Jack Farthing defends casting straight actors to play gay characters

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‘Sexuality can be a broad spectrum’: Jack Farthing defends casting straight actors to play LGBTQ+ characters after portraying a gay man in Rain Dogs

Jack Farthing has defended casting straight actors to play gay characters as he gave his opinion on the highly-debated topic.

The Poldark star, 37, said although he will always fight for equal opportunities for all actors, he doesn’t believe a performer’s sexuality has to ‘match’ their character’s.

Jack, who is dating writer Hanako Footman, has most recently portrayed wealthy gay man Selby in Rain Dogs, which also stars Daisy May Cooper.

Speaking about his new series, Jack gave his stance on straight actors being cast in LGBTQ+ roles, saying sexuality is a ‘broad spectrum’.

He told The Times: ‘I will fight for all actors getting equal opportunities to the end of my days but I personally don’t believe an actor’s sexuality has to match exactly that of their character. Sexuality can be a broad spectrum.’

Candid: Jack Farthing has defended casting straight actors to play gay characters as he addressed the highly-debated issue

Candid: Jack Farthing has defended casting straight actors to play gay characters as he addressed the highly-debated issue

Debate: Jack has most recently portrayed gay man Selby in Rain Dogs, which also stars Daisy May Cooper, and said sexuality can be a 'broad spectrum' as he gave his thoughts on the topic

Debate: Jack has most recently portrayed gay man Selby in Rain Dogs, which also stars Daisy May Cooper, and said sexuality can be a ‘broad spectrum’ as he gave his thoughts on the topic

The debate over whether straight actors should play gay characters has been divisive throughout Hollywood.

Many feel that only LGBTQ+ actors have the experience to play the roles and that doing so would increase diversity in the film industry.

In 2021 Russell T Davies, who created hit Channel 4 series It’s A Sin, said: ‘You wouldn’t cast someone able-bodies and out them in a wheelchair.’

However Cate Blanchett, who recently starred as Lydia Tar, took the opposing view, emphasising the importance of ‘suspending disbelief’ while acting.

Sir Ian McKellan took a similar stance, saying: ‘We’re acting. We’re pretending.’

Meanwhile, Taron Egerton – who starred as Elton John in Rocketman – said he doesn’t think there should be a ‘blanket rule’.

He told Far Out Magazine: ‘I grew up in a very liberal town and a couple of my close friends are gay.

‘I feel an affinity with that community. I don’t particularly feel that there should be a blanket rule about whether straight actors should play gay roles.

‘That’s very easy for me to say as a straight man, but I think that’s possibly a precedent not worth setting.’

Jack, best known for his role as villain George Warleggan in Poldark, has teamed up with comedian Daisy May Cooper for Rain Dogs, which was released on March 6.

Plot: Rain Dogs sees Selby (Jack) attempt to restart his friendship with Costello Jones (Daisy), who is a single mother to daughter Iris (Fleur Tashjian), after his release from prison

Plot: Rain Dogs sees Selby (Jack) attempt to restart his friendship with Costello Jones (Daisy), who is a single mother to daughter Iris (Fleur Tashjian), after his release from prison

Opinions: The debate over whether straight actors should play gay characters has been divisive, with Rocketman's Taron Egerton saying there shouldn't be a 'blanket rule'

Opinions: The debate over whether straight actors should play gay characters has been divisive, with Rocketman’s Taron Egerton saying there shouldn’t be a ‘blanket rule’

The comedy-drama series, written by Cash Carraway, sees Selby (Jack) attempt to restart his friendship with Costello Jones (Daisy) after his release from prison. 

Daisy stars as young single mother Costello, who is living with her ten-year-old daughter in the brutal lonely landscape of austerity Britain.

The show follows working-class Costello and her daughter Iris (Fleur Tashjian) as they are evicted from their home and scramble to find new accommodation.

A synopsis of the plot reads: ‘An unconventional love story between a working-class single mum, her young daughter and a privileged gay man.’



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