Tom Hanks is happy to see progress being made for gay representation in Hollywood.
In a new interview with The New York Times Magazine, the “Elvis” actor looked back on his experience making 1993’s “Philadelphia”, which won him his first Oscar for Best Actor.
Hanks played the role of gay lawyer Andrew Beckett in the film, who files a lawsuit against his firm for wrongful dismissal after he is fired when they discover he has HIV.
With the vantage point of nearly 30 years since the film’s release, Hanks now says he wouldn’t be able to play that role if it were made today.
“Let’s address ‘could a straight man do what I did in ‘Philadelphia’ now?’” told the Times. “No, and rightly so.”
The actor 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.”
Finally, Hanks said, “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 starred alongside Denzel Washington, Mary Steenburgen and Antonio Banderas in the film, which also won an Oscar for Best Original Song for Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia”, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.