Ben Whishaw has called for more gay actors to be cast in straight roles.
The British actor, who stars in Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns, made the comments backstage after winning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in last year’s critically-acclaimed BBC drama A Very English Scandal.
Whishaw was asked whether or not he agrees with fellow Golden Globe winner Darren Criss, who recently said that he would no longer play gay characters as he doesn’t want to take roles away from the LGBTQ community.
“No. I don’t think that should happen because I really believe that actors can embody and portray anything and we shouldn’t be defined only by what we are,” he said, according to The Independent.
“I think there was a time when we didn’t know anything about actors, they were very mysterious. But now we know everything… So no, I don’t think that. On the other hand, I think there needs to be greater equality.
“I would like to see more gay actors playing straight roles. It needs to be an even playing field for everybody that would be my ideal. I don’t know how far we’re away from that [but] that’s where we should be aiming.”
Whishaw received unanimous praise for his portrayal of Norman Scott earlier this year when he starred opposite Hugh Grant in BBC drama A Very English Scandal.
The three-part series told the real-life story of Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe, who was embroiled in a secret gay love affair during the height of his career in the late 1960s, only to then go to extreme lengths to make sure the truth didn’t come out.
Other big winners at this year’s Golden Globes include Bohemian Rhapsody, which took home Best Film and Best Actor, and The Assasination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which won Best TV Series and Best Actor in a TV Series.