“But what I want to do is reflect real life and reflect us as a community in a real way,” he says. “We are not immune to tragedy. We are not immune to cancer. It’s part of our lives – just like we’re not immune to love.”
This is a particularly exciting endeavor for Aldridge after he publicly came out as gay in 2020. Though he was previously best known for playing straight alpha males — most notably the “asshole guy” in Phoebe Waller-Bridge fleabag – He has spent the last few years almost exclusively researching queer characters.
Aldridge also plays a gay father alongside Broadway star Jonathan Groff in M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Knock at the hut.
“I think I came out publicly in part because I had a certain idea of how I was perceived [through my earlier roles] …I did it despite the repercussions it might have. Because I felt at the time that it could negatively affect my career.
“Rupert Everett famously said that coming out completely sabotaged his career. I was very scared around. And I think there’s still fear for some actors who are playing ‘alpha’ roles in Hollywood – people who are still concerned or still very private.”
Best known is the neurotic physicist Sheldon Cooper The big Bang Theorywhich ended in 2019 as the longest-running multi-camera sitcom in US history, Parsons breaks new ground in this film as well.
“It really felt like a relief. It felt like a part of me could breathe in a way it hadn’t in a while.
Jim Parsons on branching out to The Big Bang Theory.
“I played a character for 12 years who had trouble connecting with people on an emotional level,” he says. “And I don’t know how aware I was of that at the time, but I was so eager and excited to be a part of it [story because of the] intensely deep connection these two men have to each other.”
“In a way, it really felt like a relief. It felt like a part of me could breathe in a way it hadn’t in a while.”
Though Parsons doesn’t actively seek out queer characters, he says he “undeniably sees the rewards of doing it [a role like this] and seeing people’s reactions to it.”
“I feel like the most common reaction from the community has been a sense of pleasure at seeing a gay couple portrayed in such a realistic way – both in terms of the complications of their relationship and the machinations of what someone is alive for.” .”
We wouldn’t have seen anything like this in the industry 10 years ago, he says.
And it’s something Parsons wouldn’t have talked about either. Although it became public knowledge that he was gay in 2012, he made an impromptu comment about it The New York TimesSince then, the actor has spoken about how he “made it happen [his] Mission not to talk about it”.
“I wasn’t afraid to deny my sexuality,” he said recently The Hollywood Reporter. “[But] I was afraid there might be trouble, quote unquoted, for our big TV show.”
“I can’t believe how much [the industry has] changed in 10 years,” adds Aldridge.
“I would never have discussed my sexuality in an audition room or with a director. I would have ignored that completely – and I was told that would be helpful.”
“I think what has changed the most is that there is room for us. we can exist There is representation where there was none when I was growing up.”
And while there are lingering questions about the commercial viability of romantic comedy and romantic drama on the big screen — queer or not — Aldridge wants to see as much “diverse and truthful” portrayal as possible.
“I had these feelings that I was very uncomfortable with because I had nowhere to turn to see a positive example of what that could be.
“I hope it’s very different for people growing up now.”
https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/this-tv-star-refused-to-talk-about-his-sexuality-now-he-s-leading-a-queer-love-story-20230207-p5ciij.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Jim Parsons and Ben Aldridge on the politics and triumph of queer rom-com