Harry Potter Actor Calls Casting Of Gay Actors And Gay Characters ‘Ridiculous’

Lucius malfoyWentworth Miller's recent decision to come out in protest of Russia's anti-gay laws was courageous for a number of reasons. Jason Isaacs, best known for his work on films such as The Patriot, Peter Pan, Black Hawk Down, and for playing Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, detailed many of those reasons in a recent interview with UK's The Telegraph, reasons that he calls "ridiculous".

“I have a lot of gay friends who don’t come out,” said Isaacs in the interview. “If you are a romantic lead, there is a perception – I don’t know if it is true or not – that you will no longer be cast as straight people." Many agents are convinced that, if the public knows that you're gay, they'll be unable to see you as a romantic lead in a heterosexual love story. Similar comments have been made by Bret Easton Ellis, and promptly landed him in hot water with GLAAD.

Isaacs continued: 

“Even when casting gay roles, there is a tendency to cast straight people, so they are lauded for their transformation. It’s ridiculous. The notion that a gay actor can’t seem like they are in love with a woman on screen is so patently absurd I can’t believe it still exists.”

Jason-isaacs-jason-isaacs-25494081-350-346Of course, one might argue that if more gay actors start coming out, the better they'll be able to change the public's perception. But Isaacs certainly respects his friends' right to embark on their own coming out journey on their own terms:

“It is not for me to push my gay friends to come out. I certainly don’t think that anyone should sacrifice their careers, if that’s what they think it would be, to make a political statement. But my friends who have done that feel immensely relieved and walk taller in their shoes. I would never judge anyone.”

Another actor from the franchise, Harry Potter himself, no less, is one of those straight actors who was lauded for his transformation into a gay character. He even has a widely-discussed gay sex scene in Kill Your Darlings, one that he called "unshocking" according to HuffPost Gay Voices. Radcliffe expressed similar sentiment in aniinterview with Out magazine, in which he said:

"You never see a gay actor getting asked what it’s like to play straight — to my knowledge, at least, there is no difference in how heterosexual and homosexual people fall in love."

Comments

  1. Moz's says

    Uhm

    title is not what he said

    what he said was its ridiculous to believe gay actors cant be cast to play a straight role but straight actors when cast to play gay roles are considered brilliant

    In other words, he is totally supportive of casting gay actors for straight roles

  2. Mike in the tundra says

    I hate to be one of “those” people, but please change the title.

    Someplace in the Tpwleroad archives is a report of a 2007 interview with Wentworth Miller. It was an interview Miller gave to prove he wasn’t gay. I bet Hugh Jackman feels silly for his recent “I’m not gay” interview.

  3. Chris says

    A complete misrepresentation of what was said. Even comparing it to Brett Easton Ellis is an insult. He said “there is a perception that you won’t be cast” and “some agents believe”, both of which are true, those perceptions exist.
    Whoever wrote this article should be ashamed of themselves both for the hitjob on this actor, and for believing their readership too stupid to read for themselves.

  4. fanatapan says

    I dont think the title is inaccurate; he did call the way in which gay actors are cast and the way that gay roles are cast for ridiculous. perhaps it could be made clearer, but its certainly NOT inaccurate.

  5. MajorTom says

    The title could be better, but upon reading the article I totally understood that Issacs was being supportive and calling out the industry for failing to use openly gay actors in straight roles.

  6. jamal49 says

    Towleroad, you really need someone to edit your copy. The headline is so misleading that it’s embarrassing. One expects to read that Isaacs is going to slam casting gay people in gay roles and the article is quite the opposite.

    I love Towleroad and I appreciate the hard work that goes into putting this up every day. But, you really, really need to copy edit your items better (and, get a proofreader).

  7. GregV says

    I agree that the headline gave me the opposite impression (as if he had said that a gay actor should never be hired for anything and all roles should be straight). It could have been titled something like:”Harry Potter Actor says hesitation to cast gay actors is ridiculous.”

    I agree with him that it’s tiring to see actors like Eric Stomestreet congratulated in interview after interview for “beliveably playing a gay man.” Nobody says to Angelina Jolie, “Your real-life spouse is a blond but in such-and-such movie you’re with a dark-featured bald guy. How in the world do you do it? When you kissed his forehead in the birthday party scene, how did your lips feel?”

  8. woodroad34d says

    I have to agree with the other commenters. I really like Jason Isaacs as an actor and when I saw the title, I had an “Oh no! Don’t tell me he’s a big ol Jeremy Irons or Charleton Heston!” moment.

