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30 Straight Actors Who Have Gone Gay For a Film Role

While Richard Chamberlain and John Travolta might agree that Hollywood is still not a safe place for leading men and women to be open about their sexuality, the entertainment industry has embraced and rewarded the heterosexual men and women willing to play gay on-screen. The latest example is Mickey Rourke, who has confirmed that he too will join that bandwagon by playing Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas (who announced that he was gay just last December) in an upcoming biopic. In honor of this role %E2%80%94 which, hell, might win Rourke the Oscar that evaded him for The Wrestler, when he lost to someone on this very list %E2%80%94 Movieline reviews which hetero actors have gone gay or transsexual for a role, and which were awarded Academy Awards along the way. cont'd

by Anonymousreply 7310/19/2014

%C2%B7 Robert Redford, Inside Daisy Clover (1965) Redford received a Golden Globe nomination for playing a closeted homosexual married to a recording star (Natalie Wood) in this box office failure from Robert Mulligan.

%C2%B7 Marlon Brando, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) This John Huston film featured Brando as a repressed homosexual (married to Elizabeth Taylor%E2%80%99s character) on an Army base in the 1940s. Although this movie failed to win Brando any Oscar nominations, footage of his character was later recycled in Apocalypse Now for Young Kurtz. Fun fact!

%C2%B7 Al Pacino, Cruising (1980) A critical disaster from William Friedkin, Cruising was based on a novel about a NYC serial killer who targeted gay men involved in the 70%E2%80%99s S&M scene. Pacino%E2%80%99s character is a cop who goes deep undercover to investigate.

%C2%B7 William Hurt, Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) H%C3%A9ctor Babenco%E2%80%99s adaptation of the Manuel Puig novel won William Hurt an Oscar for playing a pedophile who falls in love with his South American cell mate (Ra%C3%BAl Juli%C3%A1).

%C2%B7 River Phoenix, My Own Private Idaho (1991) This Gus Van Sant indie featured Phoenix as a narcoleptic gay street hustler who travels with his best friend (Keanu Reeves) back to his hometown in Idaho.

%C2%B7 Forest Whitaker, The Crying Game (1992) As a British soldier in this psychological thriller, Whitaker%E2%80%99s character convinces an IRA soldier (Stephen Rea) to check on his girlfriend back home %E2%80%94 only for the soldier to realize that the girlfriend is actually a foxy transsexual.

%C2%B7 Tom Hanks, Philadelphia (1993) This pivotal role in Hanks%E2%80%99s career %E2%80%94 as a closeted homosexual lawyer who contracts HIV and is consequently fired %E2%80%94 won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

%C2%B7 Will Smith, Six Degrees of Separation (1993) Legend has it that Denzel Washington warned Smith not to kiss another man in this film for fear of ruining the Men in Black star%E2%80%99s career. Here, Smith stars as a con-artist feigning to be Sidney Poitier%E2%80%99s son %E2%80%94 and who does not kiss another man onscreen.

%C2%B7 Leonardo DiCaprio, Total Eclipse (1995) Based on a Christopher Hampton play, this feature starred DiCaprio as a 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud who engaged in a fiery romantic relationship with peer Paul Verlaine.

%C2%B7 Robin Williams, The Birdcage (1996) Robin Williams starred as the owner of a South Beach drag club who, along with his partner (Nathan Lane), feign heterosexuality for his son%E2%80%99s disapproving future in-laws.

by Anonymousreply 112/29/2010

Greg Kinnear, As Good As It Gets (1997) The As Good As It Gets actor earned both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role as a gay artist who is reluctantly taken under the wing of his obsessive compulsive and judgmental neighbor (Jack Nicholson) in this James L. Brooks comedy.

%C2%B7 Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor, Velvet Goldmine (1998) This Todd Haynes film featured Rhys Meyers as a glam-rock icon, akin to David Bowie, in the 70%E2%80%99s and his lover, played by McGregor.

%C2%B7 Matt Damon, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Damon earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing an identity thieving opportunist who ultimately kills his lover to save his image in this Anthony Minghella thriller.

%C2%B7 Hillary Swank, Boys Don%E2%80%99t Cry (1999) Hillary Swank won the first of her two Academy Awards for portraying a transgender young man who is savagely murdered after it is discovered that he is biologically female in Kimberly Peirce%E2%80%99s indie.

