Fifty shades of sexualityBRIDGET JONES
First it was the internet, then the literary world, and now (what feels like) the entire globe is talking about the upcoming film for Fifty Shades of Grey.
Whether you like the idea or not, this juicy juggernaut is only gathering speed; it's kind of a given that the film will be huge. But who will take on the roles of the crazy-controlling, apparently irresistible Christian? And which Hollywood starlet will transform into the naive Anastasia?
Blogs, chat boards and water coolers are buzzing with theories. Will it be Emma Watson or Scarlet Johansson? Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds? One hotly tipped name is Matt Bomer.
Who, you ask? Well, he played a stripper in Magic Mike, two characters named Eric in a couple of dodgy action/horror flicks, and he sang and danced in an episode of Glee.
And now he is reportedly in the running to play the lead in what is sure to be one of the biggest films around.
But according to Bret Easton Ellis, the author of American Psycho and who was apparently on the shortlist as screenwriter for the Fifty Shades film, Bomer is the wrong choice - because he is openly gay.
Earlier this week, Ellis announced, via Twitter, https://twitter.com/BretEastonEllis that he was off the list of possible screenwriters. He then carried on to say it was "ludicrous" to have Bomer in the role, that Christian should be played by an actor that is "genuinely into women" and that Hollywood was the "most homophobic place in the entire world".
It was a series of tweets that seemed to go on for days, literally. And it has, quite rightly, got some people's backs up. Sure, it is a sexually explicit book detailing the handcuffed love between the two main characters, and the film is bound to be just as racy, but since when do actors have to practise what they perform? I mean I'm pretty sure Ben Affleck didn't rack up the hours exploding meteors before Armageddon and Shortland St's Michael Galvin isn't actually a doctor.
So why, in 2012, can't an openly gay actor or actress play a "straight" role? Are audiences that hard to convince? Surely we are meant to get carried away by an actor's skill at, well, acting, rather than what they do or do not get up to at home?
Do fans of How I Met Your Mother not "buy" Barney as the man-whore ladies' man because Neil Patrick Harris is gay? And what about the other way around? Tom Hanks in Philadelphia anyone?
Suffice it to say, Ellis has been lambasted all over the internet for his comments. Sadly, he has also drawn out some blatantly homophobic ones as well.
But he raises a point that often gets swept under the carpet - do audiences still have trouble seeing past sexuality? And is this why so many Hollywood stars, and possibly local ones as well, wait until well into their careers before coming out?
Surely, in this day and age, we are more mature and sophisticated than Ellis gives us credit for. At least I hope we are.
» Follow Bridget Jones on Twitter: @bridgeyjones
- © Fairfax NZ News
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