It’s a Sin star Nathaniel Curtis has said straight actors should only play gay characters if they’re willing to do it “with respect”.
The actor, who played Ash Mukherjee in the hit Channel 4 series, weighed in on the ongoing debate around whether straight actors should take on gay roles in an interview with Digital Spy.
Reflecting on the discrimination faced by the characters in It’s a Sin, Curtis said: “People who know what that’s really like are the ones to tell that story.”
He continued: “Not to say that, obviously, straight people can’t give beautiful performances. You think about Carol, and Cate Blanchett with Rooney Mara and Timothée Chalamet and Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. All these beautiful people.
“But I think it’s the respect. Even if you were to have straight people play these roles, it has to be done with respect.”
It’s a Sin star Nathaniel Curtis says double standards adversely affect queer actors
When asked how the film and television industry can improve on LGBT+ representation, Curtis said the “imbalance needs to be addressed”.
“Once that changes, then there will be more scope for other things to change. With the imbalance being: openly queer actors are not seen as equal to straight actors. They are not given the same opportunities. They are not given the same roles. They are not given the same positive publicity.
“You have a straight actor play a gay role, and throw them an Oscar. You have a gay actor play a straight role, and it’s like, ‘Who are they trying to kid?’”
Curtis blamed that double standard on the media and said there needs to be “equality” in the industry.
“But then there are lots of inequalities in the industry, unfortunately, which aren’t getting there.”
The actor went on to plead with writers to stop making a person’s sexuality their only character trait.
“Being queer is one of the least interesting things about me, in my opinion. Let’s stop seeing queer people as a separate species. They are an actor. That’s what they do.”