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James Dreyfuss, Piers Morgan respond to Russell T Davies on straight actors playing gay

"I’m not completely convinced he understands what ‘acting’ actually involves" opines Dreyfuss

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: BBC/ITV/Markus Bidaux

James Dreyfus and Piers Morgan have questioned Russell T Davies’ recent comments abut gay roles going to gay actors.

It’s a Sin and Queer As Folk creator Davies made the assertion about his own casting choices in an interview with the Radio Times this week.

“I’m not being woke about this…” he explained. “But I feel strongly that if I cast someone in a story, I am casting them to act as a lover, or an enemy, or someone on drugs or a criminal or a saint… they are not there to ‘act gay’ because ‘acting gay’ is a bunch of codes for a performance.”

“It’s what acting is all about”

Responding on Twitter, Gimme Gimme Gimme star Dreyfus said of Davies: “His writing is always exemplary & I’m sure his upcoming drama will be fantastic. But I’m not completely convinced he understands what ‘acting’ actually involves…ie. ‘inhabiting a totally different character’.

Dreyfuss, who appears in the upcoming movie Supernova, a drama about a gay couple starring straight actors Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, said his co-stars are “totally convincing and brilliant” in the film. 

“There have been some superlative performances by straight actors playing ‘gay'” he said. “It’s what acting is all about.”

“I just don’t get it”

Meanwhile, TV host Piers Morgan said on Good Morning Britain yesterday: “Equality means equality or it doesn’t… I just don’t get it.”

The star continued: “Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, one of the all-time great acting roles, would he have played it more powerfully if he’d been a gay actor? I don’t think so.

“Did it shine a light on AIDS which was hugely beneficial to AIDS about that debate? Yes, because it was Tom Hanks.”

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