Tom Hanks would not play in Philadelphia today
“It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, for someone to say we’re going to demand more from a movie in the modern realm of authenticity.”
Tom Hanks returns to playing a gay lead with his Oscar-winning turn in ‘Philadelphia’.
The 1993 film, based on a true story, won Hanks his first Oscar for playing attorney Andrew Beckett, who sued his company for wrongful termination after being fired after revealing his diagnosis of HIV. Denzel Washington co-starred as the attorney who took on Beckett’s case.
“Let’s talk” could a straight man do what I did in “Philadelphia” now? “, Hanks told The New York Times. “No, and rightly so.
Hanks continued, “The whole point of ‘Philadelphia’ was not to be afraid. One of the reasons people weren’t scared of this movie was that I was playing a gay man. We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.
The ‘Elvis’ star added, “It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, for someone to say we’re going to demand more from a movie in the modern realm of authenticity.”
The debate over straight actors playing queer characters — and likewise actors adopting different ethnicities — still remains a topic of debate on screen. In an encouraging move for representation, however, Billy Eichner’s upcoming rom-com “Bros” exclusively stars an all-gay cast.
“We have TV stars, a lot of openly gay actors, but a movie star…” Eichner told Entertainment Weekly. “We never had an openly gay Ryan Reynolds, or an openly gay Paul Rudd, or an openly gay Kevin Hart, they just don’t exist. Hollywood didn’t allow that.
Helen Mirren has been criticized for taking on the role of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, despite not being Jewish. The “Fast X” star shared that the casting decision was up to director Guy Nattiv.
“I said, ‘Listen Guy, I’m not Jewish, and if you want to think about it and decide to go in a different direction, no hard feelings. I will absolutely understand,” Mirren explained. “But he really wanted me to play the part, and we left.”
The Oscar winner continued, “I think it’s a discussion that needs to happen, it’s completely legitimate. You know, if someone who’s not Jewish can’t play Jewish, does someone who’s Jewish play someone who’s not Jewish? There are many terrible injustices in my profession.