%C2%B7 Ed Harris, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep, The Hours (2002) This Stephen Daldry drama famously won Nicole Kidman an Oscar for donning a prosthetic nose and playing Virginia Woolf %E2%80%94 but it also accumulated an assortment of Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for its supporting three actors who all played gay and/or sexually confused characters.

%C2%B7 Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, Monster (2003) Just three years after Hillary Swank won an Oscar, Charlize Theron followed suit for her role as a former prostitute turned serial killer. Ricci played her devoted on-screen lover.

%C2%B7 Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin (2004) After being sexually abused by his baseball coach, Joseph Gordon-Levitt%E2%80%99s character turns to prostitution and crime in this drama from Gregg Araki.

%C2%B7 Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain (2005) Their oft-parodied roles in Ang Lee%E2%80%99s romantic drama %E2%80%94 as married cowboys who share semi-regular Wyoming rendezvous %E2%80%94 earned both Ledger and Gyllenhaal Oscar nominations.

%C2%B7 Tracy Morgan, The Longest Yard (2005) Even Tracy Morgan went gay for a paycheck %E2%80%94 but his cartoonish turn as Ms. Tucker, a gay inmate who lusts after every other male prisoner in this Adam Sandler flick, was gravely insulting and even worse, enormously unfunny.

%C2%B7 Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote (2005) Hoffman%E2%80%99s portrayal of Truman Capote during the writing of his famous book In Cold Blood, swept both the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

%C2%B7 Sean Penn, James Franco and Emile Hirsch, Milk (2008) The role of gay rights activist Harvey Milk earned Sean Penn both an Oscar as well as a Golden Globe nomination. James Franco and Emile Hirsch also starred as Milk%E2%80%99s lover and mentoree respectively.

%C2%B7 Colin Firth, A Single Man, (2009) This stunning Tom Ford film won Colin Firth an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a depressed British professor who mourns his longtime partner in the span of a single day. comprehensive

%C2%B7 Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey, I Love You Phillip Morris (2010) This year%E2%80%99s comedy featured Jim Carrey as a con artist who falls in love with a fellow inmate played by McGregor. Graphic sex and cuddling included.

%C2%B7 Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (2010) Their roles as loving-if-dysfunctional partners and parents of two could win Julianne Moore and Annette Bening (who have already been nominated for Golden Globes) bids in this year%E2%80%99s Academy Award race.

by Anonymousreply 212/29/2010

The only part Mickey Rourke could credibly play at this point is a burn victim. Gay or straight.

by Anonymousreply 312/29/2010

Some of the people on that list aren't heterosexuals.

by Anonymousreply 412/29/2010

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Will Smith and Leonardo are straight? Really?%0D %0D I think it's pretty well established that Brando had sex with men as well as women.

by Anonymousreply 512/29/2010

I can't wait for Mickey's Welsh accent.

by Anonymousreply 612/29/2010

Straight Jake G played the gay role very well.

by Anonymousreply 712/29/2010

Gay as a goose Jake Gyllenhaal played the gay role very well.

by Anonymousreply 812/29/2010

R4 they all are heterosexual or pretend to be heterosexual. Gay people are going to wonder in 50 years why there are no leading gay actors in Hollywood because gay people are too passive to accept anything else. Heterosexuals or those that pretend to be heterosexual get the best gay roles while openly gay actors get marginal or straight to DVD/Blu-Ray roles.

by Anonymousreply 912/29/2010

There were straight actors who played gay before 1960, you know.

by Anonymousreply 1012/29/2010

James Franco-3 gay theme movies and another 2 on the way...

Emile Hirsch-The Mudge Boy,Imaginary Heroes,Milk

by Anonymousreply 1112/29/2010

kind of strange that they just assumed River Phoenix was straight.

and I'm not exactly sure if Julianne Moore's character in The Hours was gay.

by Anonymousreply 1212/29/2010

curious that they didn't mention Scarlet Johanssen and Penelope Cruz in Vicky, Christina, Barcelona (of course it was a bi menage, but still).

by Anonymousreply 1312/29/2010

Well R5, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is straight...........

by Anonymousreply 1412/29/2010

Straights playing gay get rewarded. Chris Colfer and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, out actors playing gay characters lose the Emmy to "straight" Eric Stonestreet who is doing a minstrel show version of a gay man.

