Here’s A Full Breakdown Of The Discourse Around Whether Or Not Straight Actors Should Play LGBTQ+ Characters After Nicholas Galitzine Admitted He Feels “Guilt” For Doing So

Nicholas shared his fear that he is “taking up someone’s space” by repeatedly playing LGBTQ+ characters.

It’s fair to say that the discourse around whether or not straight, cisgender actors should play LGBTQ+ characters in TV shows and movies has been contentious for a while.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain"

And when asked for his thoughts on straight actors taking on queer roles, Rupert referenced the stifling knock-on effect that it has on queer actors as he explained: “A lot of straight actors are actively searching for gay roles because it is something different to do. I think that’s fine, but that does mean the gay actor who used to just get to play the gay part — like me — has been reduced to drag, really.”

Rupert Everett at an event in a suit with an open-collared shirt

On the other hand, it has been pointed out that the situation is far more complicated than it might seem. Director Jamie Babbit told NBC: “To have quote-unquote ‘straight’ actors saying now, ‘Hey, I won't take that part because it's gay, and you should give it to a gay person,’ it feels like another way to stigmatize our stories.”

Jamie Babbit smiling in a black leather jacket and a black and white outfit, standing with arms crossed

With all this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that man of the moment Nicholas Galitzine is conflicted over playing several LGBTQ+ characters throughout his career despite identifying as straight.

Nicholas Galitzine in a classic suit and tie with styled hair, at a formal event

For context, although he is currently in the headlines for his portrayal of a decidedly heterosexual boy-bander in The Idea of You, Nicholas has played five gay or bisexual characters since 2015, including his performance as a closeted British prince in last year’s huge hit Red, White & Royal Blue.

Screenshot from "Red, White & Royal Blue"

When asked if he has had to deal with people conflating him with his fictional characters, Nicholas told the publication: “I think I have. I identify as a straight man, but I have been a part of some incredible queer stories.”

Nicholas Galitzine posing on the red carpet in a suit with an open-necked shirt, in front of a promotional backdrop

“I felt a sense of uncertainty sometimes about whether I’m taking up someone’s space, and perhaps guilt,” he went on. “At the same time, I see those characters as not solely their sexuality.”

Nicholas Galitzine  in black shirt and blazer looking at camera
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