Tom Hanks wouldn't take Oscar-winning gay role now

·2-min read
Photo credit: TriStar Pictures
Photo credit: TriStar Pictures

Tom Hanks has revealed that he would not take on his Oscar-winning role of a gay man with AIDS in the film Philadelphia if he was asked now.

Speaking to The New York Times Magazine while promoting his new movie Elvis, the iconic actor reflected on the current social climate compared to when Philadelphia came out in 1993.

He said: "Let's address 'Could a straight man do what I did in Philadelphia now?' No, and rightly so.

"The whole point of Philadelphia was don't be afraid. One of the reasons people weren't afraid of that movie is that I was playing a gay man. We're beyond that now, and I don't think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy."

Photo credit: TriStar Pictures
Photo credit: TriStar Pictures

Related: Tom Hanks addresses divisive role in new Elvis movie

Hanks continued: "It's not a crime, it's not boohoo, that someone would say we are going to demand more of a movie in the modern realm of authenticity. Do I sound like I'm preaching? I don't mean to."

The actor also addressed how both Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, for which he won yet another Oscar, were "timely movies, at the time, that you might not be able to make now".

Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne recently reflected on his role in 2015's The Danish Girl, admitting that his decision to portray a transgender woman – for which he earned an Oscar nomination – was "a mistake".

Photo credit: Universal
Photo credit: Universal

Related: Tom Hanks says he's never been asked to join the MCU

In an interview with The Times, the actor explained: "No, I wouldn't take it on now. I made that film with the best intentions, but I think it was a mistake.

"The bigger discussion about the frustrations around casting is because many people don't have a chair at the table. There must be a levelling, otherwise we are going to carry on having these debates."

Elvis is now playing in cinemas.

Organisations including amFAR, Terrence Higgins Trust and the National Aids Trust (NAT) can provide further information on research, testing and treatment for both HIV and AIDS.

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