Hollywood built its political cred by making movies about the oppressed. But as identity politics set in, it became a problem to have a celebrity slumming as one of the oppressed. The oppressed, it was said, should be playing themselves and getting famous doing it.
The latest victim of this stupid premise is Viggo Mortensen, an obnoxious lefty actor a few people may vaguely remember from the time he was actually relevant.
Mortensen decided to dip into the 90s well of cutting edge subjects by playing a gay character struggling with a more conservative father. Except that Mortensen has been repeatedly married.
And in today’s day and age, that’s a problem.
First, he tried to laugh it off.
“I apologise to all the proctologists for casting David Cronenberg,” Mortensen, 62, said of his new film “Falling”, in which the renowned Canadian director plays a colorectal surgeon.
Mortensen, best known for his portrayal of Aragorn in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, said he was joking, but wanted to make the point that actors are actors – simply playing a role whether a gay man or a proctologist.
That wouldn’t fly, so he settled for the, “You can’t prove I’m not gay” argument.
“Look, these are the times we’re living in, and I think it’s healthy that those issues are brought up,” Mortensen said. “The short answer is that I didn’t think it was a problem. And people then ask me, ‘Well what about Terry Chen, who plays my husband in the film, is he a homosexual?’ “
“And the answer is I don’t know, and I would never have the temerity to ask someone if they were, during the casting process,” the actor continued. “And how do you know what my life is? You’re assuming that I’m completely straight. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. And it’s frankly none of your business.”
Actors now have to cultivate strategic ambiguity about their sexuality to be able to play different roles. It’s hilarious, largely because it’s happening to Viggo, and because Viggo’s response is to argue that he should be allowed to play gay men until someone officially proves he’s not gay.
The natural response to that will be to closely monitor his personal life to prove the point.
Isn’t this new era of identity politics tolerance wonderful?
Leave a Reply