Film | John August | Playing Gay | Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds on Homophobia, the Closet, and Gay Rumors


Ryan Reynolds gives a great interview to gay filmmaker John August in the forthcoming issue of The Advocate. Sorry, no beefcake in this article, but it's a great chat and Reynolds shows he's definitely evolved when it comes to sexuality issues. Reynolds is starring in The Nines, written and directed by August, in which he plays three characters - a famous video game designer, a TV star, and a "writer facing a nervous breakdown" which is essentially the character of August himself.

Ryan_reynoldsAugust and Reynolds talk plenty about how actors are perceived in Hollywood, and the gay rumors that are often tagged on to people because of their privacy or whatnot. Reynolds offers up this tale about an early incident on his sitcom Two Guys and a Girl:

"I remember once I did this improv where I grabbed one of the actors and gave him this kind of Looney Tunes kiss. The audience loved it, and I thought it was a really funny moment. I'll never forget—this other actor cam up afterwards and said, 'What are you doin'? People are going to think athat you're gay.' And I remember just thinking that's just the most profoundly idiotic thing I'd ever heard."

Reynolds says he wasn't concerned about the gay aspect of The Nines, unlike other actors who auditioned: "Anyone who is homophobic—they're triggered on some level by something within themselves that they're desperately afraid of. More obvious news later in the program."

He also offers a candid answer when August asks him if he were a gay actor, would he come out?

"I don't know if I would. I haven't spent 23 years with a conflict within myself that is localized to just that. I certainly have my own versions of it, but none of those are as stigmatized as being gay, so I don't know. Would I feel a certain obligation to? I honestly don't know."

Reynolds does however, feel that he can relate, as an actor, to the self-examination gay people put themselves through as they discover they're different than everyone else:

"..given that there are 31 flavors of self-hatred, do you believe that is applicable only to in-the-closet gay people? I'm a 30-year-old straight man and I feel like I can completely relate to what you're talking about right now. I was hyperperceptive to the point where it was actually painful. That's probably a big factor of why I'm in this career.

Plenty more in the issue, which is supposed to hit newsstands on Tuesday, August 14th. The Nines is in theaters August 31.

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  1. and that gentlemen is SEXY on a stick. handsome, articulate and self -aware. extremely fetching to see a glimmer of authenticity and humanity pop out of the Hollywood media machine. i'll be seeing this flick.

    Posted by: resurrect | Aug 10, 2007 9:58:47 AM

  2. Whoa! Hold up! I thought all the good ones were gay? How'd we let him get away? 0_o

    Posted by: Iko | Aug 10, 2007 10:05:04 AM

  3. Love that man!

    Posted by: Blair | Aug 10, 2007 10:07:14 AM

  4. I love his answer about coming out. It showed real self-awareness empathy for others. I immediately thought of Oprah's remarks on that same subject: "Of course I'd be out." She acted like it was a no-brainer and she said it with complete confidence. But, of course, a straight person really can't know if he/she would come out.

    Posted by: sam | Aug 10, 2007 10:20:18 AM

  5. brainy, pretty, and sexy. wow!

    Posted by: nic | Aug 10, 2007 10:41:19 AM

  6. A very nice interview -- but I'm sick of straight people. Even "understanding" and "sympathetic" ones.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 10, 2007 10:44:39 AM

  7. We are acquainted, Ryan and I. Not friends but have some great conversations on several occasions, and socialize with the same people. He really is one of the best people I have ever met. Especially one who has been in the business since he was 14. A real prince this guy.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Aug 10, 2007 10:46:43 AM

  8. I love RR.

    What do you mean you are "sick of straight people"? Even "understanding and sympathetic" ones?? Those are the kind you should certainly not be 'sick' of if you ask me.

    Everyone in the world can't be gay.

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 10, 2007 10:47:56 AM

  9. He is brainy, pretty, and sexy.

    Thats because he is Canadian!

    Posted by: Landis | Aug 10, 2007 10:57:26 AM

  10. You got that right Landis!!

    Posted by: secretagentman | Aug 10, 2007 11:00:58 AM

  11. The fact that he is Canadian plays hugely in his being a saner actor on sexuality issues than american born actors.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 10, 2007 11:02:03 AM

  12. I love him so much!!

    That Hope Davis rocks my world too.

