Olly Alexander: Gay men can play straight roles
Actor Olly Alexander thinks there’s a stigma in the movie industry that only straight men can play straight roles.The 25-year-old star has appeared in a number of small and big screen hits over the years, including Skins, Le Week-End and God Help the G…
Actor Olly Alexander thinks there’s a stigma in the movie industry that only straight men can play straight roles.
The 25-year-old star has appeared in a number of small and big screen hits over the years, including Skins, Le Week-End and God Help the Girl. Alongside his successful acting career, Olly is the lead singer in popular band Years & Years. He’s currently dating a fellow musician, Clean Bandit member Neil Milan and when asked how being gay in the acting world compares to his experience in music, Olly explained he does think there are still problems to overcome in Hollywood.
“Until I started making music, and because the music is from me and my experiences, and I write a lot about gay relationships, it was really obvious then – and now it’s cool, right?” he told Vulture. “I have wondered whether it’s easier for the world to accept a non-straight musician than it is for them to accept a non-straight actor. There’s still a stigma that for male actors to play straight roles, they have to be straight. The majority of the film industry is, like, obsessed with a ridiculous gender binary and keeping with this stupid social binary… I just think, every time I watch one, this is so unrepresentative of 90 per cent of the world, why bother? It shouldn’t have to be that way!”
Olly’s next big screen adventure is Funny Bunny, which he wrote alongside co-stars Kentucker Audley and Joslyn Jensen. Director Alison Bagnall came up with the idea for the film – two people vying for the heart of the same person – and it was a long time in the making, as she originally approached him in 2009.
“I really loved that story, and then it ended up not happening, but Alison still wanted to make a movie, so she came up with this idea, and we made The Dish & the Spoon,” Olly recalled. “And then four or five years later she was like, ‘I wanna make Funny Bunny, but I’m gonna rewrite it a bit, and would you still be up for doing it?’”