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Tom Hanks: Straight Actors Could Not Play Gay ‘Philadelphia’ Role Today and ‘Rightly So’

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Zack Sharf Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for best actor thanks to Jonathan Demme’s 1993 legal drama “Philadelphia,” in which he plays a gay man with HIV who is discriminated against at work.

Cut forward almost 30 years later, and Hanks says he or any fellow straight actor would no longer be able to play the openly gay character at the heart of “Philadelphia.” Not that at Hanks sees a problem with that change in mentality in Hollywood.“Let’s address ‘could a straight man do what I did in “Philadelphia” now?’ No, and rightly so,” Hanks recently told The New York Times Magazine. “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.” “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,” Hanks added. “Do I sound like I’m preaching?

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