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Guy Pearce says not casting an actor because of their gender or sexuality is ‘dangerous’

The actor is best known for playing a drag queen in 'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert'

By Steve Brown

Guy Pearce says it’s “dangerous” not to allow actors to play certain roles because of their gender or sexuality.

Recently both Scarlett Johansson and Jack Whitehall have faced backlash after Johansson was cast to play a transwoman in Rub & Tug and Whitehall was announced to play Disney’s first ever gay character.

But Pearce – who starred as a drag queen alongside Hugo Weaving and Terence Stamp in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – doesn’t think three straight actors would be cast in the roles now.

He told The Guardian: “I do think it’s dangerous, personally. I feel, like, in any of this sort of stuff you have to take each situation…

“We copped a bit of flak at the time, ‘Why are there three straight actors playing three gay roles?’ It’s a difficult subject to get into.

“I think resilience is going out the window, which is a shame. People love to be offended, which is a really offensive thing to say.

“Somebody is going to be offended by me saying that. Everybody has something in themselves they feel is fragile, delicate, misunderstood, not heard, and we want that part of ourselves to be heard.

“We’re not relating to each other, we’re just all going, ‘I need to be heard now and I’m going to be offended until I’m heard’.

“And if you cast that person in that role, ‘I’m not heard, therefore I’m offended, therefore that’s wrong, end of conversation’.

“What’s happening to us? It’s like we’re all functioning in the world as if it’s road rage and these are our cars and we’re behind the safety glass of Twitter and all that stuff.

“There are a lot of people who are hideously offensive out there and that needs to be addressed, but there’s a whole gamut of stuff and [people jump] on bandwagons and it’s really hard for all of us to know what to say or do.”