When I’ve read criticisms that Brokeback Mountain should have starred actual gay actors, I rejected the notion. If a straight guy can play gay and bring in audiences that would not under regular circumstances go to a “queer” picture, all the better I told folks.
However, I think sometimes there has to be a limit. Take, for instance, the current news that Mickey Rourke is ready to sign on to play iconic rugby player Gareth Thomas in a new movie.
I’m sure this is going to please Rourke’s fans, who will take every opportunity available to watch him in any film, but think about this: Rourke is pushing sixty while Thomas is only 36. Wasn’t the point of Rourke’s great comeback character in The Wrestler the fact that he’s an aging athlete?
Thomas is a lot closer in age to this actor, but assuming Rourke gets the role, the question’s got to be raised: shouldn’t the call go out for openly gay actors who can handle such a role? You can’t tell me there isn’t one to be found who is muscular, athletic and 36 years old. If Rourke wants to be in the movie, he can play a coach. Hell, he’s old enough to play Stratham’s dad in any movie, so why not give that a shot?