Stirring the Pot
BY Brandon Voss
August 07 2009 12:00 AM ET
Out directors Don Roos and Todd Holland recently advised gay actors to remain closeted for the sake of their careers at OutFest. As one of Hollywood's most celebrated directors, what are your thoughts on the subject? Well, I think people should do exactly what they want to, but I would never judge anyone, especially an actor, for staying in the closet. Getting cast in a movie is hard enough without throwing in the additional possibility that someone would turn you down because you were known to be gay. But it's no question that if more actors were willing to come out, then it would make life easier for everyone. So it's a very tricky question. It's hard to tell somebody what they ought to do about something that's essentially private in a real way but needs to be public for political reasons. You know, I love seeing that Ellen DeGeneres, whom I love, is now a spokesperson for, what, a moisturizing cream? I don't even know what it's for, but she's basically being used in the same way they use whoever those other models are. She managed to get through a time where coming out seems to have cost her, and now it just doesn't matter.
Mainstream romantic comedies so often feature a flamboyant "gay confidant" role. Have you purposely avoided that sassy cliché? I was always very conscious of that. And aside from the romantic comedy gay confidant, every so often you see a straight adventure movie where there's an unbelievably stereotyped gay hairdresser who has some sort of hissy fit. At one point, after seeing Con Air , I actually called [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer and yelled at him about it because it really made me nuts. Gay kids have a hard enough time growing up without seeing this kind of overdrawn character. There's no affection in those things; it's just cheap writing.
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