Stanley Tucci Is the Latest Straight Actor to Defend Playing Gay Characters

The actor made the comments in a BBC interview

Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci attends the UK Premiere of "The Little Mermaid" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on May 15, 2023.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

In 2021, Ewan McGregor sparked some controversy for playing for playing the title character in the miniseries Halston. Why? McGregor is straight; Halston was gay. At the time of the controversy, which McGregor addressed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, InsideHook’s Bonnie Stiernberg wrote a comprehensive analysis of the issues at hand, exploring the complexities of the issue from multiple angles.

That issue, however, hasn’t gone away — and the latest actor to raise similar questions as McGregor is Stanley Tucci, who is straight but has played gay characters in Supernova and The Devil Wears Prada. As IndieWire reports, Tucci addressed his work in the latter film in an interview on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs.

“I am always very flattered when gay men come up to me and talk to me about The Devil Wears Prada or they talk about Supernova, and they say that, ‘It was just so beautiful,’ you know, ‘You did it the right way,’” Tucci said in the interview. “Because often, it’s not done the right way.”

Ewan McGregor Is Catching Heat for Playing a Gay Character. Should He Be?
McGregor, who is straight, has defended his decision to play a gay fashion designer in “Halston”

He went on to argue that playing a wide variety of roles was part of the work of being an actor. “You’re supposed to play different people,” he said. Tucci’s comments are unlikely to put the larger debate to rest — but it’s good to see him addressing the issue nonetheless.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.