Gina Gershon says agents warned playing a lesbian in Bound would ruin her career

Gina Gershon says agents warned playing a lesbian in Bound would ruin her career

Gina Gershon recently opened up about the significant career risk she took by playing a lesbian character in the 1996 film “Bound.” During an appearance on the “It Happened in Hollywood” podcast, Gershon revealed that her agents strongly advised against taking the role, warning her that it could ruin her career.

“It was a great script, and I could tell they were incredible directors,” Gershon recalled. “But my agents were like, ‘We will not let you do this movie. You are ruining your career. We will not be able to represent you. You will never work again.'”

Despite the dire warnings, Gershon was undeterred. “I just said, ‘Oh, well, I guess if you can’t represent me, I’ll go somewhere else. No hard feelings,'” she continued. Gershon had immense faith in the script written by the Wachowskis, who would later gain fame for “The Matrix” franchise. “I said, first of all, it’s so shortsighted to say, ‘Oh, this is a lesbian movie.’ They happen to be lesbians, but it’s really a movie about trust.”

In “Bound,” Gershon played Corky, an ex-con who starts a relationship with Violet, the girlfriend of a mafioso boss, played by Jennifer Tilly. The two women devise a plan to steal $2 million from the mob. The film, directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, has since become a queer classic. Gershon described her agents as “small-minded and shortsighted” for their warnings about playing a lesbian character.

“Plus, when does the girl get to play the hero?” Gershon added, expressing her enthusiasm for the role. “I thought, well, I could cut off my hair, cut off my nails, have no makeup. I get the girl. I get the car. I screw over the mob. It’s a win-win all around.”

Gershon’s decision to take the role in “Bound” was a bold move, especially considering the conservative climate of Hollywood at the time. Her agents’ warnings were not unfounded, as playing a queer character could indeed have had negative repercussions for her career. However, Gershon’s belief in the project and her willingness to take risks paid off. “Bound” remains a significant film in LGBTQ+ cinema, and Gershon’s performance is still celebrated.

Reflecting on the experience, Gershon said, “When they were saying, ‘You can’t do this film,’ I kept asking, ‘Why can’t I do this film? It’s really well written. I believe in these directors.’ They said, ‘You can’t play a lesbian because you just won’t be able to work at all.'”

Gershon found this reasoning to be incredibly narrow-minded. “First of all, it’s so short-sighted to say this is a lesbian movie. They happen to be lesbians, but it was really a movie about trust. There’s a bigger issue. And I really hated that. I thought it was so small-minded and short-sighted. If that was what we were up against, I was in. I was into making a point because I thought it was absolutely ridiculous.”

In “Bound,” Gershon’s character Corky is fresh out of prison when she begins a love affair with Violet, the girlfriend of ruthless gangster Caesar, played by Joe Pantoliano. Together, they devise a plan to escape with $2 million of the mob’s money. The film was the directorial debut of the Wachowski sisters, who would go on to achieve massive success with “The Matrix.”

“The Wachowskis are really talented,” Gershon said. “I thought they were incredibly gifted and secret geniuses.”

Gershon’s decision to take on the role in “Bound” not only showcased her acting chops but also solidified her status as a gay icon. Her performances in “Bound” and the 1995 film “Showgirls” have resonated deeply with the LGBTQ+ community. “Those two movies… I dunno, spoke to [the gay community] and they liked me from there,” Gershon told Larry David in 2013.

Gershon has continued to have a successful career, most recently appearing in an episode of CBS’s comedy-drama “Elsbeth” and Comedy Central’s sitcom “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens.” She is also set to star in Eli Roth’s forthcoming film adaptation of the popular video game “Borderlands,” alongside Cate Blanchett, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Kevin Hart, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jack Black. The movie follows a motley crew of infamous outlaws who band together to battle alien monsters and find a missing girl who holds the key to unimaginable power. “Borderlands” is set to be released in theaters on August 9.

Gina Gershon’s willingness to take risks and her belief in the projects she chooses have undoubtedly contributed to her enduring success in Hollywood. Her role in “Bound” remains a testament to her talent and her commitment to telling diverse and meaningful stories.

Source: People, Variety

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top