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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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MATT BOMER CONTROVERSY


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#1 LawrenceA

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:05 PM

There's another article about the "controversy" on HuffPost today.

 

http://www.huffingto...us_queer-voices


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#2 jaragon

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 05:32 PM

This Matt Bomer film, which has stirred so much controversery, is now titled "Anything".

 

It is directed by Tim McNeil from his own play.

 

It is about a trans sex worker who becomes involved with a widower.

 

It opens in Los Angeles on June 17.

 

Matt_Bomer_Anything_Screenshot_600_by_40

He looks hot as either sex


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#3 TopBilled

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 08:05 AM

This Matt Bomer film, which has stirred so much controversery, is now titled "Anything".

 

It is directed by Tim McNeil from his own play.

 

It is about a trans sex worker who becomes involved with a widower.

 

It opens in Los Angeles on June 17.

 

Will you be seeing it when it makes it to the east coast? If so, you'll have to share your thoughts (review).


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#4 rayban

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Posted 15 June 2017 - 07:01 AM

This Matt Bomer film, which has stirred so much controversery, is now titled "Anything".

 

It is directed by Tim McNeil from his own play.

 

It is about a trans sex worker who becomes involved with a widower.

 

It opens in Los Angeles on June 17.

 

Matt_Bomer_Anything_Screenshot_600_by_40


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#5 rayban

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 10:36 PM

So are you ALSO saying that a non-gay actor could play a non-gay character better than a gay man?

Yes, of course.


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#6 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 07:47 PM

I am NOT saying that a straight actor cannot play a gay man.

 

I AM saying that a gay man could play it better.

 

Why is the film version of "The Boys In The Band" so very compelling - even after all these years?

 

The reason is that almost all of the actors are GAY MEN.

 

So are you ALSO saying that a non-gay actor could play a non-gay character better than a gay man?


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#7 jaragon

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 06:34 PM

Well, there are certain things described in a cast breakdown that one must adhere to. Munchkin would be one, "black person engaged to a white woman" would be another.  I'm talking about just casting white people in an office setting, or having a white man or white woman cast for no special reason, or an attorney being a man when there's nothing in the script that says he has to be. These things are done every day because it's fast and requires no thought. It's like putting a robber in a hoodie, or in the old days, camouflage so you'd know he was a drug-addicted Vietnam vet. No reason someone in an office can't be in a wheelchair, for instance. 

 

Casting against type is a whole other subject and quite interesting if done right. I think Liz Taylor as Martha in Virginia Wolff is a good example. An example of it done pathetically is when john C. Riley was cast as Stanley Kowalski.  I'm sure the director thought well, you know, when you think about it, Stanley would look like that. Yeah, maybe A Stanley, a blue collar worker in New Orleans of Polish extraction who bowls and plays cards would look like that but take a look at the play why don't you. THIS Stanley is macho and sexy - he's the New South stomping out the old.  

Stanley Kowalski has to be played by a sexy man - John C Rieley is not sexy



#8 rayban

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:49 PM

I am NOT saying that a straight actor cannot play a gay man.

 

I AM saying that a gay man could play it better.

 

Why is the film version of "The Boys In The Band" so very compelling - even after all these years?

 

The reason is that almost all of the actors are GAY MEN.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#9 chandler5710

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:20 PM

Harvey Fierstein gives a superb performance in the movie, "Torch Song Trilogy", because he lives and breathes the appellation, "homosexual".

 

A straight actor, no matter how talented, could NOT have duplicated Harvey Fierstein's performance.

 

I remember the actor, Tony Bill, saying that, in the film version of "Torch Song Trilogy", only a gay actor should be used for the lead  role.

 

No, Harvey Fierstein gave a superb performance in Torch Song Trilogy because he wrote it for himself. Not only could a straight actor not duplicate it but probably a gay person couldn't either.  Harvey created that show and did it as a workshop, an off-Broadway show, and then finally it went to Broadway - years. He wrote the second act for my friend Diane Tarlton, whom I mentioned elsewhere, a great actress who died about 11 years ago. And as I mentioned, she played a gay character in a play called Last Summer at Bluefish Cove and was brilliant. She was straight.



