Tuesday, October 21, 2008

James Marsden & Straight Actors

I watched an advanced screening of SexDrive earlier last week, and I was pleasantly surprised. I could not stop laughing throughout most of the movie! The leads are relatively unknown, but Seth Green and James Marsden were great supporting actors. James's role (and what happens to his character at the end) made me think of how much I like him as an actor. He's not only hot but also seems to be a genuine and fun guy from what I've read and watched on talk shows. I'm also somewhat of a comic book geek so I definitely respected him for his role as Cyclops in the X-Men movies.

But what impresses me the most about Mr. Marsden - is that he is not afraid to play gay characters. In fact, he's played several (The Heights, 24th Day...we're not going to count Enchanted). Most agents/actors are afraid they'll get typecast if they play gay roles, but James doesn't seem to mind. He did it before Heath & Jake did Brokeback. And did it hurt his career? He's been cast in The Notebook, Superman Returns, and Hairspray afterwards so the answer's probably no. I think he now even has a deal with Disney. I'd say he's doing pretty well.

Closeted gay actors have been playing straight roles for years so it's only fair that straight actors get to play gay ones. Some say that straight people taking gay roles just decreases the work available to those that are truly homosexual, but I think it's more important that A-list actors/actresses attract a wider audience to movies that get them to think about issues relating to the LGBT community. Look at what Sean Penn and James Franco are about to do with the Harvey Milk movie. If unknown gay actors were attached, would the same amount of people see it? Probably not. I'm actually glad these straight actors are tackling these roles and not caring what people might think about their sexuality. Isn't that a sign of a true actor?

For more insight into James Marsden, check out this great interview with him here.


Martin said...

I agree fully... I think one of the downfalls of gay movies has been the fact that unknown actors are used - possibly because of the budget. This has the dual effect of putting of mainline audiences, plus they are sometimes of a lower quality in terms of direction, production, post-production etc that they lose their message. We really need mainline actors with mainline movie budgets to adequately address LGBT issues...

Discotheque GQ said...

martin: It seems like we're heading in that direction with Milk - hopefully it continues!