Cate Blanchett defends straight actors playing LGBT characters in Hollywood
Cate Blanchett has defended the use of straight actors to play LGBT+ characters.
Speaking at the Rome Film Festival, she said: “It also speaks to something that I’m quite passionate about in storytelling generally, but in film specifically, which is that film can be quite a literal medium.
“And I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience. 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,” she added, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson quit upcoming film Rub & Tug, after anger at her casting as a transgender man.
The Avengers star sparked outrage by agreeing to take on the role of real-life trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in Rub & Tug.
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LGBT activists had hit out at the film for casting the Hollywood star instead of a transgender actor, given the lack of opportunities for trans stars.
Johansson was initially defensive of the film, telling people upset by the decision to contact Jeffrey Tambor and Jared Leto – both of whom also controversially played trans people on screen – for comment.
However the actress later confirmed that she will step back from the project.
In a statement to Out magazine, she said: “In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project.
“Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realise it was insensitive.”