by Anonymousreply 1512/29/2010

Matthew Broderick in Torch Song Trilogy Patrick Swayze in Julie Newmar

by Anonymousreply 1612/29/2010

[quote]While Richard Chamberlain and John Travolta might agree that Hollywood is still not a safe place for leading men and women to be open about their sexuality,

I like the snark in the opening line.

by Anonymousreply 1712/29/2010

James Marsden

by Anonymousreply 1812/29/2010

Colin Firth - A single man%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 1912/29/2010

they missed a few:

Peter Finch in Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Susannah York in The Killing of Sister George

Geraldine Chaplin in A Wedding

Cher in Silkwood

Marcello Mastroianni in A Special Day

Antonio Banderas in Law of Desire

Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jude Law in Wilde

Melina Mercouri and Alexis Smith in Once Is Not Enough (well, at least Melina Mercouri was straight)

Barbara Stanwyck in A Walk On The Wild Side (Stanwyck was clearly in love with Capucine, then again Stanwyck may have been gay; Capucine certainly was)

by Anonymousreply 2012/29/2010

and, of course, Shirley Maclaine in The Children's Hour

a bizarre omission

by Anonymousreply 2112/29/2010

Terrance Stamp in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

by Anonymousreply 2212/29/2010

Meryl was also gay in Manhattan

by Anonymousreply 2312/29/2010

Russell Crowe in that small australian film, early in his career.

by Anonymousreply 2412/29/2010

Dennis Quaid in Far From Heaven

Jon Voight in Midnight, Cowboy ("gay for pay" for a film role anyway)

Russell Crowe in The Sum of Us

Ally Sheedy, Patty Clarkson and Radha Mitchell in High Art

by Anonymousreply 2512/29/2010

Bette Midler in The Rose

by Anonymousreply 2612/29/2010

Guy Pierce in Priscilla as well

by Anonymousreply 2712/29/2010

Chris Cooper in American Beauty

Jeff Daniels in The Hours

Annette Bening, Gabrielle Union and Kristin Chenoweth in Running with Scissors

Raquel Welch (well a m2f transexual who is then lesbian) and Farrah Fawcett in Myra Breckenridge

by Anonymousreply 2812/29/2010

Daniel Day Lewis in "My Beautiful Laundrette"

by Anonymousreply 2912/29/2010

Van Heflin playing Jeff Hartnett in "Johnny Eager". He's the only one who *really* loved Johnny and really would have taken him to live alone in the mountains with him if he could have.

by Anonymousreply 3012/29/2010

Don Murray in [italic]Advise and Consent[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 3112/29/2010

Noticable that while declaring River Phoenix straight they didn't say keanu was. Is he family? I always thought he was just a loner and the rest was Gus Van Sants wet dream.

by Anonymousreply 3212/29/2010

I'm surpised Noni never played gay. I was hoping for her and Sigourney to mesh during Alien Resurrection.

by Anonymousreply 3302/12/2011

Daniel Craig - Love Is the Devil

Colin Firth - Mama mia, Where the truth lies, A Single Man

by Anonymousreply 3402/12/2011

Steven Weber and Patrick Stewart in "Jeffrey."%0D %0D Bruce Davison and Dermot Mulroney in "Longtime Companion."%0D %0D Colin Farrell in "A Home at the End of the World."

by Anonymousreply 3502/12/2011

Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American Summer

by Anonymousreply 3602/12/2011

Hugh Grant - Maurice

I'd like Hugh Jackman to be in an epic gay movie. He will give an Oscar worthy performance.

by Anonymousreply 3702/12/2011

Bill Murray in "Ed Wood."

by Anonymousreply 3802/12/2011

Rod Steiger in "The Sergeant"

by Anonymousreply 3902/12/2011

Bradley Cooper in Valentine's Day.

by Anonymousreply 4002/12/2011

Phillip Seymour Hoffman also played gay in Boogie Nights and Flawless.%0D %0D Weren't Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman gay in Shawshank Redemption?

by Anonymousreply 4102/12/2011

I'm sure they didn't overlook Kevin Kline for Cole Porter?

by Anonymousreply 4202/12/2011

Harry Hamlin in "Making Love."

