Rami Malek achieved the fame that many of his contemporaries yearned for thanks to his performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” So, one would ask what Adam Lambert, who has been ironically critical of straight actors impersonating LGBT icons, has been thinking about Malek’s much-praised depiction of Freddie Mercury. Fortunately, when Variety questioned Lambert about his opinion on Rami playing Mercury as a straight actor, Lambert had all the answers.
“My actual comment, my little sarcastic comment on it, was [about] a straight actor playing a gay icon, which I think is a bit different,” regarding his remarks about Theo James possibly playing George Michael, Lambert stated. “I, by no means, think gay characters should only be played by gay actors.”
The vocalist went on:
“I think that would be ridiculous. I just think, as a queer person, so many doors have been closed to us for so long, it’s a big step forward that these stories are at least now being told, but I hope that in the future, you would also see an out actor be able to tackle a leading role. You haven’t really seen that very often.”
Lambert responded to the criticism he had gotten by saying that he had nothing against heterosexual performers attempting to play LGBT legends. The singer elucidated,
“To the naysayers who are like, ‘oh, it’s acting,’ what about the other way around, are you saying that gay actors should only play gay actors?”
Lambert merely wanted equal chances, not to mention the fact that a gay actor, Kristen Stewart, played Princess Diana, a non-queer icon, with success.
“If you look at Kristen Stewart playing Diana, and that was a brilliant performance as well [but] we don’t have that many examples of queer people playing non-queer icons. I just want some equal opportunity, that’s all.”
Adam has nothing but admiration and gratitude to express when questioned about Rami’s performance of Freddie Mercury and Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John.
“And honestly, Rami’s performance and Taron’s performance were both brilliant. I loved both of their performances; it’s just that… can we just get one? I wanna see one gay icon played by a gay actor. Someday… it’s just a dream I have.”
Therefore, when Lambert made a critical remark about Theo James’ desire to perform in a George Michael biopic, he didn’t mean to imply that he despised non-gay actors playing the lives of queer icons. The singer merely wanted that homosexual icons will one day be respectfully portrayed by queer actors with the same opportunity that gay icons have had by heterosexual performers.
Adam Lambert says it's "ridiculous" to claim that gay characters can only be played by gay actors, but straight actors playing "gay icons" is a different story. https://t.co/vid4Pu4xgu pic.twitter.com/mG0TZ5Dg3U
— Variety (@Variety) January 20, 2023