Ian McKellen Defends Straight Actors Playing Gay Roles

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Helen Mirren recently came under fire for her role in ‘Golda’, a biopic in which she will play Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Both its director, Guy Nattiv, and others responsible for the film belong to the government’s religion, but, on the other hand, the British actress is gentle, which has not sat well with more than one, including her colleague. Maureen Lipman.

After these reproaches, Mirren compares his situation with that of homosexual interpreters who play heterosexual characters: “I think this debate is necessary and totally legitimate. [Pero] If a non-Jew cannot play a Jew, can a Jew play a non-Jew? (…) I know that actors like Ian McKellen would be very angry about this. Because what if you’re a gay actor? Can’t you play straight?” he tells the Daily Mail (via Variety).

Now, McKellen joins this controversy by defending Mirren’s position: “There are two points to resolve: Is the argument that a Gentile cannot play a Jew, and therefore the argument is that a Jew cannot play a Jew?” a Gentile?” he begins by saying in a BBC interview.

“Is the argument that a straight man can’t play a gay role, and if so, does that mean I can’t play straight roles and I’m not allowed to explore the fascinating theme of heterosexuality in ‘Macbeth’? Probably not. We are acting. We are pretending. Now, are we able to understand what it is to be Jewish? Are we going to convince a Jewish audience that we are Jewish? Maybe we don’t need it because we are just acting, “he concludes.

Underrepresented at the Oscars

McKellen, who was the first gay actor to be nominated for an Oscar, was also asked about the few LGTBIQ+ performers who have won an Academy Award: “There aren’t many of them, I mean openly gay.” , answer back.

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