    Posted by: Princess Superstar | Aug 10, 2007 11:02:28 AM

  13. "The fact that he is Canadian plays hugely in his being a saner actor on sexuality issues than american born actors."

    A sad truth for the 'land of the free'

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 10, 2007 11:12:15 AM

  14. of course he's gay...people in the audience seeing the trailer were laughing at all his lisping!! he's got the gayest straight voice ever!!!

    Posted by: alan brickman | Aug 10, 2007 12:28:25 PM

  15. David - I can only imagine what you would say if he'd said he's sick of gay people.

    Posted by: ohmy | Aug 10, 2007 12:28:33 PM

  16. People like Ryan Reynolds make me angry at the gods.

    Such unattainable perfection is just cruel.

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 10, 2007 12:37:44 PM

  17. LANDIS,SECRETAGENTMAN and WES...Y'all crazy...and damn right!! He's gorgeous,smart and I'm in love with him. There...I said it!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Aug 10, 2007 12:42:04 PM

  18. c'mon, there are a number of male american actors that are cool with the whole gay thing, though they may not articulate it as well as ryan reynolds. name some important american actors that are NOT, you naysayers. but before you start hatin' instead of participatin', don't forget that i posted the first "brainy, pretty, and sexy" comment above.

    Posted by: nic | Aug 10, 2007 1:16:34 PM

  19. Did anyone else catch that brief moment in that clip where Ryan's characters are all in the same car together, similiar to his ex-fiance Alanis Morissette's video for "Ironic?"

    Posted by: Jake | Aug 10, 2007 1:55:47 PM

  20. There are several younger American actors who aren't freaked out by homosexuality--they are more European (or Canadian) in their attitudes. However, I do have to say that many of the actors I've known who got really freaked out by being percieved as gay--it's because they are.

    Posted by: db | Aug 10, 2007 1:59:39 PM

  21. You know what I find interesting how the gay community keeps up this outdated and sterile pretense of elitism in regard to physical looks is total bullshit and reaps of deep prejudice and general hatred.

    Of course Ryan Reynolds, 50 Cents, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, David Beckman, George Clooney, etc have to be "gay" because they are attractive with excellent bodies etc.

    No one ever questions if Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, Anthony Anderson (he was in Transformers), and countless others like these men "Are they gay"? Why not what is going on here. Vince Vaughn is surely worthy of these questions; how about William H. Macy yes I know he is married but come on he looks a little gay; but NO these questions regarding “who is gay” are bestowed upon only the “beautiful men of Hollywood.”

    It is really transparent when you think about it. It is a sad and highly pathetic case of wishful thinking and deep self-importance. It can be compared to a child of four who knows his parents have no job or very little money and still wants something for Christmas and complains when he does not get it. The parents spend time massaging his soul with the correct platitudes regarding the state of their lives basically what Ryan Reynolds has done here.

    Newsflash “gay men” you are not four years old at least not physically grow up mentally, challenge yourself, your views that go beyond "I am gay" you are so much more and deal with it and stop this fascism of body worship it is so pathetic and reaps of deep seated prejudice.

    Being gay is not an identity' that's the bottom line. It's a sideline. But through no one's fault and everybody's fault, it's become a subject for identity, so you run away from mainstream culture into a kind of offbeat culture, and then the offbeat culture becomes a little mainstream culture of its own - just as brutal, actually, as the culture you thought you were leaving behind."- Rupert Everett

    Posted by: TheTruth | Aug 10, 2007 3:25:04 PM

  22. I think most people aren't saying he's gay, they're appreciating his hotness. As well as his intelligence. What's wrong with that?

    The fact that he's so comfortable in his heterosexuality to see homosexuality for what it is, a non-issue, says to me that he's not gay. If he were, he'd have no issue with it.

    The answer he gave reeked of honesty to me.

    And to disprove your "suspecting only beautiful men to be gay" theory, I have two words: Kevin Spacey.

    Chill out a bit.

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 10, 2007 3:31:43 PM

  23. Kevin Spacey's gay?

    Posted by: davitydave | Aug 10, 2007 4:35:15 PM

  24. Dear THETRUTH,

    I don't think anyone ever alleged that 50Cent is gay.


    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 10, 2007 5:03:26 PM

  25. Dear THETRUTH,

    PS: (on Peterparker's comment) Or anyone that alledged that 50 cent is gay and lived to tell us about it.

    Posted by: Landis | Aug 10, 2007 5:20:37 PM

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