Another actor is weighing in on the conversation over casting only casting gay actors in gay roles. This time it’s Andrew Scott.
The out gay actor, known for his roles on Sherlock and on Season 2 of the hit BCC sitcom Fleabag, stresses chemistry between actors over real-life predilections.
“The most important thing is that you have a real chemistry with the person you’re playing opposite,” Scott tells Huffington Post, adding that gay actors should “absolutely” be allowed to play straight roles as well.
Scott also cautions against “identity casting”; that is, casting actors based on their real-life orientation.
“I think it’s dangerous territory to go down,” he says. “Sometimes to think that we’re only allowed to play our own–not just our own sexuality, but our own nationality or identity–that we’re only allowed to… represent things that are within our experience. That’s not what audiences go to see.”
He also stresses that acting is just that–an actor pretends to be something they are not.
“When you go to see a play you’re thrilled that somebody is pretending to be somebody else, that’s the magic of it,” Scott explains. “Otherwise it’s just a form of well-shot reality television.”
“I think it’s very important we don’t talk in absolutes when it comes to casting. I think we have to look at every individual situation and make sure everyone gets the chance to play all the different parts.”
Scott also states that the bigger issue is that gay actors should be considered for all roles, including straight parts, and that historically, casting directors have refused to cast out-gay actors as heterosexual characters.
“There hasn’t been a particularly level playing field with regards to who gets to play what.”