Bret Easton Ellis, renowned writer of American Psycho (and juicy tidbits involving Rielle Hunter, Molly Ringwald, sex and cocaine), has been pretty vocal on Twitter about wanting to write the screenplay for Fifty Shades of Grey. Obsessed Christian Grey fans have asked him who he would cast, and he has offered up his opinions and suggestions regularly. As of yesterday, it became official that Mr. Ellis won’t be involved in the screenplay whatsoever.
That didn’t stop him from advising the writers who were hired, however. This morning, when asked if he thinks Matt Bomer, of White Collar and Magic Mike fame, would make a good Christian Grey, Mr. Ellis responded with:
“Ok, I’ll say it. Matt Bomer isn’t right for Christian Grey because he’s openly gay. I am NOT discriminating Matt Bomer because of his sexuality. Fifty Shades demands an actor that is genuinely into women. Get it?! I think Matt Bomer is incredibly handsome and a good actor but I think he comes off totally gay in White Collar.”
After I read the entire Fifty Shades trilogy (and I am only publicly admitting that I read it because Bret Easton Ellis’ response pissed me off that much), I performed the perfunctory Google search related to possible movie casting. I hadn’t heard of Matt Bomer prior to reading the books, but when I saw him pop up in Google images, my vagina and I couldn’t believe that the exact person we pictured in our minds (and fantasies) existed in human form! Apparently lots of other vaginas agreed with mine. I saw a few blurbs about him being openly gay, but my vagina doesn’t discriminate and neither do I.
In 2010, Newsweek ran an article (written by an openly gay reporter) about Sean Hayes being “unable to play straight” in his debut as the lead in Promises, Promises. I happened to see Promises, Promises with my own two eyes on Broadway that year, and I can tell you that in my opinion, Sean Hayes did a decent job portraying a heterosexual, nerdy, Charlie Brown-type character. I believed him in it. After getting over my initial giddyness about seeing Jack McFarland and Kristin Chenoweth in the flesh, I let myself fall into the story and I was thoroughly entertained.
You know why? BECAUSE WHEN YOU’RE A TALENTED ACTOR, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOUR’RE GAY OR STRAIGHT. Not all gay actors act like Charles Neson Reilley while performing. I’m pretty sure that Sarah Paulson doesn’t require that she only wear tool belts and flannel in any of her performances.
To give Mr. Ellis the benefit of the doubt as I had never actually seen Matt Bomer act in White Collar and because I think Mr. Ellis extraordinarily talented, I watched a few clips on YouTube. Other than one particular scene of one episode that had Matt Bomer’s character wear a tilted fedora for no reason, I saw nothing gay about his performance! That was just a bad wardrobe call. Let’s leave fedoras to Britney Spears and private investigator parodies, ok? And while we’re at it… why don’t we leave casting decisions to the actual directors and producers of the film? Sheesh.
(Photo: C.Smith/ WENN.com)