Acting : Playing a gay character. by Jessie Bernard

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Jessie Bernard

Playing a gay character.

Do you think playing a gay character can ruin a career or damage a career down the road?

D Marcus

I havent heard of TV star Tom Hanks after he played a gay man in 1993. I wonder what happened to him?

Jessie Bernard

Lol Haha. Your sarcasm is delicious!

D Marcus

Glad you got it. So what is your concern? You know that many actors have played gay characters (Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Al Pacino, Greg Kinnear, Christopher Plummer, James Franco, Ewan McGregor, William Hurt, Will Smith) with no damage to their career. Can you think of even one actor whose career was damaged by playing a gay character?

Stephen Foster

hasn't ruined mine.

Laney Farrelly Hanlon

No Way. You are bringing a character to life to tell a story. People come in many different attires, your job is to wear it well

Randy Brown

Yes it can damage your career down the road. If you play a gay character and perform poorly, you're likely not going to get another gay role. Why limit yourself to only straight characters, or only Catholic ones, or only roles filmed in Alaska? If you're an actor, be one and a great one. Grab the role by the balls and run with it!

Richard "RB" Botto

If I grab a role by the balls and run with it, will it hurt my career? Or hunt me down later? A little levity...Carry on.

Marc Lee

Don't think it hurt Jamie Farr's career..Think that was the actor's name who played Klinger...and I know it didn't hurt the Wayan brothers when they portrayed some gay characters and these are just two examples...

Carlos Santellanes

The only way playing a character (gay or straight) can hurt you is if you do a bad job at it.

Philip Sedgwick

Didn't seem to hurt Michael C. Hall.

Melanie McDonald

I don't think it hurts, and I think it helps to remind audiences there are so many stories, long silenced, still waiting to be told. . .

Randy Brown

For Kathryn, if you grab the balls...will it hurt you? Maybe... but a la 50 Shades of Grey, it might be pleasurable and it's certainly all of the rage..

Randy Brown

For Lyse, I agree with the question confusion. Jesse may be afraid that if he takes on a gay role his friends/family may question his sexual orientation. Maybe he fears typecasting. ...Jesse?

Alejandra Guzman

No it is just a character it shouldn't ruin anything

Jessie Bernard

Thanks everyone for your opinions! Well thanks to those whose responses were conducive, moreso.

D Marcus

So what is your concern, Jessie?

Jessie Bernard

Nothing that needs attention D. Just wanted to hear everyone's opinion.

Christian Banks

If you believe you will get to where you need to be and are committed how could it possibly hurt you?

Tabitha Baumander

didn't do Tom Hanks any harm

Wayne Smith Jr

It depends on what is shown. How far you go. How respected you are as an actor. Like Brokeback Mountain or To Wong Foo, they were secure in their career. I would wait to get established as a fully working actor with a name before taking on a gay role.

D Marcus

Interesting take on this, Wayne. So do you feel a new, unestablished actor playing a gay character may hurt a long time career?

Wayne Smith Jr

I would save a gay role for 3 or 4th movie. Leonardo Dicaprio was already established before taking on Total Eclipse, where he played a French poet that ended up falling in love with a 60 some year old French poet. But again, the film has to be impactful enough to show the persons acting skills. Chiwetel Ejiofor IMDB says he started acting professionally around 96', but I believe his breakout performance was the success of KINKY BOOTS, as a drag performer who helps a cobbler revamp his shoe company. So it just depends on the role and it's impact that it has.

Sam Schmidt


D Marcus

But isn't acting acting, Wayne? Playing an interesting, complex character at the beginning of a career seems to me to be a good move for an actor. Even in their first or second movie; even if that character is gay. Why would playing a gay character damage a beginners career?

Rob Moore

if an actor is really good at their craft, the work will shine.

Wayne Smith Jr

It could go either way.

D Marcus

I get that Wayne, which is why I'm curious. Why do you feel playing a gay character could go the way of damaging a beginners career?

Patrick Opitz

I don't think it will hurt, but if you are not comfortable with a role, whatever the reason, don't take it. That is, however, a matter of conscience, not a career calculation.

Gary Kent James

You straight actors amuse me when it comes to gay roles. Remember Will & Grace. And turning down a gay role because your not established. That's a bunch of crap. Your an actor and you need to work.

Tyrone Nestor

I don't think it does, firstly it depends on how much you want to listen to as a part of what your saying is because of the people and attention around you and also how comfy you are in yourself. I have played a gay character and I think it has helped me.

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