Can You Be Too Gay?

A while ago, I ranted big time about how 50 Shades of Grey is the worst thing ever. I completely admit that I overreacted, and have since screwed back my opinion on the topic. Because one does like to keep the peace in one’s life.

But Shades is in the news again. Well, I know what you`re thinking. It hasn`t been out of the news since I got back from Eroticon, way back in March.

But there is talk of a Shades movie doing the rounds. It seems natural, after the success and in the wake of other book-to-movie adaptations such as Twilight and, more recently, The Hunger Games. There`s already a buzz about who is going to take up the role of heroine Anastasia and her suitor, Christian Grey.

And that`s where this story comes in.

Bret Easton Ellis, author of the classic American Psycho, has taken an unusual interest in the movie. For a while, Ellis was in the running to write the screenplay, but is now officially out of the running. Still, he continues his odd love campaign.

His latest opinion on the casting matter had me in a foamy fury. But it did leave me wondering…

Matt Bomer, star of TV drama White Collar (currently in the cinemas in Magic Mike) has been name-dropped a few times in connection with the role of Christian. But Ellis proved to be very vocal about his spot on the shortlist.

In a flurry of tweets, Ellis explained that he deemed Bomer “too gay” for the role of the young entrepreneur.

The entire tweet up can be read in this article from the Huffington Post.

Some of the choice comments were that Mr. Bomer, although a handsome fella, comes off as “totally gay” in White Collar. He also mentioned that the role of Christian demands an actor who is “totally into women”, and that being married to a man makes him wrong for the part.

After calming myself down and breezing the words “GADDAMNWANKER” through my teeth more than I`ve eaten lunch this month, I started thinking.

My first thought would be that it wouldn`t really matter what Bomer`s sexual orientation is. He`s an actor. He can “act”. He`s also neither a stripper nor a con man, and yet he has played both on both small and big screen. Surely he can play the role of a young and slightly crooked tycoon who falls in love with a woman?

If Bomer should have the right chemistry with the woman who will play Anastasia, I see no trouble in it.

My second thought was a weird one.

A few years ago, I caught an interview with John Barrowman on late night television. He mentioned to Graham Norton that he was once up for the part of Will in sitcom Will & Grace. He was eventually denied the role for looking “too straight”.

And now Matt Bomer is “too gay”. Which makes me wonder what is wrong with society (and more particularly the film business) to still use these boxes. Too gay, too straight. Too fat, too thin. Too manly, too feminine. And so on, and so on.

Can you really be too something or other to get something that you want? Can you be too gay to get a certain movie role? Can you be too fat to be a successful singer?

Should the way you look or the way you are really influence the chances you get in life?

Just a thought.


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  1. Here’s the thing:

    When it comes to something like Fifty Shades of Grey, what is being sold is not just the story, but the franchise.

    Studios won’t want to cast an actor who will inspire women to go home and google for photos of him and his male partner and then forget about; studios want to cast an actor that women can go home and fantasise about. If you cast a gay actor in that role, you mess with the whole marketing balance that makes Fifty Shades so popular.

    I don’t know Matt Bomer’s work at all, but if we were to take another gay actor, say John Barrowman, or Rupert Everett, it is easy to see why casting them would mess with the marketing and thus the culture of Fifty Shades. And based on Ellis’s tweets, I’d say THAT is the problem he is pointing out. He says “This is too big a game.” The game he’s referring to, I’d say, is the franchise as a whole.

    1. Ah, I see. So it`s definitely a movie business thing. Thanks for pointing that out.

      It`s a tough role to cast, if you think about it. The franchise is already quite a big one, and there isn`t even a script yet. There really is a lot on the line. Although I`m not a fan of it all, I`m keen to see how this one turns out.

  2. How is Matt Bomer playing Christian Grey any different than Neil Patrick Harris playing the womanizing Barney on How I Met Your Mother, or the very straight Eric McCormack playing Will on Will and Grace? I don’t get it.

    1. In both of those cases you’re dealing with light entertainment. It’s a completely different ball game… No one banks on women going home to get off on the idea of NPH nor gay men to get off to EM…

  3. I don’t know this Matt Bomer guy, but it may be more about effeminacy than sexual orientation. Cowboy star Randolph Scott was homosexual, but noone would have ever considered him “too gay” for any part, because he was not at all effeminate. But it probably also has to do with wanting an actor with whom women in the audience could imagine having sex in real life. That is why the Hollywood studios put so much effort into hiding the fact that Rock Hudson was gay. They felt that women would be less likely to drool over him in the movies if they thought he would be incapable of being interested in them in real life.

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