    Well, he wasn’t. He’s still the jason Isaacs I admire. The title is salacious, misleading, and somewhat defamatory.

  9. oncemorewithfeeling says

    You are thoroughly, completely and irredeemably incompetent.

    I’d accuse you of putting a deliberately false title on this article so that you would get more clicks, but, after reading your other posts, I cannot believe you’re that smart.

    The New Towleroad is riddled with mistakes, articles you can’t believe, and “news” that’s days old. Does Andy Towle want this site to go under? It would be much faster if he just shut it down.

  10. oncemorewithfeeling says

    I almost forgot the anti-gay hatred on the part of the author to be found in his articles, as well. Mustn’t forget that.

    Something’s got to be done about a site that pretends to speak for the LGBT community when it’s actually become one of our enemies.

  11. Moz's says

    one wonders if Jason Isaacs & his people could sue for libel/ defamation based upon the title

    Not a lawyer, but seriously the title needs to be changed to better reflect reality. Its been a while since I 1st read it and many others have pointed out how horribly misleading the title is

  12. Remote Patrolled says

    I love Towleroad but have to agree with the above commentators – the quality of the writing, headlines and general proofing has really been on the slide recently. This article is so confusing – it’s all over the place. And yep that headline is misleading.

  13. iawl says

    WORST title of an article on here EVER. TOTALLY misleading! What is happening with Towleroad with all these new writers. ANDY– please fix this! Who the hell is RJ AGUIAR and WHY is he F***ing up Towleroad???

  14. iawl says

    Completely misleading and inaccurate headline! What the hell is happening with Towleroad???? All these new writers and a total lack of consistency with Andy’s vision!!! Who the hell is RJ Aguiar and why is he trusted with Towleroad’s rep? He is f***ing it up big-time here!

  15. Austin says

    Good god change the title. His words are lucid, understanding, and entirely acceptable. The title reads otherwise and is atrociously rude.

    I would give this guy a hug! Or a bro pump, whichever he preferred.

  16. Ari R. says

    This title does not go with the story at all. The writer compares his comments to Bret Easton Ellis? Bret’s comments were the exact opposite of this actor’s nice comments. This is worrisome. How can I ever trust articles on Towleroad again?

  17. Two Dads says

    The writer didn’t mean to be manipulative..it’s just how our brain viewed it. BOTH contexts could apply. AJ didn’t make the mistake. Or mind did.

  18. Moz's says

    @ two dads

    Occam’s razor

    everyone has made a mistake or 1 single person = the writer of the title has made a mistake

    occam’s razor says the author is in the wrong

  19. JJ says

    I agree with the other commenters, but I have hope this isn’t a general Towelroad decline. I’ve been noticing a LOT lately that posts from this one writer in particular are in desperate need of an editor.

  20. JJ says

    I agree with the other commenters, but I have hope this isn’t a general Towleroad decline. I’ve been noticing a LOT lately that posts from this one writer in particular are in desperate need of an editor.

  21. jjose712 says

    The headline is really confusing. In fact it’s a really bad headline because it’s totally the opposite of what Isaacs said.

    And what he says is completely true, a lot of shows, and managers prevent their gay actors to come out because they will lose those romantic roles and the actions movies too.

    But i think this is changing, maybe because there are more and more actors coming out. Women still love Matt Bomer, and knowing he is gay didn’t change that.
    There’s a lot of prejudice (including from gay people, everybody remembers the guy who blast Jonathan Groff for not being a convincing straight on Glee, no matter the fact he was convinced he was straight in Spring awakening before Groff’s coming out, wich means it was his prejudice and not Groff’s acting the one failing there). But that’ll change.

    And please, change the headline, Issaacs didn’t deserve that kind of headline

  22. Grant says

    Ummm…I understood the headline immediately. “calls the casting of”…the headline just implied that Isaacs was saying that the way gay rolls and gay actors are cast is “ridiculous”. It was very neutral, as far as that go. You shouldn’t be angry at Towleroad because you read it in a defensive frame of mind.

  23. RJ (not the TR writer) says

    I think the title is actually quite accurate. Jason Isaacs DOES think it’s ridiculous how gay characters are cast and how gay actors are cast. The comparison to Bret Easton Ellis is inaccurate though.

    If you check out the source link at http://www.telegraph.co.uk, the sub-headline they use is far more misleading, imo.

    “Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, says gay actors should not ‘sacrifice their careers’ by coming out.”