#10 chandler5710

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 03:01 PM

Harvey Fierstein gives a superb performance in the movie, "Torch Song Trilogy", because he lives and breathes the appellation, "homosexual".

 

A straight actor, no matter how talented, could NOT have duplicated Harvey Fierstein's performance.

 

I remember the actor, Tony Bill, saying that, in the film version of "Torch Song Trilogy", only a gay actor should be used for the lead  role.

 

Well, there are certain things described in a cast breakdown that one must adhere to. Munchkin would be one, "black person engaged to a white woman" would be another.  I'm talking about just casting white people in an office setting, or having a white man or white woman cast for no special reason, or an attorney being a man when there's nothing in the script that says he has to be. These things are done every day because it's fast and requires no thought. It's like putting a robber in a hoodie, or in the old days, camouflage so you'd know he was a drug-addicted Vietnam vet. No reason someone in an office can't be in a wheelchair, for instance. 

 

Casting against type is a whole other subject and quite interesting if done right. I think Liz Taylor as Martha in Virginia Wolff is a good example. An example of it done pathetically is when john C. Riley was cast as Stanley Kowalski.  I'm sure the director thought well, you know, when you think about it, Stanley would look like that. Yeah, maybe A Stanley, a blue collar worker in New Orleans of Polish extraction who bowls and plays cards would look like that but take a look at the play why don't you. THIS Stanley is macho and sexy - he's the New South stomping out the old.  


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#11 chandler5710

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:49 PM

Bomer's  career is doing well even after he came out - he has the lead in "The Last Tycoon". I would love to see him in a major movie role straight or gay- that face was made for the movies

 

I just watched part of The Last Tycoon last night.  As a bit of trivia, Norma Shearer wanted Tyrone Power to do Monroe (Thalberg) in the '40s but it didn't happen. I saw the film with Robert DeNiro and two things struck me. One, it was one of the worst things I'd ever seen; all I can remember is a Casablanca-type scene in a movie Monroe was watching that was embarrassing.  Second, I had forgotten, if I ever knew, how very good-looking Robert de Niro was back then.  

 

Watching Bomer, I thought he did a good job but did not have the gravitas of De Niro, who really for me captured the essence of Thalberg. De Niro really sticks in my mind in that role. There was one good part of the De Niro film (the Bomer story right now seems quite different) - he's watching this god-awful scene with Tony Curtis and Jeanne Moreau, and Moreau ends the scene with the line "Nor do I." There is silence and then De Niro says quietly, "'Nor do I. Nor do I.' When has anyone ever said to you, 'nor do I?' The scene has to be completely reshot, it's awful. I want four writers assigned to it tonight." 

 

Fitzgerald is hard to put on film - I'll be interested to see where this version goes.



#12 TopBilled

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:46 PM

Laurence Olivier explained all of this to Dustin Hoffman.   

 

I think Olivier was being slightly facetious at Hoffman's expense. Obviously he knew you had to invest emotional realism into the roles you played, or else his Hamlet would have fallen flat. There is no way even Olivier could have played a character if he didn't find some of the traits identifiable on some level.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#13 chandler5710

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:33 PM

I don't agree,  but if what you say is true then Bomer shouldn't be able to play a non-gay man because then he would be faking it.

 

The job of an actor is to fake it.  

 

I agree.  It's what acting is all about.



#14 chandler5710

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:31 PM

Laurence Olivier explained all of this to Dustin Hoffman.   ;)

 

Well, Laurence Olivier asked Dustin Hoffman if he had ever tried acting, which is the opposite of what you're saying. Hoffman stayed up all night because his character did which Olivier felt was ridiculous. It is not necessary for an actor to be gay to play gay. If what you're saying about Matt Bomer is true, he wouldn't have been cast or been able to do White Collar for as long as he did it, nor be cast in "The Last Tycoon."  And Rock got away with it with the general public for years.

 

Referring to Hoffman, you're talking about method acting, which I personally don't like and never used.  Marlon Brando said when he had an angry scene with Julius Caesar, he would use as his subtext fighting with his father. Whoever quoted him said, did he really think a fight with his father rose to the same level? No it didn't. That's why imagination and knowing your character is so important. It's also why Brando wound up with Stella Adler, who did not teach method.

