Rebel Wilson says it total nonsense that only gay actors should play gay roles as she weighs in on Hollywood casting row two years after coming out as queer

Rebel Wilson says it total nonsense that only gay actors should play gay roles as she weighs in on Hollywood casting row two years after coming out as queer

Rebel Wilson has recently voiced her opinion on the ongoing debate in Hollywood regarding whether only gay actors should portray gay characters. The “Pitch Perfect” star, now 44, has labeled the notion as “total nonsense,” emphasizing that actors should have the freedom to play any role they desire. Wilson, who publicly came out as queer two years ago by introducing her girlfriend on Instagram, shared her thoughts during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs with Lauren Laverne.

Wilson discussed the double standards in comedy and acting, noting that different genders and identities are often held to different standards when it comes to making jokes or taking on roles. She pointed out that while she has made edgy jokes in public settings, such as the Baftas, the current climate suggests that only those who belong to a particular group can joke about it. For instance, she mentioned that overweight individuals can make jokes about their weight, but others cannot.

The actress argued that this mindset extends to acting roles, where there is a growing belief that only straight actors should play straight roles and gay actors should play gay roles. Wilson firmly disagrees with this perspective, stating, “I think you should be able to play any role that you want.” She believes that the essence of comedy and acting is to entertain and sometimes push boundaries, even if it means occasionally crossing the line.

Wilson’s comments come in the wake of her own experience of coming out as gay at the age of 42. She shared the news on Instagram with a heartfelt post featuring her and her girlfriend, designer Ramona Agruma, expressing her joy in finding her “Disney Princess” after years of searching for a “Disney Prince.” Her announcement was met with widespread support and highlighted her belief in the importance of love and authenticity.

Wilson is not alone in her stance. The debate over whether only gay actors should play gay roles has been a contentious topic in Hollywood. Russell T Davies, known for reviving “Doctor Who” in 2005, sparked significant discussion in 2021 when he insisted that directors should cast gay men for gay male roles, comparing it to the outdated and offensive practice of “blacking up.” Davies argued that “acting gay” is merely a set of performance codes and lacks authenticity.

Davies’ comments have been both supported and criticized. He later clarified that his intention was not to upset actors playing gay roles but to encourage the industry to provide more opportunities for gay actors. He suggested that famous actors should use their influence to promote the casting of LGBT actors in leading roles, thereby fostering greater representation and breaking the cycle of limited opportunities for gay actors.

Other actors have also weighed in on the issue. Andrew Scott, a gay actor known for his roles in “Fleabag” and “Spectre,” discussed his experience of being cast in gay roles. He emphasized the importance of representation but also highlighted the value of transformation in acting. Scott believes that actors should not be cast solely based on their sexuality but rather on their ability to embody the character’s attributes.

Similarly, Welsh actor Luke Evans, who is gay, has expressed his views on the matter. Evans, who has played gay characters only twice in his career, argued that if casting were based strictly on sexual orientation, he would have had significantly fewer opportunities. He believes that talent, ability, and timing should be the primary factors in casting decisions, rather than an actor’s personal identity.

Wilson’s comments and the broader debate reflect a complex issue within the entertainment industry. While there is a push for greater representation and authenticity, there is also a recognition of the transformative power of acting and the importance of allowing actors to explore a wide range of roles. As the industry continues to evolve, these discussions will likely shape the future of casting and representation in Hollywood.

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