Rupert Everett thinks backlash over Scarlett Johansson playing a trans man was a ‘mistake’

Rupert Everett says Scarlett Johansson should have played trans man in Rub & Tug: 'Mistake of the trans community'

Rupert Everett thinks it was a “mistake of the trans community” to say Scarlett Johansson should not play a trans man in the now-cancelled film Rub & Tug.

In an interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored, Everett argued that there is not a trans actor big enough to sustain a movie with that large of a budget.

“People forget that Hollywood is a business. So for example, when Scarlett Johansson was stopped from playing a trans role, there simply wasn’t a trans actress at that point big enough to sustain a $50-60 million movie,” Everett, 62, told Morgan.

“I found that was a mistake of the trans community because there were probably lots of other trans roles in the film that would have been played by trans actresses and Scarlett Johansson wasn’t going to be doing a portrait that was anti-trans.

“So I felt it was slightly blinkered attitude.”

Citing criticism of Eddie Redmayne playing Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, Everett added that if a trans actress were to take the role instead of Redmayne, “Who’s going to play the boy part?”
“He started the film as a boy, so who’s going to play the boy part?”

In a ridiculous comparison, Morgan claimed that if gay roles should only be played by gay actors, and trans roles only by trans actors, which he called “method acting zealotry”, then “presumably by that logic Nazi roles, [should be played] by Nazi actors”.

He also argued that some straight actors, such as Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, “brought tremendous numbers of eyeballs” to important issues when they have played gay roles.

Rupert Everett, however, argued that gay actors such as himself have “had quite a hard time historically”, and that he was “frustrated” to have seen Colin Firth’s success in a gay role in A Single Man.

“It’s quite frustrating. I was frustrated, I remember going to see Colin Firth in the film by Tom Ford. I thought, ‘Well, thanks, Colin, that’s the end of my career,'” Everett joked.

“Because you know, that role really should have been mine.

“I think that the gay actors should be able to play the straight roles too, I think some straight guys played great gay roles… I think the question is more, ‘Why can’t gay actors play straight roles?”