Actor Viggo Mortensen, who identifies as heterosexual, defended his decision to play a gay man in his directorial debut, Falling, which deals with a family’s dementia-stricken patriarch, who is also racist and homophobic.
Mortensen told Reuters that the decision to make the film’s main character John a gay man was not “a gimmick, anchor or some trigger.”
Said Mortensen: “There are certain characters I’m not going to play. I wouldn’t play Eric, the Chinese-Hawaiian American (above).”
Mortensen asked himself, “what if it’s not a wife? What if it’s a husband?” when writing an early scene and changed it to see how it felt.
“If it doesn’t work or feels somehow not right for the story, then I won’t use it, but I liked it,” Mortensen added. “There’s been so much injustice toward under-represented groups, racially, sexual orientation (and in terms of) sexual identification.”
Watch the trailer for Falling: