Tom Hanks has played several roles throughout his highly successful acting career, the latest being Geppetto in Disney’s Pinocchio. The actor, who is known around the world for his stellar performances, once played the role of a gay man in the 1993 film Philadelphia. The film revolved around Andrew Beckett (played by Tom Hanks), who is a gay lawyer suffering from HIV AIDS is wrongfully fired from his law firm after one of his colleagues discovered the truth about his condition. Recently, the actor talked about the film in an interview with The New York Times Magazine.
Tom Hanks says that he couldn’t have played the role of a gay character today
This Philadelphia star won two Oscars for his role in the film and received acclaim from critics. However, in the interview, Hanks stated that he could not play the role today. The actor said,
“Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now? No, and rightly so. The whole point of Philadelphia was don’t be afraid. One of the reasons people weren’t afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man. We’re beyond that now, and I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy. It’s not a crime, it’s not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity.”
Hanks’ statement about not being able to play a gay character in today’s era reflects the reality
Hanks’ statement reflects the reality of the contemporary era wherein straight actors are often criticized for playing the role of gay or trans characters. This is mainly because a straight individual’s portrayal of a homosexual or trans character is often inauthentic since they have never experienced what it is like to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, such a casting choice takes away the opportunities for gay and trans people to play the roles, which defeats the whole purpose of empowering the queer community that the films are aiming for by including a gay or trans character.
Tom Hanks to star in the comedy, World War Z
Even though Tom cannot play a gay character anymore, his acting career is still going strong. The actor is set to star in the new comedy, World War Z, along with Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS, which is set to release on 24th June 2022. In the film, Hanks plays the role of Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Thus, the fans will be seeing a lot of Hanks in the coming year.