Neil Patrick Harris has claimed it’s better to focus on hiring the ‘best actor’ for a role than choose a person based on their sexuality.
The actor, 47, stars as Henry Coltrane in Russell T. Davies’ Aids Crisis drama It’s A Sin, and weighed in on the debate that gay actors should play gay characters, a topic the showrunner has been vocal about.
Speaking to The Times‘ Times2 on Thursday, Neil claimed: ‘I think there’s something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role, if they’re willing to invest a lot into it.’
‘There’s something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role’: Neil Patrick Harris claimed on Wednesday it’s better to hire the ‘best actor’ rather base casting on their sexuality
In an interview with Radio Times, Russell shared his desire for gay actors to play gay characters: ‘You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodied and put them in a wheelchair; you wouldn’t black someone. Authenticity is leading us to joyous places.’
Neil said that he didn’t like to ‘jump on to labelling’ but felt it was important for a gay actor to be ‘a visible option’ for all types of roles.
He also said of Russell’s remarks: ‘In our world that we live in you can’t really as a director demand that [an actor be gay or straight]. Who’s to determine how gay someone is?’
Referring to his stint as lovable Lothario Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, he added: ‘I played a character for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor.’
Thoughts: Referring to It’s A Sin creator Russell T. Davies feelings on the matter, Neil said he didn’t like to ‘jump on to labelling’ and felt ‘you can’t really as a director demand’ an actor be gay or straight
The A Series Of Unfortunate Events star did however stipulate that he didn’t think Russell was being militant about his decision to cast gay actors, as Neil felt he was just concerned about being ‘authentic.’
Neil also heaped praise on Davies’ iconic show Queer As Folk and claimed it was a ‘turning point’ in the industry, saying it showed him that gay characters could be more than the comic sidekick on screen.
It’s A Sin follows the lives of five 18-year-olds as they navigate life during the AIDS crisis in 1981, and sees Years&Years singer Olly Alexander take the lead role.
One to watch: It’s A Sin follows the lives of five 18-year-olds as they navigate life during the AIDS crisis in 1981, and sees Years&Years singer Olly Alexander take the lead role
Meanwhile, in September Neil revealed he, his husband David Burtka, 45, and their nine-year-old twins Gideon and Harper all contracted the coronavirus in the spring.
All four have recovered now and are doing well, but the actor described their experience as ‘not pleasant’ on the Today Show.
‘It happened very early [in the pandemic], like late March, early April,’ he explained. ‘We were doing our best before, and I thought I had the flu, and I didn’t want to be paranoid about it. And then I lost my sense of taste and smell, which was a big indicator, so we holed up.’
Although a loss of the sense of taste or smell wasn’t initially believed to be a symptom of COVID-19, the CDC later added the sudden loss to its list of potential symptoms after many people reported it early in their illnesses.
Recovered: Meanwhile, i n September Neil revealed he, his husband David Burtka, 45, and their nine-year-old twins Gideon and Harper all contracted the coronavirus in the spring
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