13 LGBT Roles That Didn't Kill These A-List Actors' Careers

Will playing gay ruin your acting career? Don't tell that old trope to these big Hollywood names.



Ewan McGregor — Velvet Goldmine (1998)
There are glam bisexuals and gays, a sometimes confusing style, and a top-notch cast in director Todd Haynes's '70s-era drama, said to be based loosely on David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust period. A reporter played by Christian Bale goes in search of a former glam-rock star, Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) by interviewing his former lover Curt (Ewan McGregor) and ex-wife Mandy (Toni Collette), and the film recounts their stories in a haphazard series of vignettes.

Paul Rudd — The Object of My Affection (1998)
Nina (Jennifer Aniston) falls in love with the perfect man — her gay roommate, played by Paul Rudd. Up until then, Rudd's big role was Josh, Cher's adorkable stepbrother in Clueless, but The Object of My Affection was a pivotal role for Rudd, who has starred in top cult films and iconic comedies in the last two decades, including Wet Hot American Summer, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models, and Anchorman.

Hilary Swank — Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Hilary Swank played the role of real-life trans man Brandon Teena, who was raped and murdered, in Boys Don't Cry. The film introduced mainstream audiences to the struggles trans people face, while also becoming a career-defining film for Swank as a dramatic actress.