Theo James recently opened up about his new film “Divergent” in an interview with the Advocate published on March 29. In the interview, the 29-year-old actor not only talked about the film, he also said he hopes the world will one day embrace an LGBT action hero.
As the movie “Divergent” features a strong female heroine who doesn’t need to rely on a man as her source of survival, James is hopeful that with the movie perhaps Hollywood is willing to shift towards more powerful roles for women and LGBT characters in movies.
“We’re in a world where masculinity, especially with these big spectacle movies, is often pushed by rippling six packs and forcing an image down someone’s throat trying to prove masculinity. Whereas I think true masculinity comes from having a strong sense of self. Part of what drew me to Four was his concept of masculinity, especially in how he relates to Tris and their relationship. He’s intrigues by her but respectful of her bravery and her personality traits.”
Giving way to the female character’s strong sense of self is a promotion of “gender equality” in the movie and doesn’t lesson his character’s own masculinity. James feels it’s a shame that there aren’t more movies featuring strong women, but feels “Divergent” will push the envelope.
As the movie’s story is focused on the struggle of outsiders born different from those around them and finding places of acceptance, the film really resonates with the LGBT community. James understands this and highlighted a need to extend diversity beyond gender. That’s why he supports the idea of an LGBT superhero, although he admitted he is not sure when that day will come. Like with roles featuring strong women, a role with a gay character in a more powerful role will also help transcend stereotypes and perception that surrounds what masculinity is.
“Because today there are great shows like Looking, poignant pieces of work that revolve around a central cast of characters that happen to be gay. But I remember when Queer as Folk came out and thinking, ‘Things are changing. Maybe there will be more [shows like this].’ And then suddenly there was a drought. Hopefully the day [we have a gay action hero] isn’t far away.”
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