Juan Pablo di Pace and Peter Porte are weighing in on the debate over whether only LGBTQ actors should be hired to tell LGBTQ stories in blockbuster hits.
The actors, who are both openly gay, star in Paramount’s upcoming holiday rom-com with a queer twist, titled “Dashing in December”. And with Hollywood aiming to become more inclusive during their casting process, Porte and di Pace both agree the debate is a “tricky situation” that should be addressed.
“It’s a tricky situation because when you see all of these movies, which historically, the gay roles have gone to the straight actors, there is something in nuances and tiny little things that straight actors don’t quite get right,” di Pace tells ET Canada.
“It’s great to have gay actors play these gay roles because you see certain things are realistic, but having said that, I don’t agree that only gay actors should play gay,” he added. “We do what we do because we love experiencing other people’s stories and lives and what would be of the Meryl Streep’s of the world if we all had to do the thing that we are. Actors like playing, and playing is inhabiting another human being. I don’t agree with having to laser focus the casting of it all, or else you’ll be playing yourself the rest of your life.”
Echoing his costars’ point, Porte recognizes the value of his craft at its core.
“We fall in love with this career because we love to step into someone else’s life,” Porte said. “If I wanted to be a personality and just play myself, I would be a host. I think the most exciting thing is the challenge of finding the humanity in someone else’s story completely. I personally think whoever is right for the job, should get it.”
Despite the ongoing debate, di Pace hopes the world can take a moment to celebrate Hollywood’s decision to finally start telling fresh stories from the LGBTQ community’s point of view.
“Right now we are finally seeing a surge of gay actors being able to play gay characters, but then there is going to come a time when anyone can play anyone, I hope,” he said. “But we had to get here in order to just open the umbrella, because it’s true – there are so many stories in our community that have not been told so it’s exciting to be part of this movement, where it’s the beginning of these voices, stories and people who haven’t been represented and need to be.”
Watch “Dashing in December” Dec. 13 only on the Paramount Network.