Ian McKellen defends straight actors enjoying homosexual roles


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Sir Ian McKellen attends the “Bent” 25th anniversary screening on the BFI Southbank (Nicky J Sims/Getty Images)

Sir Ian McKellen has defended straight actors enjoying homosexual roles at the 25th anniversary of harrowing Holocaust film Bent at the BFI Southbank in London.

The story, originally a play starring McKellen within the lead role, follows a bunch of gay men making an attempt to flee persecution in Nazi Germany before being sent to the Dachau focus camp.

Marking the anniversary of the 1997 drama, director Sean Mathias, playwright Martin Sherman, and McKellen – who played Uncle Freddie within the film – took part in a Q&A discussing the variation of the play to the display, in addition to the story’s relevance in 2022.

“Nothing mistaken with that performance,” McKellen addressed the viewers, referring to Clive Owen’s (a straight actor) tear-jerking performance within the lead function of Max.

“For these of you who suppose solely homosexual people must be allowed to play gay components.”

McKellen added that he originated the position of Max on London’s West End in 1979 while he himself was nonetheless in the closet – although he was in a relationship with Mathias on the time – and the play and subsequent film adaptation has “educated the world”.

“The story is so important to me and to so many people in my era and individuals who saw it,” he said.

Simon McCallum, Martin Sherman, Sean Mathias and Sir Ian McKellen attend the “Bent” 25th anniversary screening at the BFI Southbank (Nicky J Sims/Getty Images)

Speaking about Bent‘s relevance to today’s LGBTQ+ cultural panorama, Mathias spoke about the importance of queer youth having a knowledge of the history that came before them.

He confused that earlier than the play and its movie adaptation, many viewers members at the time didn’t imagine homosexual people had been persecuted in Nazi Germany, and it took till the queer liberation motion within the 1960s and ’70s to uncover that horrific a half of historical past.

“It was such an awesome accountability making the film,” Mathias added.

“It’s a piece of fiction however it’s primarily based on something that occurred in our lifetimes, in our parents and grandparents’ lifetimes, it’s a horrific burden.

“It was a chunk of history that was actually blown over.”

Bent is out there to look at on Amazon Prime and Roku.


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