Harry Potter Hub
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."
After an iffy start involving horses and pitchforks, last night's Olympic opening ceremony was dazzling. Sadly, NBC is being stingy with video. The bulk of the thing has yet to make it online, and what has made it online is un-embeddable. Hopefully that'll change soon. The lighting ceremony and subsequent fireworks show is very worth seeing, and is so far absent from the web.
In the meantime, please enjoy:
A clip from a segment of the ceremony celebrating British children's literature, in which Voldemort, the Queen of Hearts, Cruella DeVille, Mike Oldfield, and assorted nasty things menace a stadiumful of sleeping children;
A stirring clip of "the forging" of the Olympic rings (so called because that's what everyone's calling it, though nothing's actually being forged);
The Queen being escorted to the Olympics by 007. (The pair proceeded to jump from a helicopter, though NBC hasn't released that footage, either.)
At America's military academies, the first DADT-less year draws to a close:
For the first time, gay students at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis were able to take a same-sex date to the academy's Ring Dance for third-year midshipmen. The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., officially recognized a club for gay students this month. And gay cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., are relieved they no longer have to worry about revealing their sexuality.
Several gay students from the nation's major military academies said the September repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," an 18-year-old legal provision under which gays could serve as long as they didn't openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, meant significant change.
"For the most part, it allows us to be a complete person, as opposed to compartmentalizing our lives into different types of boxes," said newly commissioned Air Force 2nd Lt. Dan Dwyer, who graduated from the Air Force Academy on Wednesday. West Point held its graduation Saturday, and the Naval Academy's was set for Tuesday.
Nick Clegg says there should be no conscience vote on marriage equality:
The Deputy Prime Minister said Liberal Democrat MPs will be forced to vote in favour of allowing gay marriage when the legislation is considered by Parliament.
Some Tory MPs are strongly opposed to allowing gay marriage. Last week Sir George Young, the Conservative leader of the Commons, announced that there would be a free vote on the subject because it was a matter of conscience.
But Mr Clegg disagreed, pointing to the fact that the original law bringing in civil partnerships was also not passed on a free vote in the House of Commons.
He the BBC’s Andrew Marr porgramme: “My view is that in the same way that the civil partnerships legislation that was introduced under Labour was a whipped vote, I personally don’t think this is something that should be subject to a great free-for-all because we’re not asking people to make a decision of conscience about religion.”
What kinds of letters did Judge Bermann receive before deciding Dharun Ravi's sentence?
most of the letters came from people who thought Ravi had made a terrible mistake — but did not deserve prison.
Some thought the media and public opinion had punished him already. Some said prosecutors were overzealous and others said Ravi, because he is Indian, was the victim of discrimination.
Some, like Amitabha, of Succasunna, N.J., said that prison was just too much. She wrote: "We have already lost a talented young man, Tyler Clementi, and it will be a double tragedy if Ravi's life is also ruined by a stiff sentence and is forced to leave the country he lived practically all his life."
Jackson, a former Rutgers sociology professor whose daughter committed suicide, wrote that Ravi is already paying for any role he had in Clementi's death: "I am convinced that he had no idea that his immature prank would contribute to his roommate's suicide and that he, like me, will punish himself with guilt for the rest of his life."
German schoolboy solves centuries-old mathematical riddle.
On the crackup of the Met's Peter Gelb:
From the start, his greatest strength has been his gift for marketing and publicity. Yet he suddenly seems unable to stop himself from engaging in behavior that generates negative stories about the Met and damages its image. His sensitivity to criticism appears to be extreme, his way of responding at once brutal and maladroit. Some might say that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but investigative stories on page one of the Times are in another category. Members of the Met board, who so far seem to have given Gelb free rein, may no longer be able to look away.
Mitt Romney will not win his home state in November. So what?
See the ship graveyard left when the Aral Sea receded.
Is the Harry Potter series fit for academic exegesis?
There are only two or three gays in Azerbaijan.
Really, Montenegro's "Euro Neuro" should have won at Eurovision. It was topical, rueful, and awful -- just right for 2012. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
Actor Tom Felton appeared on Conan last night and much of the discussion was about suggestive Harry Potter fans including those obsessed with creating fan art imagining a Draco-Harry relationship.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
The ads have been promising "It All Ends" for months now. And it does. But how about beginnings? The film wing of the Potter franchise began eleven long years ago with Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (2001) and its been amassing pop-culture power ever since, as steadily and frightfully as Lord Voldemort has been conquering Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic. There's a certain level of endearment or at least respect that comes with cultural staying power of any sort and it now feels curmudgeonly to say an ill word. Whether you've seen just a few or all of the Potter pictures or none and regardless of how much you enjoyed them, you'll feel this era passing. Deathly Hallows Part Two capitalizes on this and is currently wringing many tears of goodbye from its fervent fanbase.
Though non fans (like myself I really admit) could use a "previously on Harry Potter…" intro, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two begins with a bolt, a rather imposing vertical one from Voldemort's wand. That violent jolt of an opening is more than welcome after last year's Part One a con-job snoozefest (the series nadir) wherein Harry, Hermione and Ron basically sat in a tent and argued whilst Warner Bros made another billion merely by avoiding the inevitable: This Ending Right Here.
After You-Know-Who's intro, what follows are a series of superbly static colorless shots of Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and Hogwarts eerily surrounded by floating Dementors. It's a neat wordless opening, reminding us how dire things are...
More, AFTER THE JUMP...