The art of acting is pretending to be a person that you aren’t in real life. This is why actors have won awards since the beginning of the business, for playing roles that allowed them to submerge themselves into the characters.

Tom Hanks in Philadelphia (1993) Courtesy Of Tristar Pictures

However, according to people within progressive Left-wing circles, people should not be allowed to act in roles if they don’t have the real-life characteristics of the person they are playing – unless it’s a diversity and inclusion hire. Now, actor Tom Hanks is sharing that sentiment by denouncing a heterosexual man playing the role that earned him critical acclaim in the early 90s.

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Tom Hanks won his first Academy Award in 1993 playing Andrew “Andy” Beckett, a gay man suffering from AIDS in the film “Philadelphia.” Hanks now says that a heterosexual actor couldn’t play his Oscar-winning role if the movie had been made today. In an interview with The New York Times, Hanks claimed modern audiences wouldn’t accept the “inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.”

“Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now? No, and rightly so,” he said.

“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.”

Hanks added “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. Do I sound like I’m preaching? I don’t mean to.”

Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl (2015), Courtesy of Focus Features

Over the course of the last few years, Hollywood actors have begun to denounce the idea that heterosexual actors should play homosexual or transgender roles. Actor Eddie Redmayne recently disowned his Oscar-nominated performance in The Danish Girl, in which he played a male-to-female transgender person.

“No, I wouldn’t take it on now,” Redmayne told the newspaper. “I made that film with the best intentions but I think it was a mistake.”

Source: X2: X-Men United, 20th Century Fox

“The bigger discussions about the frustrations around casting is because many people don’t have a chair at the table,” he added. “There must be a leveling, otherwise, we are going to carry on having these debates.”

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However, this argument was debunked by openly gay actor Ian McKellen, who slammed the idea that only gay actors playing gay roles.

Source: The Hobbit, New Line Cinema

In an interview with the BBC, McKellen stated, “Is the argument that a straight man cannot play a gay part, and if so, does that mean I can’t play straight parts and I’m not allowed to explore the fascinating subject of heterosexuality in Macbeth? Surely not. We’re acting. We’re pretending,”

“There are two things — is the argument that a gentile cannot play a Jew, and is the argument therefore that a Jew cannot play a gentile?” he said. He later added: “Now, are we capable of understanding what it is to be Jewish? Are we going to convince a Jewish audience that we’re Jewish? Perhaps we don’t need to because we are just acting.”

What are you thoughts on straight people playing gay roles in films? 

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