Belfast Telegraph

Actor Billy Porter not concerned by ‘gay or straight’ roles

The award-winning star, who is gay, has spoken previously of an ‘enraging’ double standard in Hollywood.

Actor Billy Porter has said he is not interested in whether a role is ‘gay or straight,’ only if it interests him (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Actor Billy Porter has said he is not interested in whether a role is ‘gay or straight,’ only if it interests him (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Actor Billy Porter has said he is not interested in whether a role is “gay or straight,” only if it interests him.

The Emmy-winning star of shows including Pose and American Horror Story has been vocal in his frustration at what he described as an “enraging” double standard in Hollywood.

Openly gay Porter said that while straight actors frequently land roles as LGBT characters, the reverse is seldom the case.

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Billy Porter says he is not interested in ‘gay or straight roles (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

However, the 50-year-old has now said he is less concerned about the sexuality of a character rather than how interested he is in the role.

Speaking at the Bafta Tea Party in Los Angeles, he told the PA news agency: “I don’t care. I’m looking for good roles. I’m looking for the best roles.

“It’s not about gay or straight. If it happens to be straight that’s amazing. I don’t care. I want the good stuff.”

Porter, who enjoyed a lengthy and successful career on Broadway before establishing himself as a TV star, said he is still pigeonholed because of his sexuality.

However, he remains optimistic the industry is changing.

“We’re seeing the change now,” he said. “Look at me, I am the change. For 30 years I have made it my life’s work to be this person standing right before you.

“You can no longer say, ‘there’s nobody famous enough who is gay to play this gay part’. You can’t say that anymore.”

PA

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