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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."

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  1. The title implies Jason Isaacs think anything to do with 'gay' in theatre or film is 'ridiculous', which is not the case.

    Posted by: Darrell | Aug 24, 2013 1:21:13 PM

  2. Maybe "calls sexual bias in casting 'ridiculous'"

    Posted by: Darrell | Aug 24, 2013 1:22:04 PM

  3. 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?

    Posted by: Ari R. | Aug 24, 2013 1:49:32 PM

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

    Posted by: Two Dads | Aug 24, 2013 2:13:54 PM

  5. @ 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 | Aug 24, 2013 2:24:58 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 24, 2013 2:43:33 PM

  7. 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.

    Posted by: JJ | Aug 24, 2013 2:44:55 PM

  8. 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

    Posted by: jjose712 | Aug 24, 2013 3:20:34 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: Grant | Aug 24, 2013 3:47:02 PM

  10. 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, 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."

    Posted by: RJ (not the TR writer) | Aug 24, 2013 5:53:30 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: shane | Aug 24, 2013 6:03:04 PM

  12. To invoke Catherine Tate, take the shame and change the title already.

    Posted by: VSo | Aug 24, 2013 6:58:16 PM

  13. I'm back almost 6 hours later. Why hasn't this title been fixed yet?

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 24, 2013 7:02:58 PM

  14. 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!

    Posted by: Wake up!!! | Aug 24, 2013 8:10:38 PM

  15. RJ AGUIAR, you should be ashamed of yourself!! Fix the title!!!!

    Posted by: CC | Aug 24, 2013 8:13:54 PM

  16. Regardless of the title, better not to come out for an actor.

    Posted by: JC | Aug 24, 2013 9:05:22 PM

  17. Don't knock the National Enquirer. They got John Edwards right.

    Posted by: JC | Aug 24, 2013 10:52:46 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: PLEASE FIX YOUR TITLE, RJ | Aug 25, 2013 12:43:14 AM

  19. RJ is too busy promoting Chipotle on YouTube. That is why stupid mistakes are being made.

    Posted by: bollox | Aug 25, 2013 7:45:31 AM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Book | Aug 25, 2013 10:38:27 AM

  21. 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.

    Posted by: Koskalaka Maricón | Aug 25, 2013 11:46:58 AM

  22. This is what happens when Towleroad starts hiring people from Youtube.

    Posted by: Cory | Aug 25, 2013 2:20:27 PM


    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 26, 2013 10:06:35 AM

  24. It might help if the word PROCESS followed the word CASTING.

    Posted by: Process | Aug 26, 2013 10:31:54 AM

  25. 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. ;)

    Posted by: Linda R | Aug 27, 2013 4:42:24 PM

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