Wentworth 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.
“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.”
Of 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."