Stanley Tucci Defends Straight Actors Playing Gay Characters: “You’re Supposed to Play Different People”

The actor has played gay characters in films like The Devil Wears Prada and Supernova

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Stanley Tucci, photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

    Although he’s been in a heterosexual marriage for over a decade, Stanley Tucci has a bit of a reputation for playing gay characters. Speaking in a recent interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs show, the actor doubled-down that he thinks it’s “fine” for straight actors to take on queer roles — as long as they’re done “the right way.”

    “Obviously I believe that’s fine,” Tucci said of the topic. “I am always very flattered when gay men come up to me and talk to me about The Devil Wears Prada or they talk about Supernova, and they say that, ‘It was just so beautiful,’ you know, ‘You did it the right way.’ Because often, it’s not done the right way.”

    One of Tucci’s most popular roles was that of the flamboyant magazine art director Nigel Kipling in The Devil Wears Prada; 14 years later, he starred opposite Colin Firth in Supernova as a man with early-onset dementia traveling the country with his long-term male partner.


    “An actor is an actor is an actor,” Tucci added. “You’re supposed to play different people. You just are. That’s the whole point of it.”

    Listen to the full interview here.

    Tucci also appeared in the 2021 Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody as music executive Clive Davis, who came out as bisexual in his 2013 memoir. Earlier this year, Tucci starred in Prime Video’s spy thriller series Citadel.


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