Monday, December 01, 2008

The (Other) Gay Tom Cruise?

Do you know who this gentleman is? He calls himself Cheyenne Jackson, which is not (to Fosco's knowledge) a stripper pseudonym. He's a Broadway actor (Damn Yankees!) and a television guest star ("Lipstick Junkie Jungle"). His film credits include a starring role in the too-upsetting-for-Fosco-to-even-think-about-seeing United 93. He is also, if we are to believe this article by Larry Gross, a "credible candidate" to be the first openly-gay actor to portray a leading man in a Hollywood film.

Gross's article is good fun to read, as he describes all of the reasons why a gay blockbuster like Milk doesn't star any gay actors in major roles. Fosco's favorite parts are the honest assessments of gay actors and celebrities who have failed to become leading men (or women). Some excellent diagnoses:

Ellen DeGeneres may be Hollywood’s most prominent lesbian these days but, like her East Coast counterpart Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen is a misleading example, because acting was never her strong suit. [...] Her current success as a talk show host depends on her personality and her willingness to keep her sexuality tacitly unspoken.

Similarly, Melissa Etheridge, Hollywood’s other leading lesbian, is a singer who never played to the male audience’s romantic fantasies.

In movies, there are the British queers, Ian McKellen, who is not the leading-man type, and Rupert Everett, who thinks he should be.
The problem with an openly gay movie star, of course, comes down to money. As Gross notes,
Would teenage girls still make “High School Musical” a megahit if they knew the romance between Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens was limited to the screen?
Wait. Did he just out VanHudge? Did she take those nudie pix for Miley Cyrus?

So should gay movie fans pin their hopes on the "mysterious" Mr. Cheyenne? Fosco is unconvinced. While he's never seen Cheyenne act, Fosco isn't that impressed with his face--he's much too chiseled for Fosco's taste. And did he borrow those eyes from Jason Patric? However, Fosco can believe that many middle-aged women (of the Claymate variety) might find Cheyenne to be sexy enough to help "open" a film. What about it, commenters: is Cheyenne Jackson your Mystery Date?


Anonymous said...

I dunno... I really don't care weather an actor is gay or straight. It seems more absurd that one would not consider the audition process; if your audition is better than my audition, then fine.

There may be a multitude of actors in the closet that are leading men. (But let's not speculate, as a lot of people do!)

Anonymous said...

*Oz caught his typo after clicking publish... *whether*

well... the weather also sucks in the bay area today... Oz is sad...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I say a hot guy is a hot guy, period.