Tag Archives: british soap opera

Says he, ‘I am a handsome man, but I’m a gay deceiver.’ — George Colman, the Younger ( 1762-1836)

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Is it more comfortable for gay actors to play straight characters, or for heterosexual actors to play gay roles? As an actor myself, this question crossed my mind. I took training in acting technique at the Ottawa Theatre School, in workshops with professional theatre companies and with an acting coach. I appeared in many amateur stage productions over the years. The three actors in the photographs above are known for playing gay and heterosexual characters in British television series. Russell Tovey, the man, seen embracing the woman, is famous for playing heterosexual characters in Being Human and Him & Her. He is gay. James Sutton, the young man wearing the green and a cream striped pullover, and Guy Burnet, seated next to him, became widely known for their portrayal as gay characters in a relationship in the British soap opera Hollyoaks. Both of these men are heterosexual. Having seen their respective performances, I am duly impressed. They are fine actors. They were able to inhabit their characters, gay and heterosexual, successfully, giving a believable portrayal; still, I wonder is it easier for a gay actor to play straight or for a straight actor to play gay? Continue reading

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