13 Straight Actors Who Won Awards for Playing Queer Roles
Hollywood loves queer stories, but apparently not queer actors.
Searchlight Pictures, A24, Island Records
While we love seeing LGBTQ+ narratives on screen, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that a lot of film and television's most well-known—and awarded—queer roles more often than not go to non-queer actors. Don't get us wrong! It's a step in the right direction to see more and more LGBTQ+ stories, but considering that out actors don't get as many opportunities as their straight colleagues, we still have a long, long way to go when it comes to representation.
Here are 13 straight actors who took home gold after playing queer on screen.
Natalie Portman's portrayal of Nina Sayers in Black Swan, another Aronofsky flick, was nothing short of sensational. Although the character's sexuality is never explicitly discussed, it is believed she is a lesbian, and she's at least portrayed as bisexual in the film. Regardless, Portman took home the award for Best Actress in one of the most stellar performances of her career.
Leto won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2014 for his role in Dallas Buyers Club as Rayon, an HIV-positive trans woman.
Darren Criss won a Primetime Emmy in 2018 and a Golden Globe in 2019 after playing gay, Filipino-American serial killer Andrew Cunanan in FX's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. He has since said he that will no longer be playing gay roles so that more openly gay actors can have a chance at them.
Nicole Kidman won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2003 after she starred in The Hours as acclaimed lesbian writer Virginia Woolf.