and John Benjamin Hickey, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kerry Butler.

And although Smith identifies as straight, in a recent discussion about the upcoming film in New York, he said that “choices outside of work” shouldn’t “influence what happens”, Vulture reported.

He said: “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.”

The Doctor Who star then continued and asked, ‘Where does it stop?’

He said: “Where does it stop? Like, do we then say, do we apply that logic to going, ‘Okay, 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?”

Mapplethorpe was an American photographer whose work featured a number of subjects including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits and flowers.

But his most controversial work is that of the homoerotic BDSM subculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Throughout his life and career, Mapplethorpe had a relationship with author Jack Fritscher and his 15 year relationship with art curator Sam Wagstaff.

Mapplethorpe died at the age of 42 due to complications from Aids in 1989.

Watch the trailer below: