The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons has weighed in on the debate regarding whether straight actors should play gay roles on screen.
Last September, The Boys in the Band, a film adaptation of the Broadway production of the same name, was released on Netflix.
Starring Jim in an ensemble cast alongside Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells and Matt Bomer, the film follows a group of gay friends who come together to celebrate one of their birthdays, their evening disrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest.
During a recent interview with the LA Times, Jim, 47, was asked to share his view on whether straight actors should portray LGBT+ characters in productions.
Jim explained that in his opinion, it is important to make sure that ‘all parts are open to all actors’.
He stressed that gay roles should be depicted as ‘well-rounded’ characters in entertainment.
‘There’s definitely this spectrum: I think the fight, as it were, is not about having only gay people play the gay parts but to ensure that all parts are open to all actors,’ he said.
‘It’s important that gay characters are portrayed as well-rounded and completely human individuals.’
Jim added that there have been ‘plenty of straight actors who have played gay characters brilliantly’.
‘I think Brokeback Mountain is one of the most touching gay movies and love stories I have ever seen, and those two straight actors [Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal] were the best choices for those roles,’ he stated.
In December last year, James Corden’s performance in The Prom received heavy criticism for ‘leaning into gay stereotypes’, with one review stating: ‘No more straight actors playing gay men until the sins of The Prom are properly atoned for.’
Writing for Metro.co.uk, former Great British Bake Off contestant Michael Chakraverty said: ‘Within the first few minutes of the film, Corden sets out his character’s stall as a camp, effeminate gay man who subscribes to almost every stereotype imaginable.’
While in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter in June 2020, Jim recalled how ‘scared’ he was to publicly come out as gay while starring as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, which ran from 2007 until 2019.
He explained that he came out while doing an interview in 2012 with The New York Times after starring in the Broadway production The Normal Heart.
‘I can’t remember the exact question, but [Patrick Healy] asked about something to the effect of, “Was it more meaningful to be a part of The Normal Heart being gay?” I said yes,’ Jim recollected.
‘I remember leaving there going, well, I sort of just took the back door out, as it were. I remember thinking it was kind of poetically perfect.’
The Boys in the Band is available to watch on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.