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Richard E Grants wants gay actors to play gay characters 

Richard E Grant believes that straight actors should not play gay characters.  

The Oscar-nominated star is opposed to what he sees as heterosexual performers taking the parts of their homosexual colleagues.

He has taken a stance in a growing debate around the legitimacy of actors inhabiting the roles of gay, black or disabled characters without themselves belonging to these groups.

Grant spoke to the Sunday Times Magazine about his role in the latest Star Wars release, and the changing sensibilities of the film industry.

The actor, born in British Swaziland, explained that he had always had a sensitivity to issues of representation, but believes the current political and cultural climate makes casting more of an issue than ever.

He said: “The transgender movement and the #MeToo movement means how can you justify heterosexual actors playing gay characters?” 

“We are in a historic moment,” the Withnail and I star added. “If you want someone to play a disabled role, that should be a disabled actor.”

Grant has played a villainous general in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and is set to play a drag queen in his new project, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

He said “I’ve always had that concern” regarding taking parts from gay actors, who could otherwise play characters who share their sexuality.  He added that he understands why the “current mood” in favour of limiting representation to those who fit into relevant demographics has come about.

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