Entertainment: Stanley Tucci says he has 'difficulty' with argument that gay characters should only be played by LGBTQ actors

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Stanley Tucci wearing glasses posing for the camera: Stanley Tucci opened up about his film © Cindy Ord/Getty Images Stanley Tucci opened up about his film "Supernova" during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning. Cindy Ord/Getty Images
  • Stanley Tucci shared his opinion on straight actors playing gay characters on "CBS Sunday Morning."
  • Tucci said he had "difficulty" with the idea that only gay actors should play LGBTQ characters.
  • Tucci has played gay characters in several films, including "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Burlesque."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Stanley Tucci revealed his stance on whether straight actors should pursue LGBTQ characters in Hollywood.

Tucci appeared on "CBS Sunday Morning" to talk about his new indie-drama film with Colin Firth, Supernova. The film centers on a middle-aged gay couple who travel across England in an old RV after Tucci's character is diagnosed with young onset dementia.

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"Having played a number of gay characters, you want to do it so that it's, as you do with any character, you just want to be truthful to it," said Tucci, who is married to Emily Blunt's sister, Felicity.

The film, which initially premiered at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 2020, has garnered acclaim for critics - but also faced some online backlash over its casting choices.

"When there are thousands of queer actors with the lived-in experience waiting to bring their intellectual nuance to the screen but the film industry can only cast cis straight actors for queer roles because Colin Firth is hot," wrote one person.

"I saw the trailer for #supernova and it looks great. but how, how??? can these studios continue to not cast gay actors in gay roles? not even 1 of the 2 of them is queer?" another added.

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"If queer media and mainstream media promoted the work of queer artists and films with queer actors in as much as they're promoting Supernova and Ammonite," one person wrote. "If only."

As more LGBTQ visibility and representation emerges in Hollywood, a debate on whether straight actors should play LGBTQ roles sparked.

Tucci responded that he had "difficulty" with that idea

"CBS Sunday Morning" correspondent Holly Williams asked Tucci about "criticism from some quarters saying gay roles should be played by gay actors."

"I have difficulty with that," Tucci responded. "I think that acting is all about not being yourself. If we were to use that as a template, then we would only ever play ourselves. I think what we need to do, we need to give more gay actors opportunities."

"People who are gay have only recently, in the last few years really, have been able to say, 'I'm gay and I'm an actor and I can play straight roles.' They always had to hide their sexuality so that they could play the leading man or leading woman," he added.

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Tucci has portrayed LGBTQ characters throughout his long career, including the infamous Nigel Kipling from "The Devil Wears Prada" and Sean in "Burlesque."

Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Anne Hathaway posing for the camera: Stanley Tucci posed with his © Niki Nikolova/Getty Images Stanley Tucci posed with his "The Devil Wears Prada" co-stars Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway. Niki Nikolova/Getty Images

Other celebrities, including Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Stewart, have spoken out about inclusive casting

Earlier this month, Neil Patrick Harris shared his opinion in an interview with The Times about his upcoming Channel 4 series, "It's a Sin." The series, from showrunner Russell T. Davies, centers around a group of gay men experiencing the Aids epidemic in 1980s London. The series features an all-gay male ensemble.

"I'm not one to jump on to labeling. As an actor you certainly hope you can be a visible option for all kinds of different roles," Harris, who shares twins with husband David Burtka, told The Times.

"I played a character [in How I Met Your Mother] for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor," Harris added.

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Harris's comments were in response to remarks made by Davies, who in addition to "It's a Sin" has created the TV series "Queer as Folk" and "Years and Years."

"I think there's something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role, if they're willing to invest a lot into it," he said. "There's a nervousness that comes from the newness of it all. To declare that you'd never do that, you might miss opportunities."

Neil Patrick Harris standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Harris mentioned playing Barney Stinson on © CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images Harris mentioned playing Barney Stinson on "How I Met Your Mother" in his remarks. CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Last November, Kristen Stewart told Variety there was a "gray area" when it came to straight actors playing gay characters.

"I would never want to tell a story that really should be told by somebody who's lived that experience," she told the publication. "Having said that, it's a slippery-slope conversation because that means I could never play another straight character if I'm going to hold everyone to the letter of this particular law."

Billy Porter, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, called the double standard in Hollywood while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in June 2019.

"If 'flamboyant' wasn't in the description of the character, no one would see me, ever, for anything, which wouldn't be so enraging if it went the other direction, but it doesn't. Because straight men playing gay, everybody wants to give them an award," said Porter.

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Darren Criss, who played gay men in "Glee" and "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," said he would no longer play LGBTQ roles in 2018.

"There are certain [queer] roles that I'll see that are just wonderful," said Criss told Bustle. "But I want to make sure I won't be another straight boy taking a gay man's role."

Read the original article on Insider

How Italy changed Stanley Tucci .
A year in Florence as a boy changed the actor's life and put him on the path he's still on today. Now, he's returned to the country of his origins to explore how the history of Italy is entwined with its food - and why what Americans think of as Italian food is far from the reality.Stanley Tucci wants to put you straight about Italy. A land where the sun shines, the nonnas smile and every plate of spaghetti bolognese comes showered in parmesan cheese? Scratch that.

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