Although there are reports that the battle for Christian Grey will come down to Ian Somerhalder vs. Henry Cavill, devoted fans of White Collar star Matt Bomer aren't giving up just yet. Plenty of Fifty Shades of Grey enthusiasts are still rooting for him to be a contender for the coveted role, but that's not stopping some people from insisting that his sexuality will stand in the way of his casting.
For instance, on TMZ recently, a female staffer argued that many fans would rather see a straight actor in the role, because it is "so closely associated with straight female sexuality." But TMZ founder Harvey Levin disagreed, saying that straight actors play gay characters all the time (i.e., Brokeback Mountain), so it's not a big deal. As much as I agree real life sexuality shouldn't influence casting, I have to disagree with Harvey ... Matt Bomer shouldn't be Christian Grey, because he's gay.
Some will argue that if straight Heath Ledger could play gay Ennis Del Mar, then why can't gay Matt Bomer play straight Christian Grey? Well, he could! But it makes sense why many Fifty fans -- myself included -- would prefer he didn't. When it comes to an actor who is openly gay like Bomer, it's harder to enjoy the same suspension of disbelief we'd get with a known (or thought-to-be) straight actor. It's sadly the reason a lot of famous actors in Hollywood go to great lengths to stay closeted (hmmm ... Tom Cruise? John Travolta?) -- so that they can score romantic, sexy, straight leading roles and be believable in them.
I really do wish that wasn't the case. But it is unfortunately one of those "it is what it is" kinds of situations ... Once you know the details of an actor's personal life -- particularly their sexuality -- it can be difficult to push those details out of your mind while you're watching them on screen. I could see how that could especially be an issue in a role like this, which might be the most anticipated, most sexually-charged, and yes, straight leading male roles to come around in a long time.
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Again, I'm not arguing that an openly gay man like Bomer couldn't do a fine job playing a straight character. Of course he could! Gay men have played straight -- on stage/screen and in real life! -- for hundreds of years. But to see a gay man in this straight, extremely sexual role when there are plenty of hot, heterosexual dudes in Hollywood who are more than capable of the performance, too? It seems -- for better or worse -- less than ideal.
Also, P.S., why does everyone seem to be forgetting that Christian's only supposed to be a young 28 years old? Most of these "fan faves," with the exception of Henry Cavill, are all in their mid-30s and look it. Straight or gay, the guy who plays Christian has gotta be the right age! (And sorry again, Bomer fans, but he's not.)
How do you feel about Matt Bomer as Christian Grey? Do you feel like an actor's sexuality should influence whether or not he scores the role?
Image via USA Network