Darren Criss said he will likely stop playing gay characters in future roles, as he doesn’t want to continue taking away acting opportunities from LGBTQ actors.
“There are certain [queer] roles that I’ll see that are just wonderful,” Criss told Bustle in a recent interview. “But I want to make sure I won’t be another straight boy taking a gay man’s role.”
Gay roles Criss has played in the past include Blaine in Glee, Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and serial killer Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Criss was nominated for a Golden Globe, and won an Emmy for his role as Cunanan.
This past year, Hollywood has been critiqued for allowing straight and cisgender actors to play LGBTQ characters. Timothée Chamalet and Armie Hammer received criticism for playing gay characters in Call Me By Your Name. Jack Whitehall also faced backlash when Disney cast him for its first ever openly-gay role in Jungle Cruise. Similarly, Scarlett Johansson dropped the role of transgender character, Dante “Tex” Gill, in Rub & Tug after backlash from the LGBTQ community.
While Criss enjoyed playing those aforementioned characters, he said he was understanding of the problems that could arise from continuing to accept queer roles.
“The reason I say that is because getting to play those characters in inherently a wonderful dramatic experience,” Criss said. “It has made for very, very compelling and interesting people.”