The NYT thinks playing gay these days will place actors closer to that golden statuette, pointing the finger at calculating filmmakers who manipulate media to market their stars:
“The actors are straight as far as we know (give or take the occasional rumor on the Internet, where you can find rumors about anything), an issue that matters only because it becomes part of the filmmakers’ shrewd if unspoken calculation. Especially in today’s celebrity culture, the line between the actor’s life and the movies never entirely vanishes. Mr. Hoffman chats about his son’s Halloween costume on the Letterman show, Mr. Sarsgaard’s name appears in gossip columns linked with Maggie Gyllenhaal and no one thinks Ms. Huffman was ever a man. Our awareness of these nonfiction roles makes it easier and maybe more acceptable for middle-class heterosexual viewers – a group that does, after all, include most of us in the audience – to embrace characters whose sexual preferences we don’t share.“
And voila! Suddenly
everyone the producer gives a damn about (the not-at-all-new hot and hetero romance of) Heath and Michelle.