Director Pedro Almodóvar Supports Straight Actors Playing Queer Roles

Pedro Almodóvar is weighing in on the continued debate over whether it’s okay for straight actors to take on queer role

The acclaimed director himself is gay, and no stranger to making LGBTQ+ movies – including ones starring actors who haven’t explicitly identified themselves as part of the community. Such is the case for his most recent short film, Strange Way of Life, which stars Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal.

“The essence of acting is, in fact, to pretend, to be someone other than who you are, even in your own essence. That is the core of acting,” he recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “So, for example, absolutely a heterosexual actor can play a homosexual character and vice versa.”

Those who argue differently generally point to the way (presumably) straight actors have often historically been applauded for bravely taking on queer roles, while openly queer actors might struggle to get work. They also point to the idea of “authenticity,” that queer artists deserve to tell their own stories. Meanwhile, opponents have frequently argued that requiring an actor to label their sexuality publicly to justify taking a role is a terrible idea, in theory and in practice.

But Almodóvar’s stance doesn’t seem to oppose any of these notions. He just has a different solution—one that would address a deeper issue.

“If Hollywood is so obsessed, as it is right now, with representing minorities…they should actually hire them to do the writing,” he suggested. “I want to make sure that it is clear that I’m very much in favor of minorities of all types to be considered for casting in films and also to be hired behind the camera and that they be able to tell their own stories.”

Hire more queer people, tell more queer stories, and then it won’t make much of a difference if some of those stories star actors who are straight, questioning, or haven’t defined their sexuality for the masses. That sounds like a great plan, honestly.

Via Pride

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