15 Hollywood stars who went ‘gay for pay’ on the big screen
PinkNews takes a look at the A-list stars who went ‘gay for pay’ on film.
Despite the entertainment industry being arguably one of the most LGBT-friendly around, it’s worrying how few openly gay or lesbian actors actually appear on screen playing queer characters.
However, with gay and lesbian stars still struggling to carve a successful career post coming out, it’s hardly a surprise – especially as so many of their straight counterparts seem only to happy to take up the baton (and the Oscars).
After all, representation is representation… right?
Take a look at just some examples below:
1 Julianne Moore, The Hours/The Kids Are Alright/Freeheld
Moore star as a sexually repressed housewife, lesbian landscape gardner and dying police officer in the hit movies.
2 Sean Penn, Milk
Penn plays gay icon Harvey Milk in the Oscar winning movie, opposite fellow ‘gay for pay’ actor James Franco.
3 Meryl Streep, The Hours
A decidedly lesbian film, with zero lesbian actresses – Meryl also played a gay character in the 2002 film.
4 Tom Hanks, Philadelphia
Hanks plays a gay lawyer who contracts HIV in this hard-hitting, award-winning drama.
5 Cher, Silkwood
One the biggest gay icons of all time played a nuclear plant worker in another Meryl Streep hit.
6 Robin Williams, The Birdcage
The late, great Williams plays the owner of a drag club in this camp cult classic.
7 Whoopi Goldberg, Boys On The Side
The LGBT activist plays a lesbian nightclub owner in the 1995 movie.
8 Will Smith, Six Degrees Of Separation
Smith plays a gay conman in the film.
9 Jada Pinkett Smith, The Women
It seems playing LGBT characters runs in the family…
10 Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
The actor starred in the Oscar-winning hit alongside fellow straight star Jake Gyllenhaal.
11 Charlize Theron, Monster
Theron also bagged herself a whole heap of awards for her role as
12 Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game/Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Both roles proved a hit for Cumberbatch, who also plays the sexually ambiguous Sherlock Holmes.
13 Glenn Close, Serving In Silence
Close won an Emmy for this 1995 biopic, based on a shocking real-life ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ story.
14 Leonardo DiCaprio, Total Eclipse
Even Leo has played it ‘gay for pay’ – but surprisingly did not win an Oscar.
15 Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Obviously not gay or lesbian, but also depressingly common. Other stars to go ‘trans for pay’ include Felicity Huffman in another Oscar nominee, TransAmerica.