Actor Jason Isaacs, known for his role as Lucius Malfoyin the “Harry Potter” movies, believes gay actors may be sacrificing their careers by coming out as gay. As the Telegraph reports on August 23, Isaacs says he understands why actors stay in the closet. He feels it may affect the type of roles they are casted in.
According to Isaacs, gay actors may have less of a chance at being casted in romantic leads, especially if the character is straight. In an interview with the Telegraph at the screening of his latest film, “Any Day Now”, Isaacs said he has “a lot of gay friends who don’t come out” and explains why coming out in the world of acting sacrifices the path of an actor’s career.
“Even when casting gay roles, there is a tendency to cast straight people, so they are lauded for their transformation. It’s ridiculous. The notion that a gay actor can’t seem like they are in love with a woman on screen is so patently absurd I can’t believe it still exists.”
There are two recent examples of what Issacs explains. Recently, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, two straight actors, were applauded for their roles in the Liberace biopic film “Beyond the Candelabra”. In the film Douglas played Liberace and Damon played his boy lover. Both actors received many accolades for their portrayal of the characters and how well they pulled off the dynamics of the relationship, including the intimacy.
In contrast, gay actor Matt Bomer sparked controversy for being up for the role of Christian Grey in movie adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Many fans believe that Bomer is the perfect Christian, but because of his sexuality, some fans don’t feel he would be believable in the role. In fact Brett Easton Ellis, author of “American Psycho”, felt just the mere idea of Bomer being considered for the role was “ludicrous”, saying that a man who is married to another man could not possibly play the role of Christian Grey. That is one man’s opinion of course. A good actor has the talent to transform into the character they are playing. Just see Douglas, who was believable as Liberace. Bomer of course did play a stripper in the movie “Magic Mike” and women swooned.
In all, gay actors may have it a little easier coming out now than, say, back in the days of Rock Hudson or even just a few years ago when British actor Rupert Everett came out. But Jason Isaacs believes the sacrifice comes within the perception of the roles they may be considered for.
Isaacs does admit that his gay friends who have come out, “feel immensely relieved and walk taller in their shoes.”