Tom Hanks wouldn't play gay Philadelphia role now
Tom Hanks wouldn't accept his starring role in 'Philadelphia' in the present day because he thinks it should be played by a gay actor.
The Hollywood veteran won an Oscar for his portrayal of lawyer Andrew Beckett who takes action against his employers when he's sacked after being struck down with AIDS - and Tom is adamant he would no longer be right for the part.
He told The New York Times: "Let’s address 'could a straight man do what I did in 'Philadelphia' now?' No, and rightly so.”
Tom continued: "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.”
He 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."
As well as winning a Best Actor Oscar for Tom, the film also scored an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Bruce Springsteen's track 'Streets of Philadelphia'.
Tom is not the only actor who has weighed in on the issue of straight stars playing gay roles in Hollywood - Neil Patrick Harris has insisted he doesn't have a problem with it and actually finds it "sexy".
He told The Times: "I think there’s something sexy about casting a straight actor to play a gay role - if they’re willing to invest a lot into it. In our world that we live in you can’t really as a director demand that (an actor be a given sexual orientation). Who’s to determine how gay someone is?”
The openly gay actor played a straight part in sitcom 'How I Met Your Mother' and insists his sexuality shouldn't determine which roles he's offered.
Neil added: "I played a character for nine years who was nothing like me. I would definitely want to hire the best actor."