Oscar History

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The Plane! The Plane! The Link! The Link! 

As your host begins his final busy day at the Middleburg festival, here are some news tidbits and amusements to enjoy elsewhere...

Variety Highlights from the Jane Fonda Masterclass at the Lumiere festival
• EW Peter Dinklage on playing Hervé Villechaize on HBO and disputing the claims of whitewashing 
Vulture amazingly accurate collection of faux headlines about 'how the media would have covered the events of A Star is Born'
New Now Next cute interview with Judy Greer about her gay fans and Jawbreaker
Variety our hearts go out to Selma Blair who has announced that she has multiple sclerosis
Out Cate Blanchett adamantly defends straight actors playing queer characters. I totally understand her reasoning and I think identity politics can sometimes feel anti-art and anti-creativity BUT actual gay actors are discriminated against so this is kind of tacky to be so aggressive about
The Playlist Cannes and Netflix meet... perhaps 2019 will have a different outcome?
MNPP Glen Powell photoshoot worth gawking at
/Film Netflix seems to be on a cancellation spree. Now it's Luke Cage getting the chop
io9 Turns out Disney wouldn't let Wreck-It Ralph make a joke about Kylo Ren from Star Wars. Or as Gerry Canavan so wisely stated on twitter...

maybe we should have more than one entertainment company

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Reader Comments (36)

*** a star is born spoilers ***

the ny times obituary in that vulture piece is like, chilling

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

I'm no fan of identity politics but the quandary is understandable. If Hollywood won't cast LGBTQ actors to play straight characters, can we *at least* be allowed to play LGBTQ characters? Why do straight actors only get access to a diversity of roles that diverse actors do not?

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Oh come on, It’s called “acting” for a reason.
And yes LGBTQ actors should be cast in straight roles. The issue is that vaguely happens. But blocking straight actors from playing LGBTQ roles is not the way to fix that.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLSS

Nat: The Marvel Netflix shows getting cancelled? I've been suspecting Marvel's current TV crop might be going this way since Inhumans, but...if we don't see a "declaration of non-canonicity" soon from Marvel on every pre-Disney Streaming Marvel show? I'll be really surprised. What they have to gain from such an announcement (the potential of re-dos on Daredevil the character, Hellcat, The Hand, Elektra, Iron Fist, The Inhuman Royal Family, Runaways and Bullseye, ALL of which are in varying need of such) is way more than what they'd definitively lose by not making such an announcement (the only compelling reason to keep any of these shows in canon is Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin being alive, and I suspect that's probably not enough).

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Mareko's post is the be-all-and-end-all statement on the matter - what is surprising to me is Blanchett's tone-deaf failure to raise this issue at the same time as answering her question... am hoping that it's a partial report and she did. Otherwise, I expected better from her...

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Big surprise coming from the actress who won an Oscar in a Woody Allen film.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

The issue raises other questions like should women not be allowed to play men and vice versa. The profession is called "acting" so I agree with her on this. And her argument is also a defence for the gay actors to be cast as parents, political figures and so on in a motion picture hetrospectrum.

You cannot expect an actress who played Bob Dylan and Carol to say YES I support the blocking of other straight actors to play LGBTQ characters AFTER she has been given that opportunity by the industry

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Maybe Cate needs to ask herself why she supports an industry that encourages gay actors - like Bradley Cooper - to stay closeted. She is complicit in an industry that is largely homophobic, all for the bottom line.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJafar

While I generally enjoyed Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet's work in Call Me by Your Name both performances honestly read as 100% heterosexual to me and that really took me out of the movie for most of the running time.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Acting is the art of convincing the audience you are another person- this would included their sexuality too- in the past some gay actors like Rock Hudson had to hide their true sexuality in order to have a career

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Mr Powell has star appeal

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

@ Jafar

Bradley Cooper? Lol. Let's not make groundless statements about (ostensibly) straight actors until there's definite proof.

Also he could be bisexual/pansexual/fluid for all we know.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMya

Are the only openly LGBT actors to have been nominated for Oscars (who were openly LGBT at the time) still just Ian McKellen & Angelina Jolie?

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Isn't it common knowledge that Bradley is gay, like John Travolta and Alexander Skaarsgard? The closet is a serious problem in a town full of gays and lesbians. Cate is a privileged white lady with no awareness.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Cate is right. Why can’t straight actors play gay characters?

The headline to the OUT article was clearly misleading. She was talking about her right to play characters “beyond her experience”. This according to her she will fight to her death.

At the same time the question asked wasn’t about LGBTQ actors not being able to play straight characters. Let’s wait for her to be asked that question and let us stop assuming.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commentergoodbar

I produced a play this summer and granted this was community theater and I'm not making a studio film, but I cast a straight actor to play a gay part because he was the best actor that read for it! Sometimes the other actors and I would have to explain what a certain line or subtext was, but everything went perfect.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

I'm an LGBT activist, very out, very gay but I stand with Cate Blanchett. We're not tackling the homophobia in the industry from the right angle.

There are OUT gay actors playing str8 roles. Not nearly enough of them, but they are there.