by Anonymousreply 4302/12/2011

There is absolutely no way that Mickey Rourke can be Gareth Thomas. Worst casting ever!! They need someone younger - surely there must be a hot buff Welsh actor for the role.

by Anonymousreply 4402/13/2011

Uh Marlon Brando, River Phoenix, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Hillary Swank, Charlize Theron, Jake Gyllenhaal and James Franco are NOT straight.

by Anonymousreply 4502/13/2011

Richard Burton and Rex Harrison in 1969's "Staircase".

by Anonymousreply 4602/13/2011

[quote]Terrance Stamp in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Bernadette wasn't gay. She was transgendered and liked men.

by Anonymousreply 4702/13/2011

Meryl Streep in Manhattan

by Anonymousreply 4802/13/2011

Peter O'Toole - 'Lawrence Of Arabia'

Richard Burton + Rex Harrison - 'Staircase'

Richard Burton - 'Villain'

Al Pacino - 'Dog Day Afternoon'

John Hurt - 'Partners'

Gary Oldman + Alfred Molina - 'Prick Up Your Ears'

James Wilby + Rupert Graves - 'Maurice'

Albert Finney - 'A Man Of No Importance'

by Anonymousreply 4902/13/2011

Sam Waterston in The Killing Fields and The Proprietor.

by Anonymousreply 5002/13/2011

Chris Sarandon, Dog Day Afternoon...

there sure are a lot of straight actors.

by Anonymousreply 5102/13/2011

Felicity Huffman played transgender in "Transamerica." Her on-screen son, Kevin Zegers, played a prostitute who ended up acting in gay porn, his dream job.

by Anonymousreply 5202/13/2011

[quote]Chris Sarandon, Dog Day Afternoon...

Once again Chris Sarandon's character was transgendered and one of the reasons for the heist was to pay for the surgery.

by Anonymousreply 5302/13/2011

Well smell you, Mary Lou.

by Anonymousreply 5402/13/2011

"Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American Summer"


Bradley Cooper is gay as a goose, beards with Renee Z.

by Anonymousreply 5502/13/2011

R44, is right. Mickey Rourke is too old to play the part. I believe that was just a statement he made in the press and has not been confirmed.

by Anonymousreply 5602/13/2011

River was not straight, he liked guys and girls too, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 5704/28/2011

Was Russell's character gay in Proof? I really didn't get that.

by Anonymousreply 5804/28/2011

I know Gale Harold did...but rumour has it that he's bi; I think before qaf he was as he said, straight; but five years of ass ramming took a toll on him, and he became bi for a period of time; but now he's back to being straight :)(Especially after Fertile Ground).

Leonardo dicaprio also was a straight actor that went for a gay role; but I'm not a big fan.

by Anonymousreply 5907/08/2011

ok..for the LAST time people....ALL actors are bisexual.

by Anonymousreply 6007/08/2011

r60; they are NOT...Gale is STRAIGHT :)

by Anonymousreply 6107/08/2011

You're on DL, there is no such thing as bisexuality.

by Anonymousreply 6207/08/2011

Tim Roth and Harvey keitel- Reservoir Dog

by Anonymousreply 6307/08/2011

Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in in Death Trap.

by Anonymousreply 6407/08/2011

I was just going to post the same thing as R45 - the original article really should be "22 Straight Actors Who Have..."

by Anonymousreply 6507/08/2011

Paul Rudd and Tim Daly in The Object of My Affection

by Anonymousreply 6607/08/2011

Kevin McKidd and James Purefoy in Bedrooms and Hallways

by Anonymousreply 6707/08/2011

Steve Carell in "Little Miss Sunshine"

by Anonymousreply 6807/08/2011

Damn right, R10!

by Anonymousreply 6907/08/2011

Name a straight actor who never gone gay for a film

1. Brad Pitt

by Anonymousreply 7007/08/2011

(R70) So you never watched interview with a vampire ?

by Anonymousreply 7107/09/2011

several actors in the same move, Kevin Mckidd, James Purefoy and Hugo Weaving. Hugo has played gay twice.

by Anonymousreply 7202/02/2013

Gale Harold is about to go gay again in Kiss Me Kill Me, first gay role after the legendary Brian Kinney in Queer as Folk. Also in the cast, Van Hansis, Willam Belli, Matt Ludwinski.

by Anonymousreply 7310/19/2014
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