 

My friend Diane was straight (she has since passed away) and played a lesbian in a play called "Last Summer at Bluefish Cove." She was a big hit.  What someone is referencing above, as far as I'm concerned, is bad acting or bad direction. Harvey's situation is different - he wrote that play for himself. Look at all the straight actors who have done La Cage, including the original cast.  Dozens of straight actors have played gay people convincingly, and vice versa. I'm always surprised when I meet actors who are completely different in person than they are on screen or in specific roles. I shouldn't be surprised after all this time, but I am. 


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#15 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 01:48 PM

How can an actor fake something he is not even vaguely familiar with? Special effects give the illusion of "reality" but acting should bring us a sense of emotional realism.

 

I also think gay men playing non-gay men takes us out of the story just as much as non-gay men playing gay men. They're usually not convincing. Their own real-life persona overtakes the character. The only time someone can get away with it is if he/she is an unknown-- where the audience hasn't had time yet to be exposed to their persona and wouldn't have enough knowledge if they're trying to play against type.

 

I think one of the main reasons Bomer's character was written out of Guiding Light was because when they hired him he was an unknown and was supposed to be an all-American straight type of guy. It became clear after a year, once the audience figured him out as an actor, that he was miscast. So the producers made the character turn evil overnight (going back to the argument that gay men are assigned villain roles if they can't be traditional romantic heroes) and he was killed off a short time later. 

 

Laurence Olivier explained all of this to Dustin Hoffman.   ;)



#16 TopBilled

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 01:27 PM

I don't agree,  but if what you say is true then Bomer shouldn't be able to play a non-gay man because then he would be faking it.

 

The job of an actor is to fake it.  

 

How can an actor fake something he is not even vaguely familiar with? Special effects give the illusion of "reality" but acting should bring us a sense of emotional realism.

 

Gay men playing non-gay men takes us out of the story just as much as non-gay men playing gay men. They're usually not convincing. Their own real-life persona overtakes the character. The only time someone can get away with it is if he/she is an unknown-- where the audience hasn't had time yet to be exposed to their persona and wouldn't have enough knowledge if they're trying to play against type.

 

I think one of the main reasons Bomer's character was written out of Guiding Light was because when they hired him he was an unknown and was supposed to be an all-American straight type of guy. It became clear after a year, once the audience figured him out as an actor, that he was miscast. So the producers made the character turn evil overnight (going back to the argument that gay men are assigned villain roles if they can't be traditional romantic heroes) and he was killed off a short time later. 


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#17 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 11:53 AM

When Matt Bomer played a gay man in "The Normal Heart" - a gay man who was in love with his partner and who was dying of Aids - he was heartbreakingly REAL.

 

He didn't have to pretend to be "gay" - he was "gay".

 

That fact made all the difference.

 

You remember the performance - because it wasn't "faked".

 

Yes, a talented straight actor might've been able to take on the role.

 

But not with the "natural depth" that Matt Bomer had.

 

I don't agree,  but if what you say is true then Bomer shouldn't be able to play a non-gay man because then he would be faking it.

 

The job of an actor is to fake it.  



#18 rayban

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 11:23 AM

Great post, Ray. Excellent.

Jarrod -

 

You're the man!


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#19 TopBilled

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 10:18 AM

When Matt Bomer played a gay man in "The Normal Heart" - a gay man who was in love with his partner and who was dying of Aids - he was heartbreakingly REAL.

 

He didn't have to pretend to be "gay" - he was "gay".

 

That fact made all the difference.

 

You remember the performance - because it wasn't "faked".

 

Yes, a talented straight actor might've been able to take on the role.

 

But not with the "natural depth" that Matt Bomer had.

 

Great post, Ray. Excellent.


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"The truth? What good is the truth if it destroys us all..?" -- Mady Christians in ALL MY SONS (1948).


#20 rayban

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 08:16 AM

When Matt Bomer played a gay man in "The Normal Heart" - a gay man who was in love with his partner and who was dying of Aids - he was heartbreakingly REAL.

 

He didn't have to pretend to be "gay" - he was "gay".

 

That fact made all the difference.

 

You remember the performance - because it wasn't "faked".

 

Yes, a talented straight actor might've been able to take on the role.

 

But not with the "natural depth" that Matt Bomer had.


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".





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