I'm already hating the moment when a gay male actor wins the Lead Oscar for playing a gay male person should that prove to be a Halle Berry experience both in terms of the quality of the performance and the acceptance speeches, which now reminds me of the Viola Davis' speeches, oh my stars, less of that, please.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

The whole straight playing gay thing is complex. Had (gay) Todd Haynes and (lesbian) Christine Vachon and (lesbian) Phyllis Nagy insisted that out lesbian actors be cast as the two leads in "Carol" it never would have gotten financed. So ideological purity would have... what? The film not be made? Clearly, there need to be more casting of out LGBTQ performers (in both straight and gay roles) and more attempts to create queer stars, but until we have a bunch of bankable queer stars, we're going to need straight allies willing to take these roles (usually for less money than their asking price, by the way) to help get these films financed.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

geez. people are much too sensitive. there are a lot of gay actors in hollywood playimg gay and straight characters. a lot of straight actors playing gay and straight characters too. calls of discrimination are misguided.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

Wasn’t Cate in that Jack Black film that tanked? I don’t need her lectures on straight actor’s rights.

October 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTed

SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS UNITE!! Let's destroy Blanchett. She is officially cancelled.

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMelvin

Methinks Straight Cate is clueless? Imagine how a black or Asian person feels when they see a white person pretending to be someone of their race on a movie screen? It’s infuriating because it insults their identity. It’s very similar now for gays and lesbians seeing a straight actor pretend to be them, when similarly, it’s unnecessary. Gays and lesbians are still marginalized.

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRick

@ Ted

The House With A Clock In Its Walls has already more than doubled its production budget at the global box office

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

You read Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet's work in Call Me by Your Name as heterosexual? What? So how shoud a gay person behave? Tell me. Gay stereotyping in 2018, My God.

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

I think this discussion is good. A straight person can only approximate the gay experience in the same way an Asian could only approximate a black person. This is an unconscious bias we are accepting much too easily. Until half the actors are gay, we are token figures.

And I didn't realize Cate is playing a witch in theaters right now.

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I'm gay and I don't really have much more of a problem with straight people playing gay than, say, a British actor playing an American. If you can't understand how race is different from sexuality, I can't help you. And if you're going to say "A straight person can only approximate the gay experience in the same way an Asian could only approximate a black person" then it works the other way, right? No more gay actors playing straight characters. That said, we need to make sure gay actors are given lots of chances to shine in big movies. It's coming, not fast enough, but it's coming.

October 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

People keep missing the point that identity is different than experience. If you are fine with straight people playing gays to win awards, appease studios, or be patient, I can't.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

I had a roommate in graduate school who identified as lesbian, now she identifies as straight and has a husband and daughter. I wonder who we'd have to get to play her if they made a movie about her life story.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

Anne Heche? My question is why did Cate choose this as her issue? It’s blowing up in her face.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSRB

I like the fact that Cate is willing to say what she actually thinks (for instance on Woody Allen), rather than playing it safe. She's a huge, talented star with two Oscars and she doesn't give a f**k what social media thinks. Good for her. And you know, Anne Heche is a little too old, but otherwise I think she'd actually be pretty good as my old grad school roommate.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

I should make it clear that I dont have a problem with people playing outside of their own experience either -- it's called acting. BUT until the industry doesn't discriminate against gay actors, it's time to start letting them play AT LEAST the gay roles. you know? If gay actors were afforded opportunities to play gay characters regularly as well as straight characters i would have zero issue with straight actors playing gay but the way it is now is homophobic plain and simple. All you have to know to accept that this is true is that straight actors win awards for 'playing gay' but gay actors (Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen, etcetera) don't. It's obviously a homophobic situation where it's considered "brave" of straight people but with gay people it's like "oh, they're just playing themselves", or some bullshit like that.

I will obviously never get over Rupert Everett being snubbed for his brilliant work in "My Best Friend's Wedding" while Gregg Kineear sailed to a nomination 'playing gay' in that category for a much much much lesser performance in "As Good As It Gets"

all that said, some straight people have deserved their hardware for playing gay. It's just that gay actors dont get similar opportunities or aren't celebrated when they do. That's the problem in a nutshell.

October 23, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@ Nathaniel R

I'm certain there's more LGBTQ+ actors who have been Oscar nominated for their work than the known number.

The problem is that they're not out, they are not leading the way.

Cate Blanchett's comments defending artistic freedom are not a dent in anybody's work.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Weren't Leonard Frey and Jaye Davidson out when they were nominated - and the former in 1971!

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Cate is already playing witches in her 40's, so she is tempting the fates! While I support her general wish for artistic freedom, her delivery ("I will fight to the death for the right ..." and "Particularly in America, I think ...) seems off. She has a lot of attitude for an actress that can't even open a movie.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterQT

Dear internet, please read the original and entire article before jumping to conclusions:


“And I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience. I think reality television and all that that entails had an extraordinary impact, a profound impact on the way we view the creation of character,” she continued. “I think it provides a lot of opportunity, but the downside of it is that we now, particularly in America, I think, we expect and only expect people to make a profound connection to a character when it’s close to their experience.”

@ QT, she's got two rock-solid leads next year (Where'd you go Bernadette? and the Lucille Ball biopic). If there's an A list actress out there that I'm not worried about, it's Cate Blanchett. Even when she took 6 years off to do theatre, directors kept wanting her back and offering her roles. Few actors or actresses can afford to do such an extensive break, return with a bang and do a Blue Jasmine and a Carol while taking part in well-reviewed box office hits (Cinderella, Thor: Ragnarok). Relax your brains.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Oh well, she had a good run. I forgot she also played a witch in Thor.

October 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHW

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