    As quoted above, he actually said “It is not for me to push my gay friends to come out. I certainly don’t think that anyone should sacrifice their careers, if that’s what they think it would be, to make a political statement.”

  24. shane says

    At issue here is the author RJ’s editorializing of the subject, which actually is what he’s here to do. It seems that RJ believes that gay actors should not stay closeted, am I correct? This belief informs his choice of headline, his comparison to Bret Easton Ellis’s comments, and his discomfort with Jason Isaacs’s point-of-view on the whole.
    There is a larger discussion here.

  25. Wake up!!! says

    wait…is this The National Enquirer???? Even they would have did a better job! If I were Issacs, I’d sue the pants off of you!!! I hope his lawyers see this and take action!

  26. PLEASE FIX YOUR TITLE, RJ says

    RJ,
    You need to fix your headline. I was pissed at Jason Isaacs based on your, completely inaccurate, headline. Then I read the piece and realized it was the opposite of what you titled it.

  27. Book says

    Terrible title! I was so afraid that Jason Isaacs was about to say something horrible. He’s a great guy and father, and supporter, so I hate to see even a hint of dickery pointed at him.

  28. Koskalaka Maricón says

    Congratulations, Jason Isaacs, Slytherin House’s Lucius Malfoy on film, for speaking an essential inside truth of one of the most anxious, nervous, risk-averse and skittish industries, ever.

  29. Linda R says

    Yes, the title of this article is misleading.

    No, I couldn’t care less if he is gay.

    However, seeing him without the long blond-white hair is disturbing. 😉

  30. notice says

    I agree with fanatapan-

    “I dont think the title is inaccurate; he did call the way in which gay actors are cast and the way that gay roles are cast for ridiculous. perhaps it could be made clearer, but its certainly NOT inaccurate.”

    Come on guys read carefully- both the title and the article.

    The title is definitely vague and cryptic- but hardly conclusive. Does anyone who commented above read other news? The title is annoying but hardly unusual. Titles are meant to provide intrigue, hopefully leading to reading the actual article. It’s your own fault if you let yourself come to any conclusions about the article based on the title.

    The article above is a thoughtful, decently written article. It presents a nuanced but very clear understanding of Miller’s ideas and opinions about the issue of being an out gay actor and why he decided to come out.

  31. notice says

    @MOZ this is frightening. Your logic is disturbing. Based on your logic gay people would still be being stoned to death.

    MIGHT = RIGHT eh?

    Here is your comment:

    “@ two dads

    Occam’s razor

    everyone has made a mistake or 1 single person = the writer of the title has made a mistake

    occam’s razor says the author is in the wrong”

    Posted by: Moz’s

  32. Jackie O says

    have to concur with the unwashed masses here, this title is terrible and completely misrepresentative of what Isaacs said. Why trash our straight allies just to get a few more views? there are enough people who hate us without alienating our friends out there..

  33. andrea says

    Seriously need to change the title. Very unclear and gives the wrong impression of what the article is actually about. Many people only read titles, and this title will ruin Isaacs perception to his fans.

  34. Eugene says

    Breath everyone, it’s a typo. The title is taken from the story, the word “and” should be “as”.

    “Isaacs continued:

    “Even when casting gay roles, there is a tendency to cast straight people, so they are lauded for their transformation. It’s ridiculous.”

  35. Rebecca Sarna says

    This is disgusting. You have completely misrepresented what the man was saying and cast him as some homophobic bigot which he clearly is not. The quality of this article is of the like i’d expect from The Daily Mail in England. It’s neither right nor ethical!

  36. YsoSerious says

    I am more and more appalled by your staff’s inability to follow simple grammatical rules or create a headline that isn’t either simplistic or inaccurate.

    Would you like to hire me as a proofreader/editor? I’d be glad to help.

  37. Bernie says

    Seriously, why has the title not been changed? Can RJ Aguiar read? And I’m assuming towleroad has editors? No?

    This is really embarrassing. You do know Jason Isaacs played Louis in the original London production of Angels in America, right? He really deserves an apology for this.

    Thank goodness all of the people who have commented so far have basic reading comprehension abilities.

  38. James M. Keane says

    I’d like to take the issue from the Writing side. I have a long-running Detective Series in print and two of my detectives are gay, being partners in a dual sense. You would never know it because only on rare occasions does it get mentioned. 99% of the time the characters are seen at work and ‘gayness’ doesn’t apply. It exists, it is just not an issue mentioned in the plots. I look forward to the day when that fact applies on film as well.

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