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Richard Madden Thinks Queer Roles Should Be Open to Straight Actors

Richard Madden Thinks Queer Roles Should Be Open to Straight Actors

Richard Madden Thinks Queer Roles Should Be Open to Straight Actors

The Game of Thrones and Bodyguard actor is also in talks to join The Eternals, Marvel Studios' first film to feature an explicitly queer superhero.


In a recent interview with The Guardian, Game of Thrones and Bodyguard star Richard Madden talked about his upcoming role in the Elton John biopic Rocketman and how he doesn't think being straight should necessarily stop an actor from playing someone who is a part of the LGBTQ community.

"It’s a really terrible route to go down if we start restricting people’s casting based on their personal lives," Madden, who plays Elton John's former manager and lover John Reid, said when asked about straight actors playing gay roles. "We have to focus more on diversity and having everyone represented, but I’m also a firm believer in the best actor for the part." 

Madden is hardly the only actor who takes this stance. Late last year, two-time Oscar winner and Carolstar Cate Blanchett also defended straight actors being able to play gay roles

"And I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I think reality television and all that that entails had an extraordinary impact, a profound impact on the way we view the creation of character. I think it provides a lot of opportunity, but the downside of it is that we now, particularly in America, I think, we expect and only expect people to make a profound connection to a character when it’s close to their experience."

As our friends at Out point out, the problem with Madden's thinking is that it doesn't address the double standard where queer actors are very often only limited to queer roles. 

"So if queer actors aren’t getting cast in non-queer roles, their only option is to play a part that aligns with their identity—but they have to compete for those parts with actors who aren’t limited in the same way," Out's Rose Dommu writes. 

With on-screen diversity becoming more and more of a topic of discussion in the media industry, hopefully Madden and other straight actors start to realize their privilege and see the double standard that is thrust upon LGBTQ actors, especially since he is in talks to co-star alongside Angeline Jolie and Kumail Nanjiani in the upcoming film The Eternals, Marvel Studios' first feature with a queer lead superhero (a potentially history-making project).

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