You would think that it wouldn't be hard to find a gay actor to play a gay role in an industry as heavily dominated by LGBTQ+ people, but apparently it's still a struggle. You don't have to look far to see straight actors getting praise for playing queer characters with performances like Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár or Brendan Fraser in Darren Aronofsky's The Whale cleaning up the awards show circuit. So when word broke that The White Lotus star Theo James might be in talks to portray Wham! frontman George Michael in a forthcoming biopic, Adam Lambert isn't being quiet about his disappointment with the casting.
Replying to an Instagram post by The Advocate covering the news that James was being considered for the role, Lambert wrote, “Yay another straight man playing a gay icon” alongside an eye roll emoji. Succinct yet scathing in its sarcasm, Lambert's lack of enthusiasm isn't unfounded. In fact, the last two major biopics about openly gay pop stars, Bohemian Rhapsody starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and Rocketman starring Taron Egerton as Elton John, were played by straight men.
To make matters worse, George Michael's estate has since put out a statement condemning the biopic and that it does not have the family's blessing. “To all of George’s Lovelies, fans and lovers of his music, a story has been published stating that George Michael’s family has endorsed a so called ‘biopic’ about his life,” read a statement from George Michael Entertainment.“On behalf of George’s family and GME we want to make it clear that there is no truth whatsoever in this story, we know nothing about this project and will not be endorsing it in any way.”
TheDaily Mailhad previously reported that Michael's estate had endorsed the planned project given "the success of biopics about Elton John and Queen’s Freddie Mercury” with word that the script was in its final stages and was being shopped around with a $100 million price tag attached.
Theo James had previously expressed interest in playing Michael in an interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, noting the two share a similar heritage. "Oh yeah, I would love that," James said. "He's a lot of Greek, and I'm a lot of Greek. Put that Greek together, and you get falafel."
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