Actor Viggio Mortensen has responded to criticism over the fact that he will be playing a gay role in his upcoming self-directed film Falling.
Weighing in the the getting very tired debate around straight actors playing gay roles, Mortensen said of his critics that they are “assuming that I’m completely straight”, and “frankly none of your business.”
Mortensen, best known for his work on the The Lord of the Rings films, said” “Look, these are the times we’re living in, and I think it’s healthy that those issues are brought up.
“The short answer is that I didn’t think it was a problem. And people then ask me, ‘Well what about Terry Chen, who plays my husband in the film, is he a homosexual?’ And the answer is I don’t know, and I would never have the temerity to ask someone if they were, during the casting process.”
Mortensen also talked about the film and the gay role/straight actor issue in Attitude magazine, adding: “And how do you know what my life is? You’re assuming that I’m completely straight. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. And it’s frankly none of your business.
“I want my movie to work, and I want the character of John to be effective. So if I didn’t think it was a good idea I wouldn’t do it.”
The argument of “gay actor/gay role is a slippery slope and came about after some trans actresses got miffed that male actors were taking the very few trans roles that are out there. But the whole gay/actor gay role mantra is problematic especially if taken further and evolves into straight actor/straight role. Straight roles outnumber gay roles over 100 to 1.
Gay actors. Be careful what you wish for.
And remember its called ‘acting” for a reason.