Only Gay Actors Playing Gay Roles Is ‘Total Nonsense’

Rebel Wilson thinks the idea that only gay actors should play gay characters is “total nonsense.”

In a new interview on BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs” (via The Guardian), the “Pitch Perfect” star brought up the topic when host Lauren Laverne asked if she felt there was a different standard with the kinds of jokes women comedians can make compared to men.

“I don’t think there’s a different standard, it’s more this thing about, if you are something then now you’re allowed to joke about it,” she said. “So say, if you are overweight, you can say jokes. But if you’re not [you can’t]… that’s kind of what’s currently happening.”

But, is that a positive development for the state of comedy today? “I think that’s hard,” Wilson said. “It’s going into this territory of like saying, ‘Well, only straight actors can play straight roles and gay actors can play gay roles,’ which I think is total nonsense.”

She continued, “I think you should be able to play any role that you want. But I always think, in comedy, your job is to always flirt with that line of what’s acceptable. Sometimes you do step over it but, at the end of the day, you are trying to entertain people.”

Wilson came out as gay in June 2022, when she revealed her relationship with now fiancée Ramona Agruma. The actor said she was “lucky” when it came to telling her family.

“Even though I come from a very conservative background, it went very, very well … My grandparents, who are in their 90s, are just so chilled and cool with it,” she said, adding that her fiancée’s family did not share the same support.

“Ramona’s family, not as much,” she said. “Her mum has luckily come around now, her father still doesn’t talk to her, but we’re hoping that will change.”

Wilson also addressed the controversy over her memoir, “Rebel Rising,” which included allegations of inappropriate behavior against Sacha Baron Cohen during the filming of 2016’s “The Brothers Grimsby.” After Baron Cohen denied Wilson’s claims, calling them “demonstrably false,” the passages containing the allegations were redacted from the U.K. version of the book “for legal reasons.”

“If it can help a few people out there then it’s worth it,” Wilson said of her memoir.

“I stayed in a situation and had things said to me and stuff that I should have left,” she added. “The me now would be strong enough, but back then I just didn’t have enough self-esteem to leave and I thought I’d be labelled as unprofessional if I left.”

Listen to the full “Desert Island Discs